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Old 04-28-2013, 10:19 PM
 
94 posts, read 160,015 times
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Originally Posted by HockDad View Post
Hey, I love playing with my son and water. I think it is great to get out the measuring cups and make "magic drinks." I just don't want him spending 15-30 minutes a day at the sink. I love the school, and they have done some amazing things with him, but no school is perfect and that is one of my beefs.
But to the other poster's point, it's a Montessori school. Playing in the sink is what makes it a Montessori school. The other poster seemed to be lamenting that Alcuin is catering to parents who want the school to focus more on, well, math and reading, and not Montessori activities.

It's kinda like if your one of your beefs with Hockaday was that there are no boys there. Totally legitimate beef, but you better believe that many Hockaday alumni would be similarly upset/defensive if Hockaday started catering to the parents who had that beef.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:49 AM
 
1,212 posts, read 1,769,436 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Back2Texas View Post
But to the other poster's point, it's a Montessori school. Playing in the sink is what makes it a Montessori school. The other poster seemed to be lamenting that Alcuin is catering to parents who want the school to focus more on, well, math and reading, and not Montessori activities.

It's kinda like if your one of your beefs with Hockaday was that there are no boys there. Totally legitimate beef, but you better believe that many Hockaday alumni would be similarly upset/defensive if Hockaday started catering to the parents who had that beef.


I guess that I tend to think that math and reading PLUS the sink (and gardening, painting, etc) are all Montessori activities. I don't want kids at 3 years old drilled on letters and numbers all day long BUT like almost all parents, I want my kid to know how to spell CAT at some point in his early development.

It is a different philosophy. The kids become very self sufficient. The teacher to child ration is high (2 teachers for 24 children). There is little structure, but that can be fun (my kids loved going to school). The classes have 8 three year olds, 8 four year olds, and 8 five year olds- thus there is a huge age difference in each class. I am a supporter of the school, but I don't wear blinders and there are some perceived weaknesses by both the parents and alumni.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:20 AM
 
272 posts, read 712,210 times
Reputation: 275
If a Montessori school is being run according to Montessori principles, there isn't a lack of structure at all. The child's individual work plan should be providing the structure. The teachers should be guiding the activities of the classroom in such a way that the children spend time in all of the areas of the classroom and progress through all areas of the curriculum.

The teacher to child ratio is high and the age ranges are large due to Montessori philosophy. The teachers act as guides and a part of the older students' educational experience is in transferring knowledge and skills to the younger students. This solidifies the older students' knowledge. (Even to this day, I've noted that the subjects my daughter ends up helping other students with end up being her best grades.) My younger daughter really took pride in this mentorship aspect of the Montessori curriculum when she was five and helping three and four year olds acquire reading and math skills.

I am surprised that St. Alcuin doesn't teach its parents these important aspects of Montessori philosophy. At the Montessori school that my children attended before we moved to Dallas, all parents attended a six week series of lectures on these sorts of aspects of Montessori teaching philosophy.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:54 AM
 
1,212 posts, read 1,769,436 times
Reputation: 1073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Back2Texas View Post
But to the other poster's point, it's a Montessori school. Playing in the sink is what makes it a Montessori school. The other poster seemed to be lamenting that Alcuin is catering to parents who want the school to focus more on, well, math and reading, and not Montessori activities.

It's kinda like if your one of your beefs with Hockaday was that there are no boys there. Totally legitimate beef, but you better believe that many Hockaday alumni would be similarly upset/defensive if Hockaday started catering to the parents who had that beef.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMS_Parent View Post
If a Montessori school is being run according to Montessori principles, there isn't a lack of structure at all. The child's individual work plan should be providing the structure. The teachers should be guiding the activities of the classroom in such a way that the children spend time in all of the areas of the classroom and progress through all areas of the curriculum.

The teacher to child ratio is high and the age ranges are large due to Montessori philosophy. The teachers act as guides and a part of the older students' educational experience is in transferring knowledge and skills to the younger students. This solidifies the older students' knowledge. (Even to this day, I've noted that the subjects my daughter ends up helping other students with end up being her best grades.) My younger daughter really took pride in this mentorship aspect of the Montessori curriculum when she was five and helping three and four year olds acquire reading and math skills.

I am surprised that St. Alcuin doesn't teach its parents these important aspects of Montessori philosophy. At the Montessori school that my children attended before we moved to Dallas, all parents attended a six week series of lectures on these sorts of aspects of Montessori teaching philosophy.
They did discuss each of the principles you addressed above. They told us what to expect and over the years I have been more than happy. Like many parents we think it works well when the kids are young (starting at 18 months) and have more reservations as the kids age (the transfer rate is extremely high).

That being said, the system, in my opinion can be tweaked to accomplish the educational goals of the school while also addressing the concerns of the parents that their kids are not learning at the same pace as other comparable schools. I do find it interesting that Lamplighter, Meadowbrook, and DaVanci all incorporate part of the Montessori philosophy, but also focus on smaller class size, more emphasis on early reading, etc. No school is perfect and parents have to pick which school fits best for their kids. For us, at 18 months, the school rocked for my son and one of my daughters. At 4 years old, I felt different.
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