I went to GMA for 3 years from 6th to 8th grade fall 2007 to spring 2010 and I had a TERRIBLE experience. I am now 18 and as I look back on It i realize how little this school has helped me. I went to to community Montessori school for 2 years before and Its is a great school because it is a real Montessori school. GMA may claim to be one but they're not. As you see all of the 5 star reviews by others you will see that they all say that the kids we're having a great time. And I will admit it was a very fun experience but YOU WON'T LEARN SH!T THERE. When I came to public high school afterwards I was so far behind the other kids academicially. The teachers at GMA are almost all young and fresh out of college with a bachelors degree and don't know how to even teach a regular class let alone Montessori . This makes for a disaster of a chaotic classroom. The idea of Montessori is to let the kids work at they're own pace but really all the kids do is sit around and talk all day or play on they're ipods. When I came to high school after this I was one of the worst students in the whole grade. I was getting C's and D's almost the whole year and had to get a tutor to get me back on track. If you don't care about your kids future sure go ahead and send them there but when they move them on to a public school they will be screwed. Do your kid a favor and send them to a public school so they will learn.
In the end if you just want your kid to have fun then go for it and send them to GMA but if you want them to have a bright future then keep them in public school.
My son is finishing up his second year at GMA. We started him at 3 years old in Pre-k. He was one of the youngest in the class and I was really guarded. Miss Karen is amazing. My child's development has far exceeded my expectations. The start of his first year his words were not very clear... By the end of the year we were starting to read!! Miss Karen is always in communication with me about his progress. She is an amazing educator and has gone above and beyond the call of duty! She sets the bar very high for the future educators in our children's lives. I know she genuinely cares about each and every one of her students. My son thoroughly enjoys being at school and he LOVES Miss Karen.
Wow, I'm sad for the parent who commented October 30's experience at GMA. We have had only positive experiences there! I have three kiddos 1, 5 and 7th grade this year. It is our second year at the school. My kids thrive in the multi-year classrooms. Learning to handle the distractions of other kids who are "on task" in their own ways is part of the package. The teachers I have encountered manage the different-style learners pretty , and have engaged my kids directly (w feedback to me) in solving social and environmental challenges. I appreciate that approach, and think it is very 21st Century.
We spent a horrible 9 weeks at GMA. My son (a 1st grader at the time) could only describe it as "chaotic". His teacher had only a cursory introduction to Montessori education and actually told me that her job was "not to teach or help, only to observe". It was a mess. They told me that my gifted, extremely outgoing child was "incapable of relating to people". He has always had tons of friends and is loved by kids and staff at Hoosier Academy, where he was before and after GMA. I honestly wouldn't recommend GMA to anyone.
This school offers a small close knit atmosphere. Students and staff work cohesively together in order to provide a quality education for all ability levels. Everyone is friendly and that makes learning and going to school here fun!
GMA is built on Montessori principles that help children develop independance, confidence, and responsibility for their own education. They have a strong community feel where teachers, students, and families work together to do what is best for each child. Students at Geist Montessori Academy are treated as individuals, both academically and socially. Their educational path is created to fit their needs and to meet their personalized goals. Students and families come from all walks of life and their differences are embraced and celebrated for their uniquness. At GMA everyone is free to be themselves, and they can focus on get the best education possible.
I really wanted my children to go to a Montessori School over public school. However, after the end of the year my child who has had two years of Montessori before entering kindergarten is way behind my friends children who are in public school and have not even had preschool! I believe in the teachings of Montessori but after this year I know there are huge variations in the teaching that vary and if it is not done right can really hinder our children. This attitude that any Montessori is better than public school is just for those that really have not witnessed what they are actually doing in public school. I went to watch in on my friends kindergarten class and it amazed me what the children were learning and they all appeared so happy. My child is never this happy coming home and I think it is because most of the day they are isolated and made to teach themselves. I want to point out before all the Montessori pit bulls come after me that I believe in Montessori but just because it says it on the building doesn't make it such. This is my opinion and my experience that I am entitled to.
My oldest child is in kindergarten at GMA and so far I have been very happy with this school. The teacher and teacher's aide are terrific! I like the size of the school, the weekly newsletters, the class updates, and love the responsibility taught to the children in addition to academics. I have not had any bad experiences with GMA.