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Del Mar Montessori School5
Posted June 10, 2014
- a parent
I can't say enough good things about this little school. Dr. Hamilton is Montessori certified and is teaching the "true" Montessori method to our children. In just the few months they have been there, they have demonstrated an engagement in thier education that I had never witnessed before. There are NO complaints about going to school - they have a real desire to learn now! If they could go year round without a summer break, they absolutely would. I feel that sending my children there is one of the best decisions I have made as a parent. It is a truly unique and wonderful environment and I am just hoping and praying this school will one day expand into High School education as well.
This is a fantastic school, that really educates your child to become an inquisitive, respectful and engaged citizen of the world. They are well prepared academically for middle school, without all the herding and bullying of public school. Many field trips to museums, musicals, charity work, farms and the local canyon. Zero projects of the mind-numbing, busy-work variety. It is truly child-centered, not in the "edu speak" way that is often used for marketing schools, but in the carefully balanced, intelligent way that leads to academic success. The materials and equipment are always of top quality, such as good paint, chemistry supplies, books, microscopes and so on. In such a small school, parent involvement in the classroom is unnecessary and potentially disruptive. Parent contributions include driving for field trips, attending the plays and several other open events, such as international day. Having a perceptive, intelligent, well informed, caring teacher makes for a good school experience under a variety of educational philosophies. However, my son will always be a Montessori person, through university and beyond.
This is a gem of a school that provides an authentic Montessori environment where a child s natural love for learning is nurtured through many ways - mutli-age groups, 3 hour work cycles, individualized learning plans, actively choose materials within a well prepared and structured learning environment. This is also achieved because of what is NOT in DMS- no mindless worksheets, no testing and no homework. Children move up learning levels based on the guide's (not teachers) observation and their inner desire to learn and excel. The school runs for 11 months as it believes the long summer break creates a regression in the learning trajectory. My girls who have attended DMS for 7 and 4 years have never complained of being in school when everyone is on summer break. The curriculum is vast and includes ancient history, hands-on science experiments, world geography, current events, varied field trips, art, practical life-skills like cooking, knitting, wood-work, gardening, time management, working in groups and conflict resolution. DMS has a great selection of books and class pets. Lastly, DMS children are very polite and respectful to people and their natural environment.