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Al Pi Darko/Montessori

 
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 4:23 pm
DH spoke to someone whose children go to an Al Pi Darko/Montessori elementary school. Supposedly these children LOVE going to school, and ALL their friends love it as well. As someone who has children who HATE school, I'm trying to get used to the idea that all children loving school is something possible.

So my question is: do your children go to an A.P.D./Montessori school? If yes, do they all love it, or is it a little hyped?
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amother




Tan
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 4:58 pm
I had one kid in a Montessori for 3-4 months, when we first moved to the city we live in. I don't think he liked school any more or less than he does now.

My kindergartener loves school and cried when she was sick and I told her she couldn't go.

B"H my kids don't mind school. I don't think they love all aspects of it, but each of my boys (elementary-yeshiva age) love their rebbaim.
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amother




Amber
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 6:26 pm
my children went to that type of school and switched OUT. They are both so much happier in their current school. We aren't the only one but there's definitely a lot of hype about the school. I agonized about switching my kids out that maybe people were right and it was the best school ever and I would regret switching them.

There's a lot I liked about the school that I miss but it wasn't working for my kids socially.

I switched them for a different reason but see how much better it is for them socially. To hear the way my younger child talks about the montessouri school, she sounds traumatized. She asks to never be sent back there.

The school does a lot of PR and there definitely are parents who are incredibly ra ra ra about the school. My older daughter likes the fact that at her new school there' isn't as much "school spirit" for lack of a different word. She felt like it was too much.
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amother




Salmon
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 6:44 pm
Yes my son is in a Montessori school, and he loves it! He loves the independence and the learning style. He's actually in the grade above his in the afternoons because he's up to learning the material.
I think it's a great fit for him. But also I think it depends on the kid
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 8:39 pm
amother [ Amber ] wrote:
my children went to that type of school and switched OUT. They are both so much happier in their current school. We aren't the only one but there's definitely a lot of hype about the school. I agonized about switching my kids out that maybe people were right and it was the best school ever and I would regret switching them.

There's a lot I liked about the school that I miss but it wasn't working for my kids socially.

I switched them for a different reason but see how much better it is for them socially. To hear the way my younger child talks about the montessouri school, she sounds traumatized. She asks to never be sent back there.

The school does a lot of PR and there definitely are parents who are incredibly ra ra ra about the school. My older daughter likes the fact that at her new school there' isn't as much "school spirit" for lack of a different word. She felt like it was too much.


Wow, that sounds bad. What was it about the school that traumatized your younger daughter? And can you explain what you mean when you say it wasn't working socially?
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amother




Emerald
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 10:05 pm
I've sent 2 of my kids to this type of school. The oldest did very well with it. Genius type. It really catered to him because he was an automatic learner. I eventually had to switch him out because the school crumbled. And guess what? He did just fine in a regular, academically challenging school. Socially he did much better in a regular school as well. The montessori schools attracted kids that had a hard time functioning socially in a mainstream school. My second to oldest didn't want to participate in anything. And the teachers never encouraged her because it's supposed to be child centered. So she sat on the sidelines a whole year and learned very little. I was very angry about that. She also did better in a mainstream school. I'm still upset when I look at her preschool pesach hagaddah (that's literally the only thing we save) and the pages of her hagadda are all blank.
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bobeli




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 10:13 pm
I had 1 kid in a Montessori school for 2 years and it was amazing.
Like any other system it depends on the school, how is it run, who goes, etc. The fact that is montessori doesn’t mean is great, you have to look at the whole picture.
Keep in mind that it depends on the kind of kid
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amother




Cyan
 

Post  Thu, Feb 13 2020, 10:46 pm
Montessori is a curriculum and an educational approach. But that's not all there is to a school. There's also class size, class demographics, staff personalities, student personalities, hashkafah, available funds, and other variables that can affect the overall school experience or make it different for different children.

I have two young children at a Montessori school. Our family's experience has been excellent so far.

Pros of Montessori specifically in my experience:

• Montessori allows kids to progress the best they can in each subject area, without being tied to their classmates. Students have much more discretion than in a traditional school over what task they work on at any given time, but a good Montessori teacher (guide) will observe and redirect them as appropriate, so they don't neglect any subject area over time. One of my kids is the type to wander off, chat, dawdle, space out, and generally get distracted, but her teachers have been very on top of that.

• The mixed age classroom can mitigate what would otherwise be too-small class sizes by combining 3 years. I find my kids have playmates across the "grades" within their class. This is more of an issue for smaller OOT communities.

• The methodology for teaching reading and writing is really ingenious in my opinion, and kids are encouraged to write a lot.

Other things, in our experience, have been aspects of the school, but I can't say that they are specifically due to the Montessori approach. For example, my kids have had a very good experience socially, but they also have had a very good social experience at their non-Montessori day camp.

OP, if you are interested in a locally available Montessori option, you should check it out. Visit the school, have your child visit if they allow, talk to parents with children now or formerly in the school. See how it clicks for you and your husband.
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busy mommy




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Feb 14 2020, 9:46 am
I sent two of my kids to Montessori and was extremely happy. They learned life skills.
like the previous poster wrote there are many pros and cons to the learning methodology but it definitely makes a difference how and by whom the program is run.
pros that I found I really loved:
- my kids learned how to keep themselves busy and happy on their own
- they learned at the speed that they could handle but also had the push to keep up with their older friends (montessori has a mix of ages in every class)
- they had the opportunity to be learning from their older friends and also to be the teacher to their younger friends. This is a great way of reinforcing learning to make sure you really know what you are doing. It also teaches them how to handle themselves with kids older and younger then them in a social setting.
-Especially for the younger ones they teach fine motor and gross motor skills within the regular lessons. I was told by many people how amazing my kids fine motor and gross motor skills are.
-I did not find that they had a problem socially when they switched over to a regular school program.
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mha3484




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Feb 14 2020, 10:48 am
My kids are in a regular yeshiva and LOVE school. Even my super ADHD kid loves school. The mashgiach works hard to make it a happy warm place that kids want to be at.

I really like the Montessori approach. I don't think my super ADHD kid would do well with the self direction required but my kids after him would. My hesitancy is that for boys ( I have 3 of them) I really think the rebbi talmid relationship is a beautiful thing and the Montessori school hare does not offer that experience. Otherwise I would seriously consider it.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Fri, Feb 14 2020, 10:50 am
busy mommy wrote:
I sent two of my kids to Montessori and was extremely happy. They learned life skills.
like the previous poster wrote there are many pros and cons to the learning methodology but it definitely makes a difference how and by whom the program is run.
pros that I found I really loved:
- my kids learned how to keep themselves busy and happy on their own
- they learned at the speed that they could handle but also had the push to keep up with their older friends (montessori has a mix of ages in every class)
- they had the opportunity to be learning from their older friends and also to be the teacher to their younger friends. This is a great way of reinforcing learning to make sure you really know what you are doing. It also teaches them how to handle themselves with kids older and younger then them in a social setting.
-Especially for the younger ones they teach fine motor and gross motor skills within the regular lessons. I was told by many people how amazing my kids fine motor and gross motor skills are.
-I did not find that they had a problem socially when they switched over to a regular school program.


Busy Mommy,

Can you elaborate a little on the cons that you found?

Thanks
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amother




Orchid
 

Post  Fri, Feb 14 2020, 10:55 am
Would anybody be willing to post names and locations of these awesome schools? I am desperately looking for something different for an eight year old who is not really thriving in the traditional classroom setting he is currently in (Brooklyn).
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busy mommy




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Feb 14 2020, 11:08 am
cons:
- I found that since they have multiple ages my daughter ended up in the same classroom with the same teacher two years in a row. this was not a huge problem but I found that although they have over 100 lessons to choose from she was a bit bored of them and would've preferred a fresh start with a fresh classroom.
- The teacher to student ratio was quite high (I am not sure if this is specific to the school I sent to)
- they were pretty rigid with following their system even when I did not feel it was crucial. for example switching kids out of the toddler room into the primary rooms as soon as they were potty trained. (toddler room = 18 month- 3 years, primary rooms = 3-6 years old)
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amother




Cyan
 

Post  Fri, Feb 14 2020, 11:10 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Busy Mommy,

Can you elaborate a little on the cons that you found?

Thanks

I'm not her, but possible cons that comes to mind:

• The general studies curriculum, especially in math, teaches things in a very different manner and order from traditional schools. One of many examples: Montessori kids learn addition, multiplication, subtraction, division.
Instead of the traditional order: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division. This is not intrinsically problematic, but it can make it difficult for parents to assess what and how much their child is learning at any given time. And standardized tests are not so helpful, because they are geared toward students in a traditional school. In the end, kids learn everything that they would in a traditional school, and possibly more, but tracking progress in the interim is not so transparent. So if one's child has a problem or delay, a parent might be slower to realize it. I have not personally found this to be a problem, but I know other parents have.

• The report cards describe a child's mastery of skills rather than grades. Again, not a "con" per se, and I actually prefer this, but I see a lot of parents struggling with how to understand their child's progress.
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amother




Amethyst
 

Post  Fri, Feb 14 2020, 12:08 pm
Can someone elaborate on how they teach Chumash or Navi and what the Rebbe Talmud relationship looks like
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mha3484




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Feb 14 2020, 12:18 pm
The Montessori school in Chicago has no rebbeim. I would love to know about other communities.
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amother




Cyan
 

Post  Fri, Feb 14 2020, 12:19 pm
amother [ Amethyst ] wrote:
Can someone elaborate on how they teach Chumash or Navi and what the Rebbe Talmud relationship looks like

This is going to vary completely from school to school. But generally, the methodology for the teaching of these texts is likely to be much less distinctly "Montessori," since Maria Montessori never designed a Judaics curriculum.

As far as I can tell in our school, the morahs and rebbes are doing things similarly to how they would at a traditional school in terms of using sheets to teach kriah, timing students, memorizing milim for chumash, and so on. But the environment is Montessori, so students might have more control over when they choose to work on what subject or when to work individually vs. with someone. Also, I see that the teachers try to set up real life opportunities to practice, observe, build, cook, etc. things the kids learn about from chumash or mishnah.

My oldest is only in kindergarten, so I don't really know as much about what's going on in older grades, just what I see glimpses of in the school newsletter and hear from parents of older kids.
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amother




Amber
 

Post  Fri, Feb 14 2020, 12:29 pm
there were only a handful of girls her age and one girl was not nice to my daughter. the teachers would address the issue ( I am not G-d forbid blaming the teachers) and then a few months later it would morph in to a different issue. other girls also weren't so nice, didn't want to play with her but this girl was the worse. She had 1 girl who she was dependably friends with who would stick up for her but its not a good feeling. She's much happier now.

we found a class list from the siddur party and she switched and she commented how it reminds her of that school and how the kids weren't nice to her...

my older daughter also only had a few girls her age. By the time she was the "oldest" grade, the grades below her had even less girls so it wasn't so much girls to interact with. She was friends with the other girls her age but dynamics wise ended up being left out in school. When she was asked by her classmates afterwards why did she switch out she said "because I was left out" there response- was yeah, I can see that. She's now in a class with more kids and she's much happier socially

in terms of pros of cons- I think it's very teacher, school and child specific. My younger daughter was definitely encouraged to go ahead grade level wise in preschool and it was great for her. My older daughter was definitely bored at times, especially a specific subject. Now in the mainstream school she's also bored. But this impression of oh your kid will always be challenged just because it's montessouri... not necessarily. Her new school isn't perfect either, don't worry Wink

There was also waiting around to be able to get the "works" that you need to do to finish your assignments because other children are using it...

I found that the three year cycle is great for the younger kids, they learn so much, but really didn't work so well in the third year for my older daughter. She felt like she was constantly being told that she had to be a role model, she felt like she had to do stuff a certain way because of the younger kids... and this is a child who naturally likes helping younger kids. It could be just her impression.

I've also heard from other people in montessouri schools that discipline in 3rd year is sometimes harder, the kids are done.

Interesting about fine motor skills- I found it child specific. My younger daughter was attracted to the math and reading stuff so that's what she did. Her teachers told me straight out that fine motor wasn't her strength and that the following year they would have to work on it more with her. They are working on it in the mainstream school, dont' see a difference.
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amother




Amber
 

Post  Fri, Feb 14 2020, 12:55 pm
my dd's old school definitely had rebbeim and there was definitely a relationship with the kids.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Sun, Feb 16 2020, 11:21 am
amother [ Orchid ] wrote:
Would anybody be willing to post names and locations of these awesome schools? I am desperately looking for something different for an eight year old who is not really thriving in the traditional classroom setting he is currently in (Brooklyn).


There's one in Flatbush called Darchei Aliyah. I don't know much about it, however, except that it does APD/Montessori.
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