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Old 04-02-2013, 01:46 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,686 times
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I know it's a nice problem to have since they are both wonderful schools, but my husband and I are having trouble agreeing on which school would be best for our daughter and we only have a short time to decide. I'm hoping you guys might have the info that could be the tiebreaker for us.

I tend to think the Montessori approach would work best as our daughter is very social but also enjoys working and playing on her own. In lamplighter's group setting I could see her trying too hard to fit in socially, doing her best to avoid standing out of the pack, so to speak. She is probably somewhere on the gifted spectrum, but so far she doesn't seem too way out there that she'd need homeschooling or an extremely specialized program, however being able to work at her own pace would likely be beneficial. I also like that St. Alcuin will soon go all the way through high school.

On the other side, my husband feels Montessori allows girls to pigeonhole themselves into stereotyped roles because during his two observations of Montessori classrooms he saw many girls washing toys or tables while the boys were using the math materials (Is this fair or simply due to his small sample?) He also loves Lamplighter's small work group set-up. My daughter would also truly love the chickens and other barn-yard animals at Lamplighter.

The biggest priorities are that she enjoy her first real foray into education, and that she be allowed to learn things as quickly as she might need or wish to.

Help?
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:02 PM
 
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I have experience with both schools, and you really can't go wrong with either one. As for your husband's concern that your daughter might be typecast in female roles, my son at St. Alcuin used to spend quite a bit of time with the broom, sink, etc. I don't think that has to do with gender, and I think all 3-4 year olds love to clean.

I actually think that both schools are pretty similar (open environment, lots of freedom, loud classrooms, involved parents, expensive, good facilities etc). The matriculation rate for both schools to Hockaday is very good, with LL maybe being a tad higher (but not enough to get worried about).

LL does have eggs in the carpool line...
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:39 AM
 
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Thank you, HockDad! That does make me feel a bit better. How would you describe an "ideal" child for each school? I guess what I mean is would a more studious or creative child fit better in one over the other? Which would be a better fit for a quiet versus a more active child or shy versus outgoing? I guess I'm trying to figure out which school she would love going to more.

If we did decide to send her to Hockaday at some point, which grade would you think it be best for her to jump from St. Alcuin to Hockaday? I see that they are adding an IB high school to St. Alcuin, but obviously there isn't yet much information out there about it. Does anybody know anything or even have a vague opinion on it?

I admit, the fresh eggs are a definite temptation since I'm nearly at the point of flipping a coin to decide.

Thanks again!

Last edited by meercat; 04-03-2013 at 06:29 AM..
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:54 AM
 
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I am not sure there is an ideal child for each school. I will say that I am not sure that either school is perfect for a boy that needs more structure (like Meadowbrook). But you have a girl and I am sure that she will do well. I think that LL would be my slight preference for 3-4 year olds, but I love the fact that St. Alcuin starts at 18 months (and potty trains the kids super early).

I suggest applying to Hockaday at Pre-K. That is the year they have the most spots.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:27 PM
 
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I would recommend LL over "Alcuin " ( they are dropping the St in 2013-2014 year).

At Alcuin, the emphasis on what they call " daily life" is way too heavy....sweeping, table washing, polishing. In my opinion, the environment did not place enough importance on early / Pre reading skills.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:29 PM
 
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Interesting comments from NDAlMom -- my child attended a Montessori school (not Alcuin -- hate that name change) and developed both very strong literacy and math skills while also becoming my most competent child at the daily life skills. She was reading fluidly before age four; doing multidigit mathematical operations in K. Montessori was a great fit for her and I think that was a key. She loved having a plan that was set up just for her and was happy to do all the "works" on her program daily. I attributed her success to the Montessori environment, but it may be that she would have developed those skills early regardless.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:54 PM
 
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Exclamation This is a problematic idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NDalMom View Post
I would recommend LL over "Alcuin " ( they are dropping the St in 2013-2014 year).

At Alcuin, the emphasis on what they call " daily life" is way too heavy....sweeping, table washing, polishing. In my opinion, the environment did not place enough importance on early / Pre reading skills.
NorthDallasMother,

I am a graduate of St. Alcuin Montessori School. I do not believe that the school is what it was when it was called the "Montessori Academy", however I think that unless you could see what the benefits of the Montessori program and education are by actively living in them, you don't have a right to speak from experience whatsoever.

I attended St. Alcuin from the age of 17 months to 14 years-old. I am attending Jesuit College Preparatory School. Jesuit and St. Alcuin's education philosophy are very similar; they both give much freedom and demand back much responsibility. If you want a self-driven, open-minded, nurtured, creative, caring and passionate person, St. Alcuin is the way to go.

I cannot speak for the Lamplighter School, however I can say that the experience I had at St. Alcuin has made me a person that if I couldn't be, I wouldn't want to live at all. I am independent, artistic, intelligent and weel-rounded as a result of my St. Alcuin education.

They had us do the things we did (washing, sweeping, gardening, etc.) because it is a MONTESSORI school. MONTESSORI is supposed to have that and much more. In many renowned Montessori schools, children even care for animals. If St. Alcuin MONTESSORI SCHOOL isn't what you want, DON'T SEND YOUR KIDS THERE. St. Alcuin has changed a lot for the worse in the last few years because of people like you who don't want the school for what it is; don't want the school for what it was supposed to be; they don't want the school for what is on the mission statement.

St. Alcuin gave me everything and I can't even begin to impart all that it has taught me.

I'm going to go dig a hole and bury the memories of a school I once knew in it; for now it is gone,
A Citizen of The World
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:08 AM
 
1,212 posts, read 1,769,436 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P45C4L View Post
NorthDallasMother,

I am a graduate of St. Alcuin Montessori School. I do not believe that the school is what it was when it was called the "Montessori Academy", however I think that unless you could see what the benefits of the Montessori program and education are by actively living in them, you don't have a right to speak from experience whatsoever.

I attended St. Alcuin from the age of 17 months to 14 years-old. I am attending Jesuit College Preparatory School. Jesuit and St. Alcuin's education philosophy are very similar; they both give much freedom and demand back much responsibility. If you want a self-driven, open-minded, nurtured, creative, caring and passionate person, St. Alcuin is the way to go.

I cannot speak for the Lamplighter School, however I can say that the experience I had at St. Alcuin has made me a person that if I couldn't be, I wouldn't want to live at all. I am independent, artistic, intelligent and weel-rounded as a result of my St. Alcuin education.

They had us do the things we did (washing, sweeping, gardening, etc.) because it is a MONTESSORI school. MONTESSORI is supposed to have that and much more. In many renowned Montessori schools, children even care for animals. If St. Alcuin MONTESSORI SCHOOL isn't what you want, DON'T SEND YOUR KIDS THERE. St. Alcuin has changed a lot for the worse in the last few years because of people like you who don't want the school for what it is; don't want the school for what it was supposed to be; they don't want the school for what is on the mission statement.

St. Alcuin gave me everything and I can't even begin to impart all that it has taught me.

I'm going to go dig a hole and bury the memories of a school I once knew in it; for now it is gone,
A Citizen of The World


I appreciate your insight. As a father that has sent a kid to the school, I know of its strenghts. However, I would say that I was surprised by how defensive you are in your posts. The poster made a legitimate point- she was concerned about the daily activities. I will say that I had the same concern with my child. My child would come home and I would ask him what he did today, and he would say play in the sink. He spent a ton of time washing the desks, watering the plants, and washing his hands. Now, he also learned to be responsible, thoughtful, articulate, etc. Thus, I think it is a good school. But, if I am droppinig 20-25k a year on preschool, I want the kids to spend a little more time on math and reading. Just my two cents.

Once again, thank you on your insight. Also, congrats on your acceptance to Jesuit. I am sure that you will do great.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:55 PM
 
94 posts, read 160,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockDad View Post
[/b]

I appreciate your insight. As a father that has sent a kid to the school, I know of its strenghts. However, I would say that I was surprised by how defensive you are in your posts. The poster made a legitimate point- she was concerned about the daily activities. I will say that I had the same concern with my child. My child would come home and I would ask him what he did today, and he would say play in the sink. He spent a ton of time washing the desks, watering the plants, and washing his hands. Now, he also learned to be responsible, thoughtful, articulate, etc. Thus, I think it is a good school. But, if I am droppinig 20-25k a year on preschool, I want the kids to spend a little more time on math and reading. Just my two cents.

Once again, thank you on your insight. Also, congrats on your acceptance to Jesuit. I am sure that you will do great.
I've never been to Alcuin, but I am the mom of one graduate of a different Montessori preschool, as well as a current attendee.

It's my understanding that the practical life skills are key to the whole Montessori experience. "Playing in the sink" is teaching important lessons about the concepts of volume, more than/less than, and estimation that will serve the kid well in future math classes. As well as fine motor skills that will later help with writing. And the ability to focus, follow directions, and do things independently is critical to later success in school.

I don't know, maybe Alcuin really is too light on developing academic skills... or maybe they are just really good at disguising that development as "play?" Maybe that is what you pay $25k/year for...
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:53 AM
 
1,212 posts, read 1,769,436 times
Reputation: 1073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Back2Texas View Post
I've never been to Alcuin, but I am the mom of one graduate of a different Montessori preschool, as well as a current attendee.

It's my understanding that the practical life skills are key to the whole Montessori experience. "Playing in the sink" is teaching important lessons about the concepts of volume, more than/less than, and estimation that will serve the kid well in future math classes. As well as fine motor skills that will later help with writing. And the ability to focus, follow directions, and do things independently is critical to later success in school.

I don't know, maybe Alcuin really is too light on developing academic skills... or maybe they are just really good at disguising that development as "play?" Maybe that is what you pay $25k/year for...
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.
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