As a parent of a Primary student who would not start Kindergarten until next Fall, I am incredibly happy with the education that my daughter is receiving in her second year of three in the Primary level (third year is considered Kindergarten). She is not only learning the basics of "reading, writing and arithmetic", she is learning geography, practical life skills, humanities and manners! As a child who possibly has ADD, she is learning to extend her concentration and control her emotions as well.
The guidance given by her teacher as well as the other staff is kind, yet firm and consistent.
I can not say enough positive things about this fantastic community that our family is proud to be a part of.
I am a father of two children (ages 2 and 5) enrolled at CMS and am very impressed with the program.
It was my wife who suggested we try CMS; as usual, I'm glad I followed her lead.
Going in, I had little knowledge of Montessori. The school does a good job of explaining the process to the parents, though, so I now feel a bit more informed. For those of you who are passionate about the Montessori philosophy, I will say that the staff at CMS takes the following of AMI very seriously and the teachers are all fully trained/certified/etc; the students here truly are getting a rigorous Montessori education.
That being said, I am not someone who is wedded to any one particular educational philosophy. Rather, I have just two key requirements for my children's school:
1) a social/community environment that promotes the growth of happy, kind, well-rounded children;
2) an educational environment that encourages curiosity and learning.
In my opinion, CMS meets both of these requirements more effectively than any other institution I've observed elsewhere (including in my own education.)
1: Community - Both of my children love going to school. They have bonded with their teachers, and both know and like their peers in their class. The 3-year cycle helps foster a sense of belonging since the kids really get to know one another and develop close friendships. It also likely helps that parent involvement is such a big component of this school - the kids soon know not only each other, but their parents as well, furthering the sense of community.
2 Education: - Both my kids are still pre-K age, so this is harder to assess, but there is no doubt what they are learning at school is sparking their curiosity. They both come home talking about what they learned, proud of what they have accomplished, and eager to practice reading/addition/etc some more with us at home.
-Strong sense of community
-Children get along well together and develop strong friendships
-High-quality education, and students are actually interested in learning (not just for a test)
-Expensive, as compared to a free education in public schools. Still, our family has felt it worth the expense, and our children will both continue once they reach school age.
-Parent involvement is generally a key component here, which could be a deterrent if a busy schedule makes this a challenge.
CMS's approach to homework is catered to each student. And homework is not filling in answers in some rote exercise; it is exploring a subject (whether basic reading or for older kids relatively complex research) in an exciting and engaging way.
Montessori was an easy choice for us as both my SO and I believe very strongly in encouraging our children to be independent thinkers. We've found the guides (Montessori for teacher) to be caring, thoughtful, practical and engaging. They know our kids as if they are a part of our family. In fact, we very much view the school as part of our family! Parents are an important part of the Community as well (hence the name) and are encouraged and actually required to participate in both the educational process as well as events. Our two kids have attended since Primary Level (Montessori for Kindergarten basically) and are now in 3rd and 5th grades and as much as they love their school we can't imagine having sent them anywhere else. We feel public schools approach education from disciplinarian's perspective and want our kids to approach education for the love of learning and 6 years in we know we made the right decision. When we looked at the other Montessori schools in Lexington, we really appreciated CMS for it's loving spirit, quaint charm, and salt-of-the-earth sensibilities. I would strongly encourage parents with kids of any age to talk with the staff at CMS and come in to do an observation. If you're familiar with Montessori, you'll see it at it's best, and if you're new to Montessori, you will be amazed at this innovative yet practical method.
I have two children at Community Montessori and have been so pleased with what I am seeing in their progress socially, emotionally, and intellectually.
My Toddler has the best manners of the whole family! She says please, thank you, your welcome, and excuse me. She is able to identify colors, shapes, count to 14, sing songs and improvise songs, her vocabulary and focus on detail have just exploded since she joined the Toddler program in Jan. 2015. She is independently going potty, she can put on her clothes and shoes with minimal help and she is not even 2 and a half yet! She comforts and assists her friends and cries when we pick her up because she doesn't want to leave.
My 5 year old is experiencing his third year at Community Montessori (It's a 3 year cycle at each level) and has stepped up to be one of leaders in his class. He has many friends and gets along well with others when completing tasks. He has an eagerness to learn and really looks up to his teachers and aspires to be just like them. He has been reciting math facts in the car because he is interested not because it is homework or he has to. He came home with a booklet of math last week he had created and told me that he had worked so hard that when he was done he just, "hugged it" because he was so happy he could do it. He's writing his name and starting to make stories at school. His appetite for knowledge is being fed in this environment and because he has the freedom to choose his work he has ownership of his learning. He comes home wanting to sing the school song and has a genuine love for who he is with and the work he is doing.
He has become a child willing to help his little sister get ready in the morning and help cook and clean to keep our house looking its best. The values my children hold in helping others, being a role model, caring for animals and the environment are directly aligned with what they are learning at school and home.
Both of my children attend Community Montessori School. My son has progressed through lower elementary into upper elementary, and my daughter has progressed through upper elementary and is currently attending the middle school program at CMS. We have been thrilled with their progress, their ability to problem solve, work independently and with a group, and their test scores have been above average. The school has a real sense of family. There is a focus on the arts (there is a band program as well as opportunities to perform in plays, something that is lacking at other small private schools).
One of the things that attracted us to the school initially was the ability for children to work at their own pace. My daughter was given busy work at her previous school whenever she would complete things before the other students so that all students would be at the same level. Now she can forge ahead and do the next lesson or get extra help if she is struggling with something. Children who learn at a slower pace don't hold the rest of the class back, and children who are excelling aren't held back by the rest of the class.
I truly believe that Montessori education is the way we were meant to learn, and I wouldn't want my children to experience it anywhere other than Community Montessori.