I would certainly try it. Montessori is self paced, so if a child masters a skill quickly he can move onto another. The whole concept is child centered learning, so the teachers are there to interact with the kids and facilitate each child's learning and children do get a lot of one on one or very small group time. I would venture to say that most children can benefit from a good Montessori program especially early on. The few children who had issues with the classroom environment at my school were unusual cases and were much older than preschool.
Thanks for that info! My son is turning 5 in September and he is very bright. I know all parents think that but he really is. He's very creative and very "in tune" with people. He loves people. He loves interacting and being where the action is. He's also pretty impatient and gets frustrated really easily. And has trouble staying on task but I'm not completely sure how much of that is normal 4 year old behavior. I think he could either be a kid that flourishes in this environment or really struggles. Truly not sure which. But the public schools in this area are shockingly bad. And because he thrives on so much attention, I don't think he would do as well in that environment but I'm wondering how montessori environments are with kids who are bright but want a lot of interaction.
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My kids both go to a Montessori school. I am completely, 100% enamored of the program. We originally intended just to keep them there for the primary program (through the kindergarten year), but quickly realized that we wanted as much Montessori education as we could get, so they are now in 1st and 3rd grade, and will stay at our school through 6th (which is as far as it goes).
One important thing to know is that anybody can call their school Montessori. If it isn't certified through one of the two certifying bodies, there is no guarantee that the school's philosophy is true Montessori. The certifying bodies are AMI (for a stricter adherence to Maria Montessori's original vision) and AMS (for a somewhat looser interpretation, but still legitimately Montessori). (My kids go to an AMI school.)
Honestly, there isn't anything I don't love about our school. The multi-age classrooms (age 2.5 through 6 in primary, age 6-12 in elementary) are awesome--the kids are exposed to so much more and have the opportunity to be classroom leaders when they get to the older ages in a class. The teachers know the kids amazingly well because they are with them for so long, so they can really help each child grow to his fullest potential.
Teaching methods are designed to reach people who learn in all different ways--whether it's visual, auditory, hands-on, or what have you. Math, in particular, is taught so concretely that concepts that students in traditional programs might find challenging become completely clear.
Kids are taught to be self-sufficient, and really shine that way. They love being able to direct their own education. (That said, students are still required to complete all the requirements they would need in a traditional/public school. They're just given more freedom in how they go about that.)
I could seriously rave about the benefits of the Montessori philosophy for hours. If you want more info or have other questions, feel free to ask, either here or in PM!
I used to work in a Montessori school and I loved it. I would have liked to send mine kids to one, but around here it is just too much money. Some areas have free or cheaper Montessori schools, but sadly, not where I am. You do have to make sure they are really Montessori since the name is not trademarked and anyone can say they are. If you do not find it through the American Montessori Society or the international Montessori website, I wouldn't trust it. And of course, go check-out the school and see if you like it and feel comfortable there. I found that Montessori is great for lots of kids, but not all. I had one middle school student who really needed the rigid structure and discipline of a much more "traditional" school. Our classrooms were open and kids had much more freedom than at other schools and some kids just can't handle that. Others did great and were quite advanced.
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