Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spotlight on: West Side Montessori (Part II)

We're covering some important topics in Part II of our interview with West Side Montessori.  Read on for information regarding finances and how parents can help foster the Montessori Method at home.

Why is Montessori education expensive and can I afford it?

Montessori classrooms often have 2 specially trained teachers with a pupil/teacher ratio of 1/10 – 1/15 depending on the ages of the children in each classroom.  Additional co-curricular teachers for world languages, music, art, technology and physical education are common.  It costs approximately $10,000 and one additional year of higher education to become a Montessori certified teacher. Montessori classrooms are filled with specially designed, beautiful learning materials. It costs approximately $30,000 to fully furnish a Montessori classroom.  Overall, the cost of Montessori education mirrors the cost of local public education with a highly enriched program that offers a gifted education every day for each child.

Montessori schools have varying levels of tuition assistance available for families based on need.  At West Side Montessori a maximum of half tuition is available for qualifying families.  Montessori schools reach out to families that share their values and commitment to education.  Interested parents should contact the individual Montessori school of their choice to inquire about tuition assistance.

Can I implement any of the Montessori philosophy at home with my children?

Yes. There are numerous resources on the web that explain some of the basic Montessori philosophy and offer practical ideas for parents.  Search for “Montessori in the home” and explore.  Montessori sites and individual blogs discuss many different aspects of Montessori principles and practices. If you have the opportunity to observe a Montessori classroom in action it will give you the best insight into how Montessori teachers prepare a learning environment and interact with children.

What is the first step a parent should take to learn more about enrolling in a Montessori school?
Check out the Montessori schools in your area online and then call to tour and observe a class. Some Montessori schools are very small and serve pre-school only.  Others offer programs from toddlers through middle school.  A few offer high school and there are public Montessori schools in some Ohio cities.  Some Montessori  schools are proprietary and others are non-profit corporations.  Each school has its own culture. As you visit and observe you will discover if the school is a good fit for your family.

And remember, we're beginning our parent workshop series with West Side Montessori, Understand Preschoolers, beginning Saturday March 1 at 10am.   This week's topic is "I can do it all by myself".  Ugh…how many times have you heard that from your little one?  Find out how to foster independence while maintaining your sanity!  No advance registration required. Cost is $15 per family.  Find more information (and our entire Lullaby U brochure) here!

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