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Alumni Voices: In their own words
Categories: Alumni / Fan Mail / For Parents / General Knowledge Fund / Why Montessori

Alumni Voices: In their own words

Several Wheaton Montessori Alumni wanted to participate in our most recent Alumni Voices Night, but were unable to do so.  Many are starting their university careers this year, many had extracurricular activities that overlapped, and some have moved with their families out-of-state.   Despite being unable to attend, they still wanted to be able to participate.  Here is the first of several posts that shares their thoughts, submitted prior to the event.

 

Drew R. is one of the first of our students to enter high school as a 10th grader, having completed his 9th grade year at Wheaton Montessori School.  He knew from previous “Alumni Nights” that parents are very worried about their children transitioning to a traditional education setting – which will undoubtedly include homework.  He also remembered that parents are concerned that entering high school during the 10th grade year may be a social challenge.  Because he was unable to attend, he sent in the following that he asked us to share:

“I can not make it (to Alumni Night) as I have a band concert that night, however, let them know that as long as you get in touch with the school system in advance, the transition is easy as long as you go into it with a positive attitude. Homework is not a problem; in fact, many days I can get all my homework done in school. Being a part of extra-curricular activities helps making the transition easier because before school even starts, you’ll already have lots of friends.”

 

Trevor B. is one of our school’s first students.  His family moved out-of-state before our own Elementary program was formed.  He’s now a student at a university in Virginia, where he is pursuing an education that will allow him to later go on to medical school.  He shared the following:

“Wheaton Montessori School definitely changed the outcome of my life.  There’s something about the individualized, kinesthetic educational model that creates such a powerful cognitive foundation.  The teaching in a Montessori environment is designed around the young brain.  The teaching in a traditional environment tries to mould young brains around the education (system).  I’ve been through three different school systems from preschool through high school.  Montessori made me the most well-rounded.

I think that switching to public school cost me a lot of potential. I forgot all of the Spanish, geography, multiplication, and long-division that I learned at Wheaton Montessori (from lack of practice in the traditional setting).  As for these skills (learned at WMS) –  public schools did not allow me to do that type of work. I had to learn all of it again as though it was brand new. Multiplication and division wasn’t taught (in his new school) until 3rd grade. When it was, the instruction was poor. It’s the only time homework made me cry. Fortunately, I figured it out.

The Chicago has has an incredible school system as a baseline and Wheaton Montessori goes above that threshold.  Until moving and changing schools, I never realized what an absolute privilege it was to go to Wheaton Montessori.  It gave me the tools to break the scales on learning aptitude tests in Virginia. …I know the (Primary) years I spent at Wheaton Montessori are the reason I have a shot at medical school.”

 

 

Over the summer, Trevor came back to visit his old teachers and see our new building.  For fun, he agreed to pose for this picture, remarking at how tiny everything seems to him now, when at the time the materials seemed larger-than-life.

 

Cammi C., a freshman at the University of Iowa, sent us several videos giving us a virtual tour of her student life.  Stay tuned for her thoughts on how her time at WMS inspired her love of chemistry and science!  (Spoiler alert: She’s a chemistry major and found her love of science at Wheaton Montessori.)

 

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