About Me

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Nebraska, United States
A would-be stay at home mom working full-time as a teacher. I teach at my old Highschool, working side-by-side with my own teachers. I blog to keep the Texan grandparents updated and chronicle our life for future reference. (In other words, I don't have a real baby-book or diary.) Comments make my day. Thanks for stopping by! kimlepper at gmail.com

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Preschool...*sniff*

This coming fall we'll most likely be sending Samantha to preschool when I go back to work (looking at Montessori-opinions welcome!).
About a month ago I realized my baby will not only be thrilled....

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but also very ready...

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1 comment:

Renee said...

Montessori is phenomenal. I recently finished my training, and I'm hoping to find a teaching position for the fall so my son can continue in a Montessori school. I highly recommend looking for AMI accredited schools or teachers with AMI certification (it is the international standard that goes right back to Montessori). AMS is the American Montessori Society, and remains somewhat close to the AMI roots, but strays in some areas (someone decided that American children were "different" than all other children which is what initiated the division). Since Montessori never trademarked her name, anyone can put it in their school's name or advertise as being "Montessori", but the schools that do not have certified teachers (AMS or AMI) usually are not actually Montessori schools, but rather pre-schools that focus on early reading and academics.

I would highly recommend going and observing in local Montessori schools to get a feel for how they operate (observation is paramount to the Montessori philosophy, and true Montessori schools usually allow prospective parents time to observe in the classrooms or at least through a large window into the classrooms). Things to notice: Are the children choosing work independently, do they seem to be engaged in work choices and helping each other, is there an assistant and teacher in each room, is it clear which one is the teacher (giving lessons), how is discipline handled (are children running amok, and how does the teacher/assistant address this), do the teachers seem to present by demonstrating a material and allow the child to work or are the teachers doing for the children, how much work on paper is going on in the classroom (apart from art, most of the materials up to 6 yrs are not focused on paper "products" of academic progress). Is there access to an outdoor space; how often are the children allowed to be outdoors, and may they work outdoors on classroom work or designated outdoor works or is the outdoor environment limited to playground type play (both should be available, although outdoor work is a really awesome feature if you find it). Does the school offer Catechesis of the Good Shepard (Catholic religious education adapted to Montessori philosophy of presentation and exploration)?

OK, I could (and have many times) write a dissertation about what makes a good Montessori environment, so I'll spare you! If you have any questions, though, this is one of my favorite topics and I'd be happy to share my experience. There are also lots of ways to make your home a Montessori environment that make life easier for parents. It is a beautiful academic climate for children if it is done correctly.

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