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Thread: Steiner and Montessori Schools

  1. #1

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    Question Steiner and Montessori Schools

    Hi,
    Although Kyla's only little, I know that you have to book kids into schools early these days. I was wondering if anyone's children have gone to either the Steiner or Montessori Schools and what you thought of the schools, any positive or negative feedback would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2

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    Hi Carrie,
    Just wanted to let you know that my little big man went to a steiner school. We adored it as we are a very spiritually minded and holistic family. After about 7 months though he became unbearably bored and pleaded to be sent to a normal school where he could do maths and read and write. we were teactching him these skills at home because of his request but ultimately we couldnt stimulate him enough. He has been in private school ever since. his grades are wonderful and he is a very high achiever however very emotionally immature and thats where the steiner was very character building for him. he is a very complicated little bloke and is highly strung and i think the steiner stream catered to him better but he begs to differ(he is nearly 9 now). he says now, it was just like more kinder. I can tell you loads about it if you need more information. Sophia mundi school has a good informative website about rudolph steiner and his philosophies. they are very different to montessori. There is quite a philosophical ethereal background behind rudolph. there is also a great steiner store in kew in melbourne they do ahve a web shop.Hope this helps.

    Pauline

  3. #3

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    Hi Pauline, Thanks for your reply.
    I was thinking about the Steiner school as I hear that they are more rounded in their teaching - looking more at life skills and individualism, encouraging lateral thinking etc. I didn't know that they didn't do maths etc.
    I would love to hear more about the school from you - how it is structured etc. The one thing I was a little worried about was that if you send your child to this type of school - would the be viewed differently by other kids that go to mainstream school, would they be seen as wierd? I would really like Kyla to go to a school where they take a more individual approach and where she is encouraged to think laterally and taught life skills rather than trying to pigeon hole her into structures.

  4. #4

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    Hi there

    I have 2 DD's who are both in the Montessori system. They are thriving there and I think it's a wonderful way of educating children.

    Here is a great website if you're interested in reading a bit more about it -

    http://www.michaelolaf.net/FAQMontessori.html

    And this is the link to the Montessori Association of Victoria -

    http://www.montessori.asn.au/ (They have their open days coming up very soon)

    It's not a style for everyone, but it's very much inline with the way we raise our girls at home, so for us it's just a continuation.

    Good luck with your search.

    **Edited by BellyBelly - Links are Approved***
    Last edited by BellyBelly; May 7th, 2006 at 12:50 PM.

  5. #5

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    Hi Kylie,
    Thanks so much for the website links. I had a read through them and think that the program sounds great.
    To be honest, I found my own primary school experience quite lacking, with problem students and issues with teachers also. I don't think that I really learnt that much in primary school except for very basic things. Mum used to sit with me and do maths, reading etc which was probably where I learn most (except for the social aspect). From what I read about the pre-schools their way of learning sounds alo more practical and applicable/concrete for a child. I would love to hear more about your DD's experiences if possible.
    Thanks

  6. #6
    sfischer Guest

    Default Steiner Schools

    Dear Carrie,
    I saw your query about schooling and wanted to tell you about my experiences. I went to a Steiner Kindergarten and school myself in Germany and still have fond memories of my time there. I didn't go to a Steiner school the whole time, as we moved and there wasn't one. I found the transition from Steiner to mainstream difficult but only because the teaching styles are so different. They do do Maths in Steiners schools even in the early years, just differently. It's all tied in with the 7 year cycles. Someone suggested the Steiner store in Kew, have a look there, they have great books about all aspects relating to Steiner education. My daughter is already going to playgroup at a Steiner school and will head on into primary there with kids in her current playgroup. I guess you need to ask yourself, do children really need stimulation from an early age, inparticular when they demand it? Isn't it up to us parents to set boundaries and realise what the child's needs are? My experiences of being a Steiner student: try not to switch around too much, leaving a Steiner school can be a big upheaval for the child, trying to reintegrate as well. Hope you find the right thing for you. there are also open days at Steiner schools where you can see work students are doing and ask questions, well worth going to.

  7. #7

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    my ds currently attends a Montessori school, we live in SA and the one he goes to costs us about $2300 a year for primary school and about $1000 a term for pre-school which part of is claimable with in the child care rebate,
    He did not go to the pre school we just could not afford it and for that I think he has suffered as all of the children in his class have been to the two's plus/playgroup and to the pre-school and have basicly grown up together so they have formed very close friendships and they found it hard to accept Peiter into their classroom as he was not one of them IUKWIM, I absolutely love the school and finaly he has settled in and has made some very good little friends his learning has excelled and he is doing so so well with his reading and maths he has become alot more attentive and is so eager to learn what ever he can,

    Unfortunately we are moving into another area of adelaide and there is no Montessori primary school close so he will be entering the public system, I am a little concearned as tehy do not use school bells for lunch etc and do not have a recess time they have snack time and they are a very calm environment to be in I am truly going to miss his school so much and kinda widsh we could take it with us LOL I am sure he will be fine I just hope this change does not take all of these wonderful qualities he has developed away from him, oh yeah he started at the begining on this year so he has not been there for very long.

    my advice is that if you do choose to send Kyla to one of these schools put her into the preschool as much as you can afford to so that she knows the children she is going to go to school with it makes the transition so much eisier for them, and enroll her early as they often dont have places for children that have not attened their pre-school programmes or their classes fill up really fast as they do not like huge class sizes.

    good luck with your choice, I highly recomend montessori from my experiance.
    Last edited by *Elle*; May 13th, 2006 at 10:34 AM.

  8. #8

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    Sonja, Shannon and Amym, thanks so much for your replies.
    I went to the Montessori open day at the preschool near us on Friday and really loved their philosopy and methods of learning. I also think that this type of environment would be great for Kyla as I have noticed that (I think due to her prematurity) that she is VERY overstimulated with lots of noise and activity and the way that this pre-school worked seemed so much more quiet and ordered.
    Then I read about the fees - $775 a quarter. This is so much! I also don't quite understand where it all goes as the pre-school didn't look like heaps of money would be spent on the facility.

    I have yet to look properly into the Steiner school - so that will be my next stop.

  9. #9
    sfischer Guest

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    Dear Carrie, I noticed that you are in Mooroolbark, there is an excellent Steiner Primary only school near you in Kilsyth South, called Ghilgai. They have regular monthly introductory evenings and we went to one and found it to be a really great school. My mum also works there one day a week as an accompanist for the Eurythmy and has found the teachers to be really committed to teaching and the school as a whole being a warm and inviting environment. They are extremely strict about class size, linked to the size of the class rooms. They do not allow, under any circumstances, more than 22 children per class which means there will never be a problem with class sizes getting too big. They have been there a long time (since 1981 I think) and are well established. I was amazed what the children even in the younger classes were producing from their work. Including maths, which they would do using drawings, charts, just like normal maths but with an artistic flair to it, as well as tying lessons in with each other, ie when learning about India their maths calculations were about something indian too etc.

    Another excellent school, although a bit further from you is the Little Yarra Steiner School, where my daughter will start the Ring-a-Rosy class next year (2.5 hrs per week without parents). I love this school, not only because of its location, but also because it has a very close-knit community feel to it, it is from Playgroup to Highschool with small class sizes still and it is known for its very strong musical stream.

    Hope this helps you with your further search. Both school will have an open day and fair this year, maybe give Ghilgai a call to find out when, Little Yarra has a website lyss.vic.edu.au.
    Regards
    Sonja

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    Thanks for the great information Sonja!

  11. #11

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    Carrie - my sister's kids go to Steiner school in Queensland. Lucy is five so she is starting off in that environment and hasn't known any other. My nephew is 14 and has had a variety of schooling experiences ... state school till Year 7, then one year at Anglican Church Grammar School. He much prefers Steiner. He's artistic and creative so the style of learning suits him. He seems much happier there too ... it's a smaller, more intimate learning environment and I think that is pretty important for most kids.

    Cheers,

    Mel

  12. #12

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    Hi,
    Im also thinking of sending my son to the Steiner school. They do teach maths and reading but not till a bit later than public schools because they want to focus on other aspects of the childs development first like imagination. I like it that they teach them to be independant eg growing their own vegetables and really teaching them how the world functions so they dont take things for granted and they teach them about all the different religions and celebrate and learn about other cultures. Im a little detered that they recommend not watching t.v in the mornings before school, infact they recommend little or no T.V. I do understand the reasoning behind this and yes it is important to read or spend quality family time together instead , but i cant imagine my childhood without smurfs in the morning or the never ending story.
    Anyway I recommend you go to a tour of the school which they have about 3 times a year and I think they take u into the classrooms and u can really get a feel for it. Just ring the school closest to you.
    Here is a list

    Rudolf Steiner Schools of Australia - an Association

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