Charis montessori

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Charis montessori

Postby KS_me » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:55 pm

Anyone has feedback?

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Postby preciousgift » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:56 pm

would like to know too. i'm considering Charis Montessori and Bethesda (katong) Kindergarten for my son.

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Charis Montessori

Postby surfermom » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:51 pm

Hi all,

Seems like I've feedback to contribute as my 2-half yr old son is currently in Charis Montessori and I also have a place in Bethesda (Katong) for next year (paid deposit). My son has been in Charis since Jan and I must admit I'm very pleased with the school and his development. Personally, I feel the principal is very important as it is with any leadership. Roland is Charis's principal and he's super hands on. He is the one who leads Praise & Worship in morning sessions and also goes into classes. For those who are not Christians, this session is optional and there are many non-christians as well. This is just to say that the principal is very involved. Curriculum is Montessori-based and we receive Progress Reports every quarterly. There's both English & Chinese (fr China and she's very good) teachers so the curriculum is def balanced, quality and I've nothing to complain abt, honestly. Despite being a small sch, they always inculcate interesting activities such as cooking, outings, art sessions with "Growing Paints" artist, face-painting, lots of handicrafts etc.

Parents often consider cleanliness and 'how often the kids fall sick' as a factor. Charis tops this! They are clean and of cos, check temp/hands etc before session. My son did fall sick abt once a month when he first started sch but it eased off totally in a few months. This is merely his first exposure to school. They hv very good hygiene practices etc. My son really blossomed during these 8mths there. He's so besotted with the guitar as he sees Roland with it quite often. He also brings in his own little guitar and tries to lead singing sessions. Bigger schools would not be so flexible if my son tried to do that. But Roland actually encouraged him to 'play his guitar' and sing to the class. I appreciate all these small little flexibilities which I'm not sure Bethesda would accomodate as they are a proper big kindergarten.

I signed up for waiting list early this year as I wasn't sure if I would keep my son in Charis. Plus it's a very popular school so I just put our name there. We got a place and I paid one month's fee. I love Bethesda (Katong) Principal and she's a friend of my Care Group Leader. Similar to Roland, she's highly involved, highly motivated and a great Principal. Many put their kids there because of the Principal. What I loved abt Bethesda is the Kindergarten environment-big school, many classes, uniform, outdoor playground etc. I preferred letting my son be in a real Kindergarten environment so that it's easier when he moves on to Primary School. I've no issue with Bethesda curriculum-they prepare their children well for Pri 1, just like Charis. Bethesda teachers have been there for the longest time as they do have a good, long history. Charis is considerably new so the teachers do occasionally change every now and then. However, there are some permanent faces and generally, the teachers are really caring, gentle and good.

For my family, a strong foundation in christian values, praise & worship is utmost important. Roland happened to also be from my church which is a super plus point. Bethesda is also christian but they really don't practise any christian activity except saying Grace before eating. Obviously to non-christians, this is not a consideration. Charis really is a Grace-based school and most teachers are nice Christians. I dare say it'll be near impossible for me to find another school that has Praise & Worship first thing in the morning for my son. The subsequent 3 hrs are standard school curriculum. My son totally enjoys going to school.

Hope this helps to shed some light on these 2 schools. Feel free to ask if you need more info.

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Postby preciousgift » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:05 am

Thanks for your detailed reply. I've also signed my son up for Bethesda (Katong) next year. He is turning 3 this month. Our children maybe classmates next year!

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Postby surfermom » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:13 pm

Hi PreciousGift, oh wow seems like it...classmates. Actually, I've not decided and I still dunno what to do. Is yr child attending another school now? Hope to c u soon.

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Postby preciousgift » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:29 pm

He's now attending Tumbletots but I would prefer a Christian environment for him :)

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Postby surfermom » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:04 pm

Oh I see...I understand. I suppose you chatted with the principal too? Ms Wee did tell me that apart from saying grace and a once a week short service, they don't have any more christian activities. On the contrary, Charis is really much more into Christian teaching as they have Praise & Worship every morning, Bible stories & moral lessons. This is the main reason why I am undecided. Bethesda is almost like a normal kindergarten.

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Postby preciousgift » Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:44 am

i guess i decided on Bethesda as i have heard that kids who come from the Montessori background find it difficult to adapt to Pri 1/ Singapore Education system.

Moreover, Bethesda is very near to my new place :)

So you have a place in both schools? yes, its hard to decide. Gave me a headache. Seems like you prefer Charis, why the need to change? :)

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Postby surfermom » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:48 pm

Proximity is a bonus! Charis is just on the other side of the road, so it's really not so bad. Yes we are really at a fix. Charis is very personal and gives a nice touch as opposed to big Bethesda which is what I like and dislike about it. I do think it's good to let my son be exposed to a real school environment, but I've to be prepared that it might not be as personal as Charis. I'll def hv to pray about it. I will not hesitate to put my 2nd child (when it happens) in the Toddler program once again, as well as Holiday programs. :D
Problem is that I can't find fault with Charis that makes my decision-making tough.

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Postby junicorn » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:08 am

Hi surfermom,
I was also considering Charis cos it's near my place but i heard the turnover rate is pretty high here. Was your son's class affected? Btw, is the montessori element strong? Still can't decide if a montessori school or a 'traditional' school is better. Esp when the fees for a montessori school is much higher than the 'traditional' school. Hope to hear from u...thanks!

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