This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Harmony Montessori School5
Posted August 16, 2013
- a parent
My two children attended this amazing school and I am so excited about the elementary program opening. I have heard some great things about the new elementary teacher from other parents who have been lucky enough to experience her sweet teaching skills. Like... "She is smart, creative, hardworking, kind and calm - all of the important characteristics of an excellent teacher." -Anne and... "Millie Lang was the assistant in my son s lower elementary classroom at Childpeace Montessori for two years. Millie inspired my son by sharing her own remarkable life experiences living in Alaska and Hawaii, her love of nature, and enthusiasm for creativity and learning." -Brandi Oh, and of course my children, ages five and nine, had a wonderful time at the Harmony summer camp with Millie this year. She did a great job managing my daughter s difficulty transitioning to the big kids summer camp AND keeping my son from getting bored with the little kids stuff as the elementary classroom had not yet been set up and they were using a children s house classroom for the summer. Millie is creative, energetic, passionate and fun! I wish I could have had an elementary teacher like her.
Looking for an ALTERNATIVE, Non-Faith Based Lower Elementary Montessori? Harmony Montessori is opening a Lower Elementary program [1st-3rd grades] in the fall as they move to their new Mall 205 location - 10525 SE Cherry Blossom Drive. My son, a HMS Children's House Alumni, returned this summer to attend the Elementary Summer camp with new LE teacher, Millie. He loves her friendly, genuine nature and is enjoying the lessons and fun activities [snow globe making, tie-dye, and field trips]. Millie is a wonderful addition to the amazing staff at HMS.
Our family of 3 moved our daughter from the convenience of a pre-school right next to my work to Harmony Montessori. This transition was hard on us but also the very best thing for our high energy, intense girl. We have become full aficionados of Harmony Montessori, its commitment to international diversity in their school and the Montessori philosophy. 1) She has benefitted from the sharing of knowledge by older children at Harmony but _every day_ she has the opportunity to gain, increase and solidify her OWN knowledge. This is of monumental importance. 2) Mentorship of classmates, whether younger, same age or older children, is another every day opportunity; she loves to mentor younger classmates, is gentle with and kind to them. 3) Except during the time of transition, we don't receive _nearly_ the number of behavioral reports we have in the past because she is so, so busy learning and growing, mentoring and teaching that she does not have time to misbehave. Our household members are true believers in Harmony - and we plan to keep her in Montessori for the rest of her elementary school years (thank goodness Harmony starts their expansion into 1st grade fall 2013!).
We love this school. Our daughter loves school and has really developed rapidly both with regard to learning specific topics, as well as socially and emotionally. Everything about this school is stellar. We looked at nearly every Montessori and Reggio program in portland, and Harmony was hands down the right choice.
Harmony is the little school that could. For a little school nestled in the back of a church, this place is a total gold mine. We did our homework and looked at over 5 Portland area Montessori schools. None of them can hold a candle to Harmony. They embody the Montessori model in that they guide the children to grow at the level they are at. Beyond that, they (teachers, staff and parents alike) are by far one of the most loving, caring and nurturing communities we've encountered over the years, and we've been members of some well-known private school communities. And they are diverse! Children at Harmony understand that we all look differently, speak different languages, and have different customs. We are seriously passionate about Harmony -- WHAT A FIND! Our son graduates this year, and we will seriously cry when he does - they have taught him so much about being a good student, and a good person. What a jewel this little school is!
My daughter has been at Harmony Montessori since she turned 3, and she will be in kindergarten there next Fall. We are so grateful for her experience there! She has blossomed and thrived, she knows and is known by the whole community, and she looks forward to going every day. Intellectually she is thriving and loves the explorations of the natural world, geography, reading and writing activities, and field trips. They play outside twice a day, in a large playground that includes vegetable and flower gardens the children work in. Their teachers really make Harmony the nurturing, engaging, and supportive environment that it is. We feel lucky our daughter spends her days with teachers who care about her and support her as an individual.
My original decision to enroll my son in Harmony Montessori was based on the reasonable cost, healthy snacks offered and the location. I had no idea how lucky I was to have found this place! Not only does it teach the standard academics (most children leave kindergarten reading and with basic multiplication and division skills) it expounds values important to me like independence, acceptance, kindness and environmentalism in a warm and loving atmosphere. My son has move on, my daughter attends now and all our lives are richer for the supportive community this school has given us. Like many I will cry when my youngest graduates and we become part of the connected, but not as all encompassing alumni community.
For a school heading in all the right directions and great ideas out on the table, the staff needs a little work. The school has a high strung energy around it and some staff don't seem to be truly happy. One teacher was particularly rude and I don't think she even knew it. I like that they are eco friendly and what the ideas/work Harmony has to offer the children, but because of the energy there my child is attending a different school. I will say that Kristin's classroom had the most calming energy and she is the teacher within the school that appears happy and caring in everything she does. It's hard to pass up the price, but keep your children in mind.
My son started school here after going to another Catholic Private school on the East side which was an absolute disaster and huge mistake. My wife and I wish we would had started him here at Harmony. We originally looked at the school but was hesitant about the Montessori education style since we had never heard of it. I can't explain to you what a huge difference it has made on my son's attitude. Just a year ago, he could barely put together a two word sentence and now he is spelling words. I also feel that the parents association and groups have been very helpful and welcoming towards new parents like myself and not clicky like the past school where my son was enrolled at. The teachers and Jude the administrator have been great and you can tell they are very involved in all of the kids being successful.