We recently interviewed a graduate of the Miniapple Montessori kindergarten program and her family about their experience with Montessori kindergarten. Elyse is now in third grade and currently attends public school.
Miniapple: If you had to do it again, would you choose Miniapple for kindergarten or would you have wanted to be at your current school with your friends?
Elyse: Miniapple! The kindergarten works are more challenging than they are in first grade at regular school. I got to figure things out myself (when learning). I was way smarter than my classmates when I went to 1st grade! I liked being a leader in the class.
Miniapple: Was it hard to be new in 1st grade?
Elyse: It wasn’t hard to make friends.
From Elyse’s parents, Mia and Mike:
When we were looking at kindergarten, we were most concerned with Elyse being academically challenged, as well as her social development. To be frank, we wanted to be sure if we were investing in another year of private education, that it was going to be a better experience than what she would get in public school. We looked at different districts around us, but we felt like she could not get the individual attention she needed in those environments. There were so many kids in the classrooms in these schools, and many of the resources went to helping children who required the most assistance. The curriculum was so basic, and teachers had little time to challenge the brighter kids (although they did try). Additionally, learning was not through discovery but rather kids were told the information. We knew that Elyse would be bored. We still worried about the social development a bit when she started first grade, coming into a class that had already been together a year.
We were so glad that we decided to keep her at Miniapple for kindergarten. She grew immensely that last year. She was definitely a leader in the class and relished this role. She loved reading to the class and being able to teach what she had learned to the younger children. Her bonds with her other kindergarten friends also grew this last year!
When Elyse went to first grade in public school, she was more than well prepared. The biggest adjustment for her was no longer getting to learn through discovery, and being given work that she had learned a long time ago at Miniapple. From a social perspective, she quickly made friends and excelled (as usual my worries were unfounded in this area). In fact, when I had lunch with her in first grade, one of her classmates was telling me most kids have a few friends “but Elyse, she’s friends with everyone!” which really showed how truly prepared and confident she was in a new school, as well as the values she had coming out of Miniapple of kindness and acceptance for everyone.
Elyse is now finishing 3rd grade and is in the top of her class for math and reading (even though she is one of the youngest in her grade). She loves to learn, which we believe was because of her experiences at Miniapple. She read the whole Harry Potter series in a month! She will start the gifted program next year at school. Miniapple really set her up for this success, and kindergarten at Miniapple was a big part of this. Our only wish was that Miniapple had additional grades as well for her to attend!
Are you looking for a Montessori program that meets your child’s needs? Miniapple International Montessori Schools has infant, toddler, preschool, and private kindergarten. Contact us today for more information.