Amy’s Life in Brief

Education and learning styles…
June 16, 2008, 1:30 am
Filed under: birthday, educational setting, mom | Tags: , ,

I took the G to the neighbor boy’s birthday party the other day.  It was an interesting experience for me.  The neighbor boy attends the local Montessori school.  I have no problem with Montessori, per se.  I just don’t think I would mesh well as a parent with that framework and I don’t think that the G would either.  I guess I’m of the opinion that no one educational style is the be-all and end-all for every child.  I kind of go with the flow and if I think something isn’t working for the G (and the D in the future) I communicate with the teacher.  That has always been adequate in getting his needs met.  However, if we find ourselves in a situation where his needs aren’t getting met and I don’t see a way for them to be met in the given situation we will investigate other option.  Anyway, I digress.

The situation at the birthday party was very interesting.  The G was the only child that wasn’t from the Montessori school.  I listened to many of the parents talking and all they seemed to be talking about was why they chose Montessori for their child.  The reason this seemed so fascinating to me is that I would have thought, given that this is the end of the school year, this would have been a subject that they all would have had ample opportunity to discuss at pick-up and drop-off and other events at the school.  But, maybe the nature of Montessori doesn’t allow time for parents to socialize during these times at school?  And maybe because they have sort of “opted out” of the traditional school system they are always bonding with other Montessori parents whenever there is a gathering?  I just found it interesting because I don’t think that I’ve ever had much more than one conversation about our educational choices with my mom friends from preschool and elsewhere.  The main topic of educational choices has been surrounding full- versus half-day kindergarten.

There was one mother that was telling me how she could always tell a non-Montessori child.  I am not sure what she was noticing in the G as far as the difference.  Looking over this group of about 12 children, I saw a very average group of kids.  There were the shy kids, the kids who were kind of bossy, the other kids just doing their own thing, the kids who made quick friends with the new kids, kids who listened to their parents and kids who didn’t.  There were also kids who got tired and threw fits, kids who didn’t get their way and threw fits, and kids who didn’t throw fits at all over the course of the three hours.  So, like I said, I didn’t see any major differences.  This will sound catty of me, I’m sure, but maybe she was reaching for some way of justifying the huge amount of tuition they pay.  I believe the Montessori school in our city charges approximately $4500 a year for a half-day program.

I wonder if the situation would have been the same if it was a group of families from the Waldorf school or the local Christian school?  I’m just wondering.  In my humble opinion, I think most of the differences you see among children has little to do with their educational setting and more to do with their home setting anyway.


4 Comments so far
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First thing I thought of, before I even got to that part of your post was ‘I bet they’re trying to justify it to themselves’
After all, if they said they didn’t see any difference in the kids then that would indicate that the choice of schooling wasn’t a major factor.
I would imagine the reasons you don’t have any conversations like that at the school is because you don’t have to dissect the reasons that you made the choices about what education you were going for.

Comment by cb

Most parents need validation for the choices they’ve made. Therefore talking about the school with other parents from the school, no matter the setting, offers that validation.

As far as telling if a kid is montessori vs not? Well, that’s just self validation, right?

Comment by Reas

Dear Amy,

I think that “Montesorri Mommy” has issues with elitist status quo (as in she wants to pretend she’s part of the Rockefeller clan). She may also have a secret social WWF smackdown crackdown fantasy ongoing between the Smiths’ vs. the Jones’. Give me a break!!!! Kids are kids and I really don’t think you may ever be able to truly “tell” the difference among such attending or non-attending Montessori children. However, one thing for certain: You can always tell a bipsie whenst one is about!!!

Your kids are bright and special just the way they are, and they always will be. You love them, they’re in good care, happy and well provided for.

What else matters???


Comment by Michelle Sheehan

I totally agree…and living where I do there are a lot of people, I think, who make the Montessori or Waldorf choice simply because it says, “Hey! Look at me! I can afford to pay $5000/year for preschool!” But once you make that financial commitment you would have to come up with some reason to justify it, I would imagine.

Comment by oregonamy1972

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