This is my ninth year at the school. I have had my three children go all the way through from 18 months to pre-k. My school age children were very prepared for kindergarten after the school. It is very traditional and focuses on the foundations. One of my favorite things is the quality outside unstructured time that the kids have on a daily basis. I usually pick my kids up sweaty and dirty which works for me! My school age children always talk about how much they enjoyed Montessori and speak of it fondly. I highly recommend the school. My husband and I are both educators and find the practices pedagogically sound.
Both of my children attend FMS (41/2, 22 months). They both love it there. My daughter has been there 3 years now and is well above the average for her age academically, and they are able to meet her needs. My son was having trouble with language development, and he is doing great now after 3 months there. The teachers are nurturing, but at the same time enforce rules and limits, and teach the children through play. The new playground facility is amazing, it is so big, and the kids get a LOT of outside time to run off all of their engery. They have a garden for the kids to grow vegetables and learn about nature. It is hard to find a place that does a good job of combining early childhood education, while still letting kids be kids and get dirty. FMS has mastered this combination.
Both of my children attend (3, 18 months). I absolutely love it. I teach kindergarten and many things I am working on with my students, they are teaching my 3 year old. She knows all of her letters/sounds and can tell you mulitple words that begin with it. I love that they work with them 1 to 1. Everything is differentiated for each child. They allow them to explore their interests and teach them to independent. I highly recommend this school.
Never before have I been compelled to write a review like this, but I felt that I needed to in this case. Our experience at this school was not a good one. We put our 2 year old here after falling in love with the nice "old schoolhouse" facility and playground. However, we quickly learned that things were not going well. Our child cried very hard every day and it was obvious that he did not want to stay. We received almost no updates on how he was doing the entire time he was there. Often, he was one of the last ones picked up at the end of the day (they close at 6pm) and when we got there, the staff would be vacuuming and cleaning up so they could leave for the night, often walking out and driving off with us. Obviously they were wrapping up for the night instead of paying attention to the last few kids. When I decided to take him out, the director told me, "I really hate to lose him because he's doing so well." I said, "Really? I havent gotten many updates on how he's been doing - how has he done compared to the other kids in his class?" Her reply to me was, "I dont know, you'de have ask his teacher." Obviously she had no idea how he was doing. VERY bad experience.
Both of my sons attend this wonderful school. One of the things that drew me to the school is its wonderful facility and close to work. However, the amazing thing about this school is the retention rate on their teachers. All of the teachers have been there over three years, several for over a decade. It's like a family...you get that feeling immediately.
My child has been going to this school for several months and he has learned so much. Walking in to the school in the morning is so nice and peaceful. Children are sitting down at the different stations learning while they think they are playing. Different schools that I walk into the kids are running around screaming and teachers are yelling. Picking my child up from school the older kids are sitting down doing homework or playing outside. You don't see this at most schools. On Fridays the kids gather in the giant hallway to listen to the director play the baby grand piano. This is such a peaceful environment for kids to grow and learn you would be crazy to not send your child here.