This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Montessori Children's House of Durham5
Posted September 23, 2014
- a parent
When my wife and I made the decision to move to Durham, we took the opportunity to observe and evaluate a number of local schools, both public and private, in an attempt to find the best fit for our twins. The Montessori Children's House of Durham stood head and shoulders above the rest of them, not because it tried to impress with flashy facilities, but because of the profound respect it demonstrated for the unique potential of every child within its classrooms. We have enjoyed watching our previously shy children blossom, both in confidence and in curiosity of mind, and we look forward to several more years with the tremendous teaching staff, and the community that we have become a part of.
My daughter is rising to 8th grade in public school after attending MCHD through 6th grade. Every year I see more and more foundational skills in her work, attitude, and capabilities that were born and nurtured at MCHD. I'm going to boast now in gratitude for what MCHD has taught my child (and many others)--conflict resolution, flexibility, creative thinking, writing skills, advanced literacy, intrinsic motivation, and community awareness....just to name a few! In the top 5% of her class, she was chosen to take part in the Duke TIP program and took the SAT this past winter. At her school's end-of-year award ceremony she was awarded by NC for being among the highest SAT scores in the state. Our early investment was totally worth it, and then some. Thank you MCHD!
No amount of money can buy the love of learning, The experience my two children had during their years at Montessori Children's House of Durham led them to truly care about their education They came home each and every day excited about what they were doing, and asked daily through the summer months, "When do we get to go back to school." Each day, I am amazed at the individuals I see blossoming as a result of the magic that takes place in the classrooms. The teaching Staff truly cares about each child as an individual and strives to foster their development academically, socially, spiritually and emotionally. I urge all parents searching for a learning environment that will foster the individuality of their child to consider MCHD. For us, it doesn't get any better!
Kids will become lifelong learners only if they are really passionate about learning. But how do you get kids passionate about learning? Tom Sawyer knew how to get other boys interested in painting a fence: not by offering to reward them if they do or punish them if they don't, but by showing them how fun and special painting a fence could be. Most schools try to get students to learn by offering to reward them if they do and punish them if they don't. But the Montessori Children's House knows Tom Sawyer's trick: to get students to learn, show them how fun and special it can be. Both of my kids have been here since the age of three (my daughter has been here five years and my son two), and both of them have thrived beyond my expectations or even my hopes. I wish I could have enjoyed my school as much as they enjoy theirs, and learned as much as they're learning. I don't know what they will choose to do with their lives, but I am confident that they will have the passion necessary to make the choice themselves, and to make their choice work. This school does not produce memorizers -- it produces entrepreneurs (in the original sense of the term).
My wife and I are deeply grateful that our daughter was able to attend the Montessori Children s House of Durham for six wonderful years. She always looked forward to going to school, thrived in the Montessori learning environment, went on to do exceptionally well in high school and college, became a highly respected Montessori teacher herself, and is now the proud mother of three happy Montessori educated children. We owe so much to this school and its wonderful staff. The Montessori Children s House is a Durham treasure. Parent of MCHD Graduate
Montessori Children's House of Durham (MCHD) is a FANTASTIC school. We ve been blown away by just how wonderful the teachers are and equally impressed by the whole school. They ve built an environment in which children genuinely flourish. Our brief experience with other schools makes clear what a gem MCHD is. Our kids are independent, excited about learning, and very well-educated thanks to MCHD. And the beautiful new campus has made things even better, offering spacious, peaceful, classrooms and large, attractive, playground areas. This school has been, for our family, and for our many friends whose kids are there, a real blessing.
Our family has been at this school for 9 years, Preschool - through elementary. We could not be more satisfied with the education our children are receiving. Our children are becoming real thinkers and problem solvers and work well with others and independently. The teachers are experienced and dedicated and demonstrate this not only in the care and education of our children but in their commitment to every aspect of the school. The school built and moved in to a new campus this past year. For anyone this can add additional stresses and may have contributed to the generation of some of these negative comments. The campus is beautiful and provides such a great learning environment. I think if everyone embraced the Montessori philosophy of this school they would see what a great method it is to nurture and educate your children. Experience it yourself through an observation. There are so many families who truly love it here.
My daughter attended another local daycare facility as an infant and toddler, and I was so pleased with that school I was frankly unsure about moving to MCHD when she was 3. After only a few weeks, however, I joyfully discovered that this was the most remarkable educational experience for my child I could ever fathom. It was like going from mud pie to Kentucky Derby pie. I just didn't know what we were missing until we experienced it. The philosophy and materials are especially remarkable, and are supported by all the developmental brain research I study in my personal line of work. MCHD's wonder is about so much more than academics; to me it's also about the peace - both internal and external - that they explicitly teach the children. Here they are equipped to express their concerns, navigate conflicts, and develop self-control in ways some of my own peers have not entirely mastered. Ultimately, despite having access to the "best public schools available," we have consistently chosen to keep our child enrolled at MCHD, and encourage any parents who want to see their children become community leaders who live satisfying, fulfilling lives to join us.
We regret starting our children at this school. Getting out is much more difficult than getting in. This is more of the "church of Montessori" than it is a school. Everything is secondary to the school's misguided interpretations of the montessori method. The head of school and some of the staff are "true believers", and they put the furthering of their message ahead of the welfare of the children. This church needs a major revival, as many of the staff are burned out, and just give up on students who struggle with their message.
Our last child to attend this school will be finishing this year. Sadly, this school is not what it was 3 or 4 years ago. The move to the new campus went horribly wrong. The school administration is completely out of touch with the lack of harmony among the children, as they are primarily focused on the challenging financial situation. The playground is a mud pit, and the focus of the teachers is on forcing all students to follow a rigid interpretations of Montessori principles. Our older children had good experiences at the school, but I am glad our youngest is getting out early, and want to let other parents know to investigate very carefully before sending a child to this school.