Buyer beware. First off, if your child is sanguine or choleric, then look elsewhere. The school is only accepting of children that fit its mold (compliant, introverted, cautious, fearful of authority). The school as rigid, stale, out-dated, and in dire need of reevaluating Montessori s intentions and goals, who was the most accepting, loving, and open-hearted instructor to children from all walks of life. #1. The directress: You will notice that she s paranoid, controlling, dictatorial, and belittling. #2. Nepotism: The directress s husband is the music teacher, sister is a teacher, son is a teacher, and nieces are the administrative assistant and pseudo-accountant. I thought it was strange, although her family members seemed normal and nice. #3. The holding class : Firstly, the directress (and school policies) are very upfront about this holding class, which is essentially a room whereby the school evaluates if the child is Montessori material or not.
(cont.) Secondly, the children must be able to do a series of items on a checklist before moving to a real Montessori environment. While observing the holding class one day, I overheard the teacher say, You can t count, so you can t do that lesson [and] you can t do that lesson because it requires a teacher to do it with you. Really? Many teachers from other reputable Montessori schools (both in the USA and abroad) have been appalled by my family s experience, especially regarding the holding room. #4. A lot of television/movies. A LOT. Because my issues were with the school and not Montessori, I m happy to report that two weeks after this degrading experience, my child was placed in another school and flourished (with a teacher that is AMI certified)! A little love and acceptance goes a long way. The teacher regularly communicates and has reported that my child is a joy who listens well and is smart, curious, and a leader. Not only is my child now almost a completely different kid, but my child s academics have taken flight! There's no more crying and fake stomach aches in the morning. On the contrary, he's raring and ready to go to school each day!
My daughter left this school last week to begin Kindergarten in public school. My daughter spent two years at MELC, and we could not be more pleased with the results and with the staff. Our daughter is a year early going to kindergarten, but she already reads and has "regular" conversations (no toddler talk). She counts out loud and does basic addition and subtraction. She sings and dances thru our house, mimicking and practicing the work done at MELC. Our home is filled with crafts that were all done at MELC. The staff at MELC are all great, and I believe they truly care about us. I strongly recommend MELC to anyone who wants their child to be at a safe place where the child can learn academically and learn to interact with other children and adults.
I am the owner and facilitator of Rhythmic Memory LLC, in which I bring group drumming sessions for health & wellness, self-expression, and team-building to schools, churches, seniors, support groups, and other venues. The Montessori Early Learning Center and School of the Arts recently had me bring this opportunity to their students. I was immediately struck by the polite and respectful behavior of the students as they entered the building -which also continued throughout our hour together. I was also impressed by their confidence, as they readily jumped into starting our group out with their own beat for us to join them in when I asked for volunteers. This eagerness was also present when I asked for volunteers - of all ages - to act as the facilitator of our drum circle from the center of the circle with cues they had learned during our session. It was obvious their learning was equipping them with such important life skills as respect for self and others, self-esteem, and an eagerness to learn. They were a JOY to work and play with, and I am looking forward to returning for another session with them!
The Montessori experience has been great for our daughter and I seriously doubt that she would have done as well in a traditional school setting. We would whole-heartedly recommend the Montessori Early Learning Center to anyone and sing their praises. They have an outstanding program and a great staff that not only care about the education of the children, but also their overall well-being.
My daughter attended MELC from 2 -8 years old. It was an amazing experience! Taylor learned a lot at a very young age. I am forever grateful to the MELC staff for the time and energy they put in to the educational growth and social maturity of my daughter Taylor. I grew as well. Taylor just completed her first year at Crayton Middle School! Her grades were exemplary! She is a year younger than her peers. She has been chosen to go to Africa next year with the School District. She demonstrates the team spirit that she learned at MELC. The one word I can use to describe MELC is Life Changing ! Trust the process, it works!!!!
I'm so thankful we decided to put granddaughter at this Montessori School for many reasons. Kaiya just turned 4 and is in her 9th reading book. She's doing math, kiddie music,strategy class, just to name a few things . She even wants to do homework on the weekends.This method of learning is amazing. The teachers are so patient and loving with each child which is important. Thank you for all you do.
Montessori Early Learning Center has provided both of our children with an amazing educational foundation. We feel confident that their curiosity and love of learning will continue throughout their lifetime. Our children have felt loved, respected and empowered in this environment. And my husband and I know they have been safe and nurtured, while being challenged to do their very best. We could not have designed a more perfect educational experience for them.
So glad I found this school! My Daughter just turned 4 and has been attending since she was 2 1/2. She loves learning the Montessori way. Her teachers and staff are warm and caring. She is so independent, respectful, and confident thanks to the way they inspire the children to learn. My daughter is reading and doing addition and subtraction. She is passionate about learning. She also loves the playground and the friends she has made there to the point if we try to pick her up early in the summer she does not want to leave because she is having so much fun. I have nothing but positives to say about this school, I wish I could have attended this school.
A wonderful school with wonderful staff & administration. I think that being in business since 1976 speaks volumes in itself.
I am a 57 year old grandmother who has a grandson at MELC. If you are not familiar with the Montesorri theory of learning please do yourself a favor and research the subject. I wish that I had done so earlier because of the amazing progress that my grandson is making in all areas of personal and scholastic development. I love the independence that he displays as a result of being allowed to explore the environment of the classroom which is set up to intrigue and capture the interest of young exploring minds. MELC offers parent education classes so I understand how my grandson is learning. Ms. Ina is a fantastic educator and I feel confident that my grandson is receiving the best possible education under her professional expertise. Also, my grandchildren are my life. Everything that matters to me in this world evolves around their well-being. My grandson was at a previous daycare center and I had concerns about his care. Today, I go to work without worry as I am certain that Ms. Ina and all of the staff at MELC have my grandchild's best interest at heart. Do yourself a favor and take the MELC tour. See for yourself! The proof is in the pudding!
Thank you to Mrs.Ina and the great faculty that follows the path of montessori's learning methodology. Both my kids (ages 6 and 4) are in in this school. Me and my wife are very happy looking at the steep learning curve of both our kids.
MELC is an amazing school! We have two children who attend MELC and we are constantly impressed by the well-rounded education they are receiving. Ms. Ina, Mr. Lee, Ms. Keisha, and Mr. Anthony are outstanding individuals who constantly strive to create a wonderful, nurturing educational environment. We also find that the importance placed on social responsibility, i.e. being helpful to others, doing the right thing are values rarely stressed in most environments these days. At MELC, these values are modeled by the leaders and teachers and fostered by the children in the classes as a whole. It brings us great joy to see our children in such a wonderful environment! I would trust their care to no one else.
I attended this school as a child for 3 years, and now I have 2 of my own children attending this school. I also have a third child waiting to become old enough to attend. It is a great place for them, and they learn so much. I feel blessed to be able to have my kids attend this school. The pool is great for them in the summer, and they learn how to swim. All included in the cost of tuition.
I have three grandchildren currently attending MELC and have been closely associated with the school since the oldest started over four years ago. I have been consistently pleased with the wonderful academic education they are receiving, as well as with their training in the arts and social responsibiiity.The warmth and support given each child from teachers, administrators, and other students often bring tears to my eyes at school events. I feel that my grandchildren will carrly the positive effects of their early school experience at MELC far into their futures. I do not believe anyone could find a better school anywhere.
My daughter attended MELC for 6 years. We had a great experience! My daughter's math and reading skills are excellent. She received a solid academic foundation. She has great memories of the arts program. She studied ballet and drama during her time at the school. It is a very warm and loving environment. One in which, e you can rest assured that you will be given the truth about your child's progress. We have only been gone a few months, but there is not a day that passes, that I don't think of the school and thank God for finding such a place for my daughter to grow and develop. Ms. Ina is very focused on accommodating the needs of the children. She accepts responsibility for their academic and social growth. My family is a 2nd generation family and I would not have it any other way!
My four children were raised at MELC and my grandchild is enrolled there now. Thanks to the arts program and the school, they all have a wonderful education and a sense of self confidence that I'm not sure they would have received elsewhere. The arts program is fantastic as it offers everything from ballet to hip hop to gymnastics and the low cost of the programs assures me that they are in it for the love of it - not for the money. Thank you to Mrs. Fort, her wonderful staff and for the standards she runs that school by and I look forward to watching my grandchild grow and blossom in her school.
MELC is the best and most pure montessori school in Columbia. I visited many schools before deciding on where to put my children and I can say that no other school could provide the range of opportunities, both Montessori and extra curricular that this school has to offer. The teachers are excellent and truly care about the children. The Facility is beautiful and made just for the children. I don't think you will find a better school for your child in Columbia.
I am a proud mom of a recent college graduate. I have no doubt that my son's graduation was due in part to obtaining a mastery of reading, writing, arithmetic, language and reasoning while attending MELC. Owner/Administrator Ms. Fort has loved, taught and guided many children in the 30+ years MELC has been in business. She and her dedicated teachers/staff have introduced children to a world of learning that allows them to grow into intelligent, well rounded, confident young people. It is the oldest, largest and in my opinion the best Montessori school in Columbia.
Best Montessori School in Columbia! I have had my children at MELC for over 5 years and I can tell you they are the only school to go to. The Directress Ina Fort has been in business for over 30 years and truly loves all of the children. As a parent I have truly come to appreciate: 1. The parent conferences 2. The first class staff 3. The full after school arts program 4. The Authentic Montessori training 5. The after school care program. I would HIGHLY recommend this school to ANYONE who is seriously considering a quality montessori education in Columbia. They have been in business for over 30 years for a reason and the results speak for themselves.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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