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is montessori right for my child?

  1. #9
    flo is offline Registered User
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    Apr 2008
    Hong Kong

    I am a firm believer in Montessori myself. Both my kids to go a Montessori preschool.

    The problem with Montessori is its great dependence on a good teacher. Traditional playgroups and preschools do many group activities, so your child sure won't miss anything going along with the group. Since a child needs to take initiative in a Montessori environment and do many work independently, a child who is passive in nature will require a lot of encouragement from the teacher - and that is what distinguishes a good teacher from one who is just ... so so.

    I have visited every TRUE Montessori kindy in HK except the one in Discovery Bay and (I have heard that there is one in) Pokfulam. I am sad to say that there is NOT one which offer an ideal Montessori environment. First and foremost, Hong Kong lacks space. Montessori emphasizes on natural lighting in the classroom, outdoor for kids to play, plant and grow things, etc. In the casa class, a well-operated Montessori school should have a 2.5 to 3-hour work cycle in the morning, with the rest of the full day class going to outdoor play time, lunch, story time, circle time, and other activities such as cooking, art, science, fieldtrips, etc. Even IMS afternoon session in its fullday class devotes most of the time to academics and writing, with VERY little outdoor/playground time. True Montessori is not just work. It emphasizes on kids interaction, a lot of fun and various activities. It is an approach to build a whole person.

    Last but not least, many Montessori teachers in HK are NOT experienced. Many are just recently qualified. They are not able to bring out the full potential of the child in the Montessori way. Another thing is, it is not easy to find many Montessori teachers in HK who are passionate about their jobs vs. in Waldorf schools, teachers are very devoted.

    My 2 cents worth.

  2. #10
    somebodyfamous's Avatar
    somebodyfamous is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2005
    Hong Kong

    Don't worry, all parents question new schools & new experiences, it shows we care.

    So your daughter is TWO years old. So presumably she's going to 'school' for 1.5 hours a day? or 2.5 hours a day? Is that correct? In the rest of the time of the day, could you perhaps sing twinkle twinkle with her? You don't want to pay all that school fees just for your daughter to learn what you could teach her, do you?

    She's TWO and new to the Montessori so of course there will be adjustments :) and i would say it takes longer with Montessori as the parents are also unfamiliar to the reasons behind the teaching.

    10 students and 2 teachers and you think that's not good enough? Most kindergartens I've seen have 30 kids and 2 teachers (or even 1 teacher and 1 teaching assistant)

    I would suggest you get a book on Montessori and find out the reasons they teach the way they do.

    That way you can be confident when you are giving criticism to the teacher or principal

    I had to do that myself as I wondered what the hell was going on in IMS when my daughters first started attending. Now they are 4 and having been in IMS (since toddler group at 18months) I think its brilliant.
    They come home singing Mandarin songs, one of my daughters is learning to write Chinese characters (strokes) and is LOVING it. Their first year at Casa, I wasn't sure if I had done the right thing but I had read in the Montessori books, its like the legs of a table, the first couple of years, you're building the foundation and then after that, its really easy for them to learn and enjoy learning.

    Quote Originally Posted by augustbump View Post
    hi all dads and moms and caregivers

    I am currently enrolled in IMS at their new campus in Midlevels. We moved our 2 yo daughter from traditional playgroup environment to a montessori one. I have read some materials on montessori methods and understand though not in great depth the concept and philosophy behind this method of teaching.

    The question I am facing now is.. will it suit my daughter? i guess only i can determined it but i would like to know if other moms/dads are second guessing their move. I am at a cross road!

    The reasons behind all these doubts are bc these questions below:

    1) With 10 kids in the class and with each one of them doing different work materials - how does the teacher spend time with the children to show them individual attention. At best - we get 10 mins during the 1.5 hour session each day.

    2) IMS preaches bilingualism - but again.. the mandarin teacher seem to only give 5-10 mins attention to each child. Again.. how does my child get the exposure to mandarin then?

    please dont mistake me for blaming the teachers here..i understand that their hands are "tied" but i just want whats best for my child.

    3) My daughter was bored by the 4th day of school. She did not find the materials/practical life tool fascinating enough to hold her attention till the 5th day. What was sad was when she said - mama please go home! which means she wants to leave school and go home! i know that i am not supposed to read too much into all these demands.. but she has never said that to me in the 1 year of traditional playgroup.

    Please do not get me wrong that i am thinking the school is not good or not up to its standard. I just also believe that not every child is suitable for montesorri. The reason why i wanted to try it out is to let my daughter experience something different and hopefully that she will thrive and be happy there.

    There is definitely no laughters or giggles in the classroom.. i have not heard any of the 10kids seriously enjoying in the class as opposed to traditional method. Its more quiet learning, self sufficiency, independence.. all good things to instill in a child but i just realised that isnt that for older kids to learn later or am i just living in a fairy tale land?

    I do realised that i should give the school and the children sometime to adjust to the new environment and wait to see in 1-2 mths time if my child is showing signs of interest..

    i just missed the sparkle in her face going to school.. singing twinkle 2 little stars.. or am i just one of those paranoid, nutty, over protective parents?

    am i doing the right thing?

    sorry for all the rattling..i know she is only 2 and this is only prenursery - but we made lots of sacrifice to get her into this school.. just want to make it all worthwhile

    your 2 cents will be appreciative.. anyone?thanks!

  3. #11
    jojoye is offline Registered User
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    Feb 2011

    montessori as meant to breed factory workers in the early's not meant to be the way to breed future leaders

    i did however go for a month of class....and picked up a few good habits like putting hand on lap until food is ready for everyone, pushing the chair in and out of the table etc. my kid was not too excited from the experience though. i went to the one in tinhau.

  4. #12
    somebodyfamous's Avatar
    somebodyfamous is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2005
    Hong Kong

    Hey jojoye, you've got your facts mixed up. MOST schools were designed, at the onset of the Industrial Age, to do two things well: Create an endless supply of factory workers, and foster a desire for "stuff", which would keep manufacturers in business. NOT Montessori schoools.

    I'm very excited to see my 4 year old doing Chinese calligraphy and the other one reading her characters to me and forming sentences with the Chinese characters. The pushing chairs in and out of table is just teaching consideration, I like the fact my girls are considerate :)

  5. #13
    HKrookie is offline Registered User
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    Apr 2011

    I agree with the previous post about how most of our kids are attending schools that were designed during the Industrial Age. There's a really good YouTube video by RSA on "Changing the education paradigm" - this is a great video as it takes you on a journey on how/why schools were created and the limitations of the design for our children today.

    I think, at the end of the day, all school philosophies have their merits. Just because parents doesn't prefer one method doesn't necessarily mean that the method itself is "not right". I think choosing a method depends on what your parental philosophy is. I have always believed that when our children are playing, they are "working". I'm not a huge fan of sitting behind a desk and memorizing words using flash cards, etc...

    I originally liked Waldorf for my children when they little babies (e.g., 12months - 3 years), but I think the repetitiveness of the songs that they sing, the breads that they bake, a little bit boring for my older child. Now, I want to emphasize that it MAY be the school that didn't change the curriculum (my eldest child was singing the same songs he sang when he was 12 months old) so things were getting a little bit TOO predictable at school for my eldest.

    Last edited by rani; 04-11-2011 at 03:49 PM. Reason: links removed

  6. #14
    flori is offline Registered User
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    Apr 2007

    Augustbump, several month have now gone by, what did you ultimately decide to do, and what are your thoughts now?

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