Two weeks ago, I was blinded by fury. I’m no longer mad, and can again see the benefits of the Montessori school system.
Our daughters have been on a waiting list for a local, celebrated academy. Montessori also receives high accolades for teaching and socializing children, but they have a hefty tuition whereas the academy is free. While on the wait list, we placed our children in Montessori. Our oldest daughter attended kindergarten through first grade while our youngest attended pre-K in the spring of 2010.
This past June, we received the call from the academy that our youngest had been accepted to start kindergarten. We were overjoyed! This bumped our oldest from the middle of the second page, to a prime slot on the first page of the wait list.
When I phoned the owner/teacher of Montessori, I was told since both daughters were not attending, our oldest daughter was not welcome. She feared the discussions our daughter would have with the other students, and talks we would have with the other parents. Our good fortune of attending the free academy could poison the waters of her private school.
A child who had done nothing wrong was being punished, leaving her friends and curriculum behind.
Thus our oldest was thrust into the public school system. To say my stomach was in knots would be an understatement. Her new campus was immense, complete with gym, cafeteria, media room, playgrounds, multiple grade levels, and even a school nurse. Montessori, in comparison, was a 2-room schoolhouse, intermingling grade levels from pre-K to 3rd, sharing one playground, one certified teacher and a few aides (parents).
Now that we have two weeks under our belts, I can safely say that Montessori did teach both of our daughters sound reading, math and social skills. This solid foundation will carry them well into their future. They love their new schools, are eager to learn, and have adapted well.
Things Montessori did NOT teach my children:
1) How to navigate a large campus.
2) How to establish a hot lunch account, and enter their 4-digit pin to pay for meals.
3) How to bring home school books.
4) How to do homework.
5) How to share food with your friends.
6) How to take a bus.
7) How to borrow books from the school library.
8) How to use a backpack.
9) How to hunt for ghosts in the school bathrooms.
Speaking of #9, I can’t believe Bloody Mary is still around! Who perpetuates that rumor?
• If you were a ghost, would you hang around a smelly, school bathroom?
• Have your children surprised you by adapting so well to a situation?
• Do you adjust well to change?