Thursday, September 9, 2010

Choice between montessori and regular school

Hi Helen. Here's the answer to your question.

My boys first went to a regular school.
It was just two streets away from home. All that was special was that they wouldn't see one car. as it was a carfree area, but had to cross a bridge over water. And you know how boys are with water. LOL!
So even without the danger of cars I had to bring them anyway.

The curriculum was the same as at any other regular school. 2 hours of gymnastics at the most, and as the school shared facilities with another school, they always had to leave the building for that.
The teachers were nice, but some of them gave me the feeling the'd seen it all.
They were very accepting of kids with different kinds of behaviour, so they missed for example autism.

I took my boys from school because they didn't react to bullying at all.
During playhour the kids were outside and the teacher in front of the mirror, redoing her lips. Not one time, often.
I can't tell you how often it happened that we walked by and had to enter the premisses to end a fight. And none of the teachers nor the pricipal seeing that.

The Montessorischool was further away, but they offered lunchtime supervision for those who stayed.
The costs however were too high for us, considering we lived 5 minutes bicycling from there.
So I went to and fro 4 times a day, had my children for lunch and had plenty of contact with other moms at the schoolgate. I've made quite some friends there.
And so did the children.

Apart from large gatherings at the opening of the week and closing at friday, with theatre, music and other fun, they had groupgatherings and lots of individual learning either completely alone or with children at the same level.
So with each subject their social environment changed, and with the teachers being very aware of that, they got support whenever needed.
Most of my boys did very well there and had hardly any problems with their autism. The girls had a perfect time.

As parents we had to keep a close watch on their progress. As the philosophy is that each child develops in it's own way, they were sometimes far too tolerant of individual varieties between pupils. So they didn't catch my daughters dyslexia and even told me one of my sons wasn't dyslectic at all. Which he was and still is.

They followed their own curriculum, but with a close watch on what children were supposed to do when they left school. So in the end they managed to do the same as other kids. Especially children who develop well without pressure that kind of school is perfect.
The additional skills they learn, like planning, keeping an agenda, asking questions, presenting themselves, etc etc are important for later life.

I loved the fact that we could discuss the fact that even when the ministery stated 2 hours of gymnastics were enough, the parents wanted 4 hours. We threw the money together to hire the teacher for an extra 2 hours and they fitted those hours in at their own gymnasticsroom.

There are other important differences to be adresses, but that's for another time.
I assume there's enough to think about after reading this.
You know where to find me.


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