Montessori alternative to Taiwan public schools

Hi, I’m an expat mom living in Taipei, and I recently read the thread about whether or not to send your kids to the local public schools. As an elementary school teacher from NYC, I am very wary about sending my children (one is 2.5 and one will arrive in Dec.) to the local schools. However, my financial situation isn’t such that I can afford to send my kids to TAS. In addition, I would like my children to learn Mandarin, as well as the local culture. I was wondering if there are any other families in my situation who would be interested in setting up some kind of cooperative Montessori-based alternative school, or if you would send your children to such a school if it existed. This school would focus on child-centered learning and on supporting all aspects of a child’s education to build indepedent, well-rounded, well-adjusted future adults. This is in contrast to the rote memorization and conformity in local schools. I would like instruction to be mostly in Mandarin, but with some subject instruction in English, as well.

Please let me know if you or someone you know of may be interested in a venture such as this, or if you know anything about how I can put this idea into action.

An alternative school that I know of in Taiwan is the Forest School in Xizhi. You can read about it in this article in the Taipei Times. Although the fees mentioned in the article might put you off!!! I am sure there are other alternative schools in Taiwan and it is probably just a matter of asking lots of people until you find someone who knows something about these things.

I know if I ever had children I would be extremely reluctant to send them to a conventional school in Taiwan (or anywhere for that matter). Good luck to you in seeking an alternative for your children.

Can I have some other contact info for you? I have a friend who may be interested. She’s considered homeschooling, but so far has not. She has four kids so I’m sure she’d be interested in at least finding out what this would take. You can p.m. me.

Has anyone ever been to this school?

If it wasn’t a boarding school, it’s definitely something I’d consider especially for my 7 yo boy. I wonder if the 150,000/semester includes room and board.

There is a Montessori school in Taichung. Wait a couple of days and I’ll hunt down the guy’s card, post it here.

I know of some people who send their child to a chinese montessori school in Tienmu. Heard it’s quite good since these people are teachers themselves.

I’m so sorry, I should have been more clear. I was referring to the Forest School in Xizhi. Read about it at this link to the Taipei Times.

I am also interested in learning about any other even slightly alternative schools. I’ve heard that there is a Steiner/Waldorf school here. Is it the Forest School?

Today, I also heard about a friend who has started sending her daughter to an experimental public school somewhere in the mountains… Peitou or Yang Ming Shan?

Is it a real Montessori school or do they just use the name? Some schools are only very loosely based on the original Montessori method, and some bear no resemblance to a genuine Montessori school whatsoever.

I’d be interested in checking it out as well.

[quote=“Spack”]Is it a real Montessori school or do they just use the name? Some schools are only very loosely based on the original Montessori method, and some bear no resemblance to a genuine Montessori school whatsoever.

I’d be interested in checking it out as well.[/quote]
Keep in mind that the original Montessori method was designed to teach slum children in Rome how to be useful citizens, thus the emphasis on useful skills they could use to earn a living as laborers. Frankly, I HOPE the schoold is only loosely based on the original.

Point taken, but you know what I mean. Some schools slap up a sign, but what you get inside is nothing even remotely resembling Montessori-style education.

Okay, here goes. The guy’s name is Timothy Beach.

beach (at) ms4 . hinet .net

You can ask him yourself about what denomination of Montessori he is, and other crucial details.

I am married to a Taiwanese lady, and our son attended schools as follows: a succession of Chinese kindergartens, first grade in a local Chinese elementary school, then three semesters in the Forest School in Xizhi in the mountains, then second half of third grade back in Chinese elementary school, up through beginning of fifth grade, then transferred to an English speaking Christian Academy in Nankang District, Taipei.

DO NOT APPLY TO ATTEND THE FOREST SCHOOL IN XIZHI. You will regret it. The people who run the school have a con game going . . . . . with money, psychology, and your children . . . . . . . the school’s administration is a mess as well . . . . . . . . MY WIFE AND I KNOW, because we have been part of that for three semesters . . . . . . .

On a brighter note, I see no problem in sending children to the public Chinese schools at least up until fifth grade or so. Our experiences there were alright.

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Richard, I hope you’ll share more about the Forest School. Many of us have heard of a Waldorf school here and assumed it was the Forest school. What didn’t you like about it?

What’s supposed to be the problem with sending your kids to primary school in Taiwan? The ‘bad’ stories you hear about discipline and test preparation almost all come from jr. and sr. high schools. We don’t have kids right now, but I have no reservations about using local primary schools.

Imagine a room full of 40-50 kids sitting at desks in neat rows. The teacher is droning away at the front, reading from a book, writing stuff on a blackboard. The kids read along with the teacher sometimes, chanting things over and over. This happens for most of the day during which time there’ll be at least one test. The break times consist of just hanging out in the classroom or in the corridors nearby. There is a series of exams once a month. This is pretty much how it continues for six years. Then they go to junior high.

Spack, when was the last time you actually saw this?

Sure, I can imagine this. It’s got absolutely nothing to do with my point, though. Certainly Taiwan primary schools aren’t anything like that. I’ve taught elementary school teachers at their school. It was nothing like that, and the teachers were excellent teachers.

Now that we’ve sorted out that there are idiots with misconceptions about public school here, I’m wondering what it is that sensible people are concerned about.

Local public schools are just fine. I have a six year old infirst grade at Tienmu Guoxiao. Although she does not liek her teacher (LOL)her mandarin (fluent and reading books now), math (aceing word problems like john has six flowers gives 3 to mary and recieves 4 from alice with the correct answeers every tiem), and english skills are excellent. Is it the school or the good genes :-). I credit both.

Chou

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[quote=“chodofu”]Local public schools are just fine. I have a six year old infirst grade at Tianmu Guoxiao. Although she does not liek her teacher (LOL)her Mandarin (fluent and reading books now), math (aceing word problems like john has six flowers gives 3 to mary and recieves 4 from alice with the correct answeers every tiem), and English skills are excellent. Is it the school or the good genes :-). I credit both.

Chou[/quote]

I agree completely,

I have a second and third grader and I am very pleased with the quality of education that they are receiving. They are being asked to use a lot of creative juices.

Call my comments idiotic, by all means, but I would prefer it you didn’t call me an idiot.
How can we have a sensible discussion with personal insults like that?
Are you trying to start a flame war or something?