TMA Early childhood program: Parent-teacher communication here is virtually nonexistent in our experience. It has consistently taken a week or more to get a teacher's response to simple e-mails. The several reviews below that describe this school as "not child friendly" and not "child-centered" (ie much more concerned about following their "system"--a border-line Montessori fundamentalism, in my opinion--than addressing the needs and experiences of particular children) are spot on, I think. Also, as others warn below, keep in mind that you are paying for the year in full, in advance. You may have no recourse if your child is one that their system does not work for. There is no dramatic or imaginative play facilitated. Only "works". While it is nice that my 3 yr old knows how to was dishes now, it breaks my heart that my child is so miserable in being dropped off there each morning. Not what I would describe as a happy place.
We recently had to leave The Montessori Academy because of a job change, and we are missing so many aspects of this beautiful school. I can honestly say that our boys were academically and emotionally prepared for the change. TMA helped my now-middle schooler hone his math skills and polish his language works. The science lab and art rooms were also filled with fantastic experiences. TMA also gave him opportunities to play in band and on wonderful team sports like basketball, soccer, and track. And with the multi-age setting, my then third-grader even got to participate in track! It was a wonderful year of shared goals! The environment at TMA is very peaceful and the teachers are extremely engaged. And the children take that engagement and go into the community through their service at the local assisted living and the Montessori classroom at the Center for the Homeless. We have seen amazing generosity and a beautiful respect for learning at TMA. Under the leadership of Deborah Drendall, this school strives to be all of the beautiful and peaceful aspects that Maria Montessori wished for the world. One child at a time.
From an alumni s view, I am extremely thankful I had the opportunity to attend such an amazing school. I visited other private schools and attended a public high school and university I am confident saying this is the best school. Its a hands on environment where a child s individuality is celebrated, where teachers work with each child s method of learning, and where a child can grow at their own pace while still being challenged. And I have never seen teachers go above and beyond like they do here. This program, this community helped me become independent, confident and allowed me to soar above my piers at other schools as well as be successful in my professional and personal life. And now Im so happy my daughter loves it as much as I did. PLEASE, take the time to visit this school and learn for yourself what this school has to offer. Each school is different. This Montessori is actually the only certified Montessori in this area others are not. There are a lot of misconceptions about the Montessori methodology and corresponding schools. So please, just visit the school, see what its really about. Then decide if it s the right fit for your family. You won t regret it.
I can not tell you enough how much we love this school! After touring so many schools (public, parochial and private) in the area, we were convinced that this was by far the best. We were not proven wrong. Our child has thrived in this setting and I am so pleased with the challenging curriculum, creativity and engaged teachers and staff. It was such a relief for us to find such an incredible school after moving here from out of state. Highly recommend it!
My child attended TMA for 3 years. This is what I know about the school. It is UNkid friendly - they try to make little adults starting at 3 years old. Imagination is strongly discouraged. There is NO communication between the teachers and parents. It was impossible to get the teachers to give me an update on the progress of my child. The children here who have parents who donate a ton of money to the school are strongly favored. My child has learned more from a traditional in 7 months than she has ever learned in the 3 years at Montessori.
Our son is thriving! This is a wonderful, caring, loving school with loads of academics and helping children to make good decisions. Creativity and thoughtfulness is in every action and classroom! Couldn't be happier for our son to be there. Head of School runs a positive ship, loads of experience and an eye towards how the kids interact and learn. Maria Montessori would be proud!
Our daughter has thrived at TMA, both socially and academically. The school fosters a community spirit and embraces each child's unique personality. She is valued and respected by the faculty, staff and fellow classmates. She has blossomed and embraces all the opportunities that a Montessori education offers. We could not be happier with our experience at TMA.
Do NOT send your child to this school. Bullying, favoritism, and total lack or control is the norm here. I approached the school two different times about bullying incidents and was told "Oh that just so and so it is not a problem." After a very brief time in this school our child began to suffer self-esteem issues, problems with homework, and a level of depression that was heart breaking as a parent. We approached the school and told them that we no longer felt comfortable with the school and this was not the right environment for our child. They said they would be sorry to see us go but we should remember we signed a contract and would have to pay for a semester even though our child could not attend. While is is extremely difficult to pay two school bills we can take comfort in the fact that our child is now excelling at another school and is at the top of the class in level of ability, and attitude. We did receive a follow-up note from Montessori telling us they always want what is best for our child and please remember to pay the bill.
Best private school in the South Bend/Mishawaka/Granger area! Our 8 year old son and 3 year old daughter both truly enjoy going to school everyday. My initial concern when considering a Montessori school was it's lack of structure and lack of tangible grading, but The Montessori Academy actually does have a good deal of structure and testing to make sure each student is excelling (what their alumni have gone on to accomplish sold me on Montessori). The tuition is a little pricey, but I look at it as an investment in my children's future. I have seen that the teachers genuinely care for their students well-being and success both with my preschool daughter and my third grade son. The qualities I have seen focused on are leadership, self-confidence, diversity, compassion/service, teamwork, and conflict resolution. We evaluated several other top private schools in the area and are 100% satisfied that The Montessori Academy is the best choice for our children.