Montessori? Yay or nay?

posted 2 months ago in Parenting
Post # 2
2638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I’ve not gone the Montessori route for my son, mostly because the local one for me is in a building that looks like it will fall down in the next gust of wind …

i think it massively depends on the child tbh. I think my son is more routine driven and prefers to be in a structured environment. Some kids don’t like that. 

Sorry this isn’t any help 

Post # 3
3325 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

There are so many daycares that slap a philosopher’s name in their title and act like they actually follow their teachings and research. So just know that not all Montessori schools are created equal. I used to work at a daycare that was supposedly modeled after Piaget, and I promise you I was the only person there that knew who Piaget was. 

Now, assuming you’ve found a program that is actually based on Montessori – Yes!! Maria Montessori did fantastic research on the needs of young children. A calm environment for young children is a huge plus. And of course, a Montessori program should still be heavily based in play and exploration (since you’re comparing it to a plant-based center). Montessori is about meeting a child’s needs calmly and being responsive to their individual needs as they explore and learn. 

All of that said – it doesn’t matter what philosophy they claim to follow. Unless they said Freud, in which case I’d tell you to run. Your job is to find people who seem responsible and responsive. That’s all you need to do. A place where the workers seem calm and happy, not stressed and frantic. 

And also, recent research has been pretty clear that it’s what happens at home that matters. So once you’re done researching Montessori, get started on authoritative parenting! And based on your post, probably gentle parenting as well (which is also authoritative). That’s what will help your little one up to thrive throughout all of life’s stages.

Congratulations on your baby!

Post # 4
5966 posts
Bee Keeper

All three of my children, with very different personalities, thrived in the Montessori environment. That said, as PP stated, it really comes down to the teachers and assistants executing and caring for the children. If you felt good there that means a lot. 

Post # 7
6847 posts
Busy Beekeeper

ne11y23 :  I was very interested in Montessori as well but our local school (1) doesn’t take infants and (2) is cost prohibitive. The daycare we use isn’t technically Montessori but employs many of the same principles which I like. At home I’m a mix of attachment/montessori approach which probably sounds odd but it works for us. 

Post # 8
4629 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

ne11y23 :  Montessori was actually dropped into our laps, our daycare switched over to Montessori when my daughter was in the toddler room. We LOVE it. It’s also perfect for our daughter who wants to be independent.

It’s driven by the child. They are encouraged to put their boots and shoes on themselves, put clothes on themselves etc. we would pick her up and her pants would be on backwards and her shoes on the wrong feet because that’s how she put them on. It took some getting used to though

She’s taught to clean up after herself, they have jobs around the classroom such as sweeping and doing dishes or ringing bells when it’s circle time. They are were recently learning about Africa and different animals. It’s hard for me to keep track because my daughter doesn’t talk much about what they’ve done, I learn from the daily update board as well as a monthly news letter and parent teacher conferences.

They have “works” which are educational toys. They are educational works and the children figure out how to do them on their own, though the teachers will offer some guidance if the child is having trouble. They also have teacher led works so the kids can learn.

It takes some getting used to, she can’t bring characters from tv shows or movies on her clothes or stuffed animals for nap time. But she can have genetic characters. It’s part of the Montessori method, Montessori believes that characters from shows and movies limit the use of imagination because the kids become THOSE characters instead of ones they create (that’s their method, not mine, so no judgment here and my daughter has plenty of items that she can play with at home but not at school)

They have to be able to open their lunch boxes on their own, and do their clothes on their own so no overalls or no buttons on their pants etc.

It was VERY overwhelming when they switched over because it seemed so strict. It’s not for everyone and we wouldn’t have stayed if my daughter didn’t thrive in this environment.

To be honest, we are no frills people and to me, Montessori would have been frilly and I would not have sought it out on my own. It’s not really who we are, but I am so grateful it was dropped into our laps because it’s been an amazing fit for our daughter 

Post # 9
4629 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Another Montessori philosophy is a lack of color. (Wooden chairs and tables and such) I was so used to her room that when I stepped into my nephews school, I was blown away by all of the colors lol

Post # 10
556 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I dont know about daycares/early schooling, but; one of my stepdaughters went to Montessori high school, the other went to regular high school.  Sadly, the one who went to Montessori came out very much undereducated in comparison.  We also found that it was a sort of ‘dumping ground’ for ‘misfits’ ie odd/weird/unconventional kids and those who didn’t cope in regular school (kind of the reason the she ended up there lol) and many didn’t self motivate or direct their own learning very well. Plus it was a lot more $ than regular public school.

Post # 11
202 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2021 - City, State

I was a Montessori kid. I went through in preschool and kindergarten, then I came back for fourth through sixth grade then graduated from there. I will say that it really helped foster my love of learning and it was worth every penny my mother thinks, but just know that not all Montessori schools are equal, do you due diligence. This one just happened to be awesome with awesome teachers that facilitated learning rather than having everything be a free for all like I have seen in bad Montessoris. My teachers didn’t tolerate goofing around and they expected me to do a little bit of each school subject every day and to challenge myself and were really attentive. They praised creativity too. 

As someone with special needs who went ot a Montessori school, they did work with my therapists and it actually worked nicely because they could pull me out more easily to do therapy versus a regular school where the classes were less flexible with structure. I still had a schedule, but I basically made my own schedule in a planner and the teacher looked at it and the teacher also taught lessons at certain times of the day that I could attend. I really liked it.

The only thing is that the methods for math were a bit hard for me to do without the special materials when I was given assessments that I was only allowed to do by pencil and paper so my math skills were underestimated. When I got into seventh grade and beyond though, I quickly caught up. 

Overall, Montessori was an awesome experience for me, but it is really important you look for the right Montessori school because not all of them are equal.

Post # 12
673 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

I’m looking at nursery schools and decided montessori wasn’t likely to be a great fit for my son although I was impressed by the facility. He loves people and is behind on speech because he’s so physically inclined. The routine and herd mentality of the small nursery school we chose are going to be great for him. He also isn’t the sort to be lost in the pack. I think Montessori would have been great for me as a kid (I was quiet, rule abiding, and precocious – got very lost in a classroom where you had to compete for attention). 

Just because you’re looking for a place from infant to 5 years old doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with the place you start (I’m assuming there’s going to be an out clause for the enrollment). If Montessori has a spot and seems trustworthy, I’d go for it just because of those two factors. If you aren’t convinced it’s the right spot as your tot gets a little older, stay on the waitlist (or however it works) for another place or two that felt good. 

Post # 13
378 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I don’t know if my experience with Montessori taught children is due to the culture in the home or the actual program but I have found those children are intelligent but are socially awkward.  My husband runs a sport program for children ages 3-12 and we can clearly and accurately identify the children that go to the Montessori school without being told.  They act entitiled, bratty and do not adjust well to being in social athletic settings with other children. 

I am in no way saying this is all children that go to Montesorri programs I just found it interesting.  It could be that the particular school in our area has a model that allows children to decide when they will do certain activities vs being told when they will do it by a teacher.  I don’t know if this is the standard model or not but I’m guessing this could be a factor. 

Post # 14
892 posts
Busy bee

I was in Montessori in preschool and loved it. My older son did two years of Montessori preschool  and thrived in the environment. My younger son, however, needed a more structured environment, as he took advantage of the lack of structure during the year he was in Montessori and got other kids to do things for him 🙄 We pulled him from Montessori was his second year of preschool and he did much better in a more structured but play-based environment  

So, as pp, whether Montessori is good fit depends on the individual child. 

Post # 15
290 posts
Helper bee

My mother was a day care worker in the Montessori system. She also worked in other types of day cares. In her opinion, Montessori system is better than the other day cares because students learn structure and become more independent than other students. They also learn about their talents thorugh the educational toys with the passing of time.

At the beginning my mother thought the day care was wierd nd too strict but when she looks back and compares the day cares, she prefers Montessori (at least that’s what I understood from her). My mother also informed me that there are daycares that claim to follow the Montessory system but they are like any other day care. 

I, on the other hand, have no opinion.


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