The kids work though the problems, they have with others, under a teacher who acts as a mediator to make sure kids are kept safe and heard throughout the interaction.
This is acted out through empathy, dialogue, and overall a respectful mindfulness so there is no shame nor blame.
This school is amazing and focuses on experiential or "play based" learning.
Kids learn how to problem solve, and enjoy learning by enabling their individual curiosity to flourish, rather than learning in a traditional "one size fits all" dynamic.
My daughter has truly grown an incredible knowledge of natural science, biology, physics, and mathematics and she's in the equivalent of first grade.
At the annual School Bazar the Mountain Yard (Elementary) kids delve into entrepreneurship by conceptualizing an idea for a booth, developing a product or monetization concept and then they earn actual income with the school taking a percentage as a booth rental fee, that goes towards fundraising for scholarships! This is first hand math skills combined with money management skills and much more.
I'm highly impressed and amazed by my daughter's total development. Its no wonder why many of the parents are psychologists, free thinkers, and even traditional and private school teachers themselves!
This school is indeed only suitable for a limited group of families. Though I appreciate the school's diversity and inherent focus on interaction with other children, I have not seen such positive interactions with adults or people outside the school. Furthermore, my child is struggling with basic writing, reading, and math. When asked about her day, she replies that she spends it playing and believes that teachers are there to just watch her and not help her learn new things.
Daughter is 3 and has been there 2m. I was not sure of the play based nature, wanting a little more academic rigor. Having looked into the philosophy and thought about what I want for my child I have come to love the idea. I want my daughter to love learning and be capable of organizing learning for herself. This way she will be well served her whole life. Many good things to say: -High teacher student ratio. 1:2 to 1:3 -Mostly outside under trees. Kids move around -Autonomy, responsibility and control for the children within boundaries -Academics are problem solving rather than ABC -Navigating relationships and conflict resolution are important -The staff are lovely, caring, highly attentive and always present -Community is great -LOT of diversity I asked a lot of different people how students go after leaving the school. The reports I've been getting satisfy me that the students are not left lacking after they leave the school. In many cases they out perform the existing children at their new schools! The parenting course is awesome. I learned a lot and in fact I apply it more to my adult relationships and business than I do to my child! This school is not for everyone.
Both of my kids attended PMP, one through 2nd grade and my other child through the entire nursery program. PMP is definitely not for everyone. Many people think it's insane. But here's what matters most to me: Both my kids came out of PMP with an incredibly strong knowledge of self. They are articulate about their feelings. They're skilled at resolving conflicts. This is a DIRECT result of being treated with so much respect and compassion during their years at PMP. As far as the academics. We eventually left because my son was ready for more traditional presentation of ideas and structure. He started 3rd grade way BEHIND all the kids in the school by traditional measures like knowing times tables or holding a pencil correctly. But within a month he was the kid everyone else was going to for help with their school work. Currently he is in an honors program at a highly respected magnet school and does extremely well. And he does it because it's important to him, not because we, his parents, want him to do it. PMP was definitely one of the most enriching experiences of my life and will shape my children for all of theirs.
So do you remember the idea that parenting didn't come with a 'how to' book of instruction? Well here's the hands-on, experiential version. It is complete with direct feedback available and optional coaching. I cannot say enough of how this school has helped me grow, both as a parent & as an adult. If you can understand these statements or are merely curious... maybe a tour is in order.
I sent my daughter to Play Mountain Place for both the Nursery & Elementary School, and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. She had all the freedom she needed to learn at her own pace and in her own way. She did lead her to read, write, do math, learn about other cultures, people, experiment and do science and learn about the natural world first-hand and because she wanted to learn. Her interpersonal, communication, and problem solving skills are all top notch. Plus, the added bonus is that we as parents were also able to improve our basic communication skills by learning how to set limits respectively, work with our child without using bribes and punishments to get things done, and also how to problem solve using curiosity and neutrality. That has helped the lines of communication stay open long into her teen years, and has made our family much closer. She had a full childhood, full of play and imagination and freedom, and in Middle and High School (which were traditional/college prep/) is doing fine if not better than her burnt out on school counterparts. If you live in Los Angeles, I highly recommend that you check it out!