The Panel Discussion video was filmed on May 12, 2012 at our Spring Open House. The students are graduates of Montessori Children's House of Newton, our school's name prior to moving to our new location in 2011-2012. The parents on the Panel have students currently enrolled at Montessori at Sandy Ford. We apologize for the quality, but we wanted it to be a candid discussion, and it is definitely candid!
"I just remember sitting in my first parents’ meeting where Mary Helen was demonstrating the math materials... I had so much trouble with math in school, and the simple intuitive example given with gold beads illustrating how children work with a square route gave me chills. I wish I’d had Montessori available to me when I was young."
-Kim Bost (Connor, age 7)
"Having watched my goddaughters and other’s children thrive in the Montessori environment, Elizabeth and I felt very strongly that we wanted our child, Olivia, to have that foundational experience. Having been Counselor/teachers ourselves and having seen the effects of the public school system, we really knew that if we could manage it, we wanted to give Olivia the best foot forward in her whole self development. We have been incredibly impressed with the Montessori philosophy and the staff. Mary Helen and Kenyon have brought so much to this community with their goals and vision. And we are truly thankful. "
-Sean Jarman (Olivia, 8)
"Not only is she having fun getting to know the staff and the elderly participants, but I see her developing a new level of maturity, care for others, and self-confidence. She’s also learning about being responsible in a job and how to work with a wide variety of people and situations. She’s very proud of the work she’s doing there, and I love that she’s connecting with our larger community. It’s been a wonderful experience for her! "
-Sara Arey (Briannen, 18, Maylen 12)
"We love Montessori at Sandy Ford because of the positive growth and development we have seen in our child. She not only enjoys the learning process but has become a good citizen as well. Montessori reinforces and nurtures the gifts of every child so that they can better achieve their desired goals."
-Bob and Ray McKinnon (Isabella, 11)
"We spent a great deal of time and energy looking for a loving and nurturing environment where our children could develop independence, self confidence, and a true love of learning. We also dreamed of finding a school where the teaching principles and curriculum could be individualized for the student, rather than the student having to adhere to an arbitrary and often ambiguous curriculum or set of standards. After an extensive search, visiting many schools locally, and even experiencing the public school system for a year, we finally found the perfect fit for our children at Montessori at Sandy Ford. Not only have our children learned to be responsible and accountable for their own learning and behavior, they are actually loving the process and taking personal pride in their work. Something else that we absolutely love about the school specifically and the Montessori method in general is that our children have gained an understanding about how they impact their community, the world and the earth. This, above all, is missing in most other learning environments, and will be the biggest detriment to our children and their future if it isn’t addressed soon on a worldwide scale. Even though all three of our children have remarkably different learning styles, aptitudes, interests, and personalities - creative and flighty or quiet and studious, two of the three attend Montessori at Sandy Ford and have thrived well beyond our expectations! When he’s old enough, we will be able to see our third child create his own niche of excellence in the classroom, in the community and the world thanks to the greatness of Montessori at Sandy Ford! "
-Shane and Carrie Watts (students Eden 6, Rionn, 4, and future student Brock, 1)
"As a certified public school teacher, making the choice for a Montessori education, for my own child, may be surprising. While I'm working everyday to get public school children prepared for EOG testing, I really appreciate all that Montessori at Sandy Ford is. I have enjoyed watching how MSF has partnered with our family to support our "whole" child. I have seen him learn at his own pace, be exposed to diverse topics through lessons and home projects, & develop a greater compassion for people & the earth. He has become more self-reliant, confident, and at ease. But, in his words....'I like my school because I get to hang with my friends, do good work, and have fun. My teachers are kind and helpful. There really is no better school.' "
-Jen Rostan (Matthew, 8)
"We love this school and are thrilled we can keep our children here right through 8th grade now! Here are a few specific things we love:
- The curriculum. Concrete materials allow for a solid understanding of abstract concepts. Our 9-yr old knows her multiplication tables just by working with the materials; never once did she have to do times table memorization drills!
- Multi-age classrooms. Children learn that they can teach or learn from people of any age. It fosters respect for people regardless of their age or status. There’s a beautiful mutual respect here among teachers and students.
- No homework. The children begin by learning the rules of their environment, so discipline isn’t an issue in the day-to-day classroom. The children get so much work done each day, and learn so much that homework isn’t necessary. I don’t know how we’d fit it in anyway, there are so few hours with our children in the evenings already, I couldn’t imagine taking some away for homework."
-Eric and Marian Erikson (Marie, 9, Margaret, 5)
"I had some concerns at first about the small class sizes at Montessori. I liked that the kids get more individual attention and can do things that larger groups couldn’t, but I’ve been very pleasantly surprised to realize another benefit. In a large group, if you have a disagreement with someone, you can just end the relationship and become friends with someone else. In a small group, you can’t really do that. Instead, you have to learn to work things out. You have to find a way to work with people you find annoying. You have the opportunity to learn to communicate effectively with people, to express your feelings and needs in a way that works toward a resolution. The emphasis that the staff at MSF puts on cooperation and learning these important skills has been one of the things I’ve valued most about having our children here."
-Sara Arey (Briannen, 18, Maylen 12)
"I love that when I drop off my child each morning, I know he is entering a respectful, moral, caring, secure atmosphere in which to learn."
-Becky Schell (David, 9)
"Montessori has been part of our family community for 16 years now. Our sons both graduated from the school, and our daughter is currently a student in the elementary program. When our sons entered public schools, their teachers told us that they had never had students that knew so much about so many different subjects or were such critical thinkers. Montessori gave them the educational foundation and the self- discipline they needed to thrive, and it ignited their intellectual creativity and a lifetime quest for knowledge. But Montessori is so much more than a great learning environment. Montessori has given our children a sense of their place in this world. Through Montessori, they learned to respect our Earth, to appreciate different cultures, and to value people whether they are across the room or across the world. Montessori has enriched our children’s' heads and their hearts, and we are forever grateful."
-Eli and Rob Glynn (Nat, 19, Turner, 16, Mati, 10)
"My 19-year-old grandson still thinks that Montessori was the best schooling he ever had. During his Sr. year at St. Stephens he told me he wished that he were back at Montessori! Thanks for giving him such a wonderful education and teaching him how to love and serve...to care for others...how to appreciate diversity...everything wonderful that you teach."
-Julia Rush (Anderson Drew Cline, 19)