Watching my daughter and her school peers interact, I have seen a strong sense of fairness and equity enter into their play. Being honest and fair with each other is just a part of being friends. I have no idea how this is 'taught' from an educational standpoint, but it is definitely a quality being conveyed to the kids somehow.
My daughter has been attending the MSAE since she was 4 years old (for almost a year and a half now). Prior to this, she attended a private daycare with an educational focus, but there was something about the Montessori method that clicked with her. Within the first month, I could see that her motor skills improved vastly. She started holding a pencil properly instead of with her fist and was even sewing shapes on burlap fabric!
She learned how to tie her shoes, braid her hair and become much more confident in herself and her abilities. She is now much more social and friendly with other kids. And, she is fully reading chapter books written for 6-8 year olds, writing in cursive and adding 4 digit numbers.
I love her teachers and know she feels supported. And as a full time worker, the hours and vacation schedule of the school is perfect.
The pros: convenient hours and schedule similar to a daycare. The cons: feels more like a business than a nurturing school. They underpay the assistants and don't support the teachers. It's for profit and there's a mysterious owner who occasionally makes an appearance to pick up his kids. There's not a lot of space for creativity or deviation from the very rigid approach to learning and being and not much consideration for kids who may need different types of support, nurturing, or encouragement to engage with the materials and approach. The toddler room was warmer and welcoming but kids move into primary at 2.5 years old. Caters to wealthy working parents for the most part who need long hours of care, year-round options and don't want to pay quite as much as a prep school but still go private and "progressive."
My son loves it there after 3 schools (one other Montessori). He is challenged and asks on weekends if he can go. The parents are great and involved, the kids are fantastic, the community works both in and out of school. My son is thriving and learning so much.
My two girls, aged 10 and 4 attend here and my wife and I couldn't be happier. The teachers are knowledgeable and nice, and the enrichment programs really allow our girls to get the most out if their time at school. The drama program is especially noteworthy. Other activities give more opportunities to learn and grow such as tumbling, cooking, Spanish, music and art. The Montessori program is authentic and my girls really thrive in this environment. Probably the best thing about this school is the open door policy for parents and the opportunities to really be a part of your child's school and education. I would recommend this school for anyone who truly wants the best that Montessori has to offer in a culturally diverse environment with plenty of bonuses and a warm and caring staff.
We searched long and hard for the right school for our daughters. Thank goodness we found this school, because it has everything we hoped for and more. The Montessori curriculum is absolutely amazing and the guides are highly qualified with top notch credentials and years of teaching experience. There are two assistant teachers to each classroom, one for mornings and one for afternoons, so everyone is fresh and ready for engaging the children in learning opportunities. In addition, this school brings in specialty instructors for enrichment subjects like art, music and drama. There are many field trips and even overnight trips for the elementary aged students. The administration is friendly, professional and, most importantly, available. There are always open lines of communication with the administration and the guides. We know these people really care about our children. There is a wonderful parent community and so many avenues to become involved as a volunteer. It's not just a school. It is a place that families can be confident that their children are receiving an education that is child centered and be part of a community of caring, wonderful people!
I love this school, I wouldn't change a thing! My daughter started in the toddler community where she became independent right before our very eyes. Now she's in the primary class where she is learning and building social skills. She is still very happy and this makes us very happy.