I am more than pleased to provide this testimony for Montessori school on behalf of my family. My name is Terani Puangi I am of Cook Island Maori descent and my partner who is of European Maori decent.
Our son Steven who is currently 7 years old now was attending Montessori from 2 years old until just after his 5th birthday. Putting Steven into a Montessori curriculum school was the best choice we made as parents I feel. We did visit 4 preschools that were highly recommended before settling with Montessori.
Something that stood out for me about Montessori was that every tool inside the centre had a learning purpose, blocks and shapes were all the same colour so children didn’t concentrate on the colour. I loved that children were taught about space and respecting each other’s space when learning or undertaking activities. Like many of the preschools I visited there were plenty of colourful toys which had no learning purpose.
I didn’t like the fact that I was paying for my son to play each day and learn songs, I wanted him to be challenged in his thoughts and his abilities but mostly to enjoy learning. I believed that at school the learning happens and at home the playing and fun happens, it gives our son balance which supports him reaching his development milestones.
Steven turned five years old half way through the year, and at that age most parents transition their children into primary school. I deliberated over which school to send him to and researched many schools over the Auckland area. I spoke to the centre’s manager about what my options were and obligation to send my son to school, I was informed that kids can stay past 5 years old and sometimes starting the year off fresh is better for the children. I decided to leave him at Montessori when he turned 5 years old and started him fresh in the new year which worked out really well because Steven got more time to prepare for primary school, more confidence and so on.
Steven now attends Papatoetoe North Primary School and has been going since February 2016. I have attended two parent interviews so far where I was told that Steven is top of his grade for reading and mathematics along with two other female Indian students in his grade. This has made up very proud as parents and I don’t think he would be at this level if it wasn’t for Wee Wisdom Montessori in Weymouth. The teachers, the support, the atmosphere, their robust systems and policies were spot on. My son’s development was nurtured at the centre and the kids were taught valuable lessons as young children.
I mostly loved Dr Montessori’s philosophy of child development and learning, ‘it’s the simple things that matter for our children today’.