Choosing Montessori Shir-Hashirim was one of the best decisions we made for our son. We looked at about 10 schools, and ranked Shir-Hashirim at the top. We feel very lucky to have found this school. The teachers are incredible, the curriculum has impressive variety, and the parent community is great. We especially love the Montessori way to inspire curiosity, concentration, and independence in the children. Our son has attended the school for two years now, and we are more convinced than ever that it is one of the best preschools in LA. I briefly summarize the reasons why we say so.
*Learning How to Learn*: This is not a play-centered school, but one that guides children to learn by playing. The Montessori “jobs” are thoughtfully designed to make learning a fun experience. When we visited Shir-Hashirim for the first time , we were very impressed by the kids’ focus. It was this fact, more than anything else, that made us fall in love with the Montessori experience. During Montessori hours classrooms are very quiet and the kids concentrate on their jobs. Outside Montessori hours, the kids were having lively playtime and a wide spectrum of enrichment classes.
*The Curriculum*: The school offers a wide variety of enrichment classes. The core curriculum is supplemented by violin, piano, music, dance, yoga, karate, Chinese, Spanish, and French. Each year the children perform in three different plays, with amazing costumes, stage design, music, and lyrics. My son has learned so much in two years that at the age of four, he can already read simple books. When we went to the local Kindergarten Fair, many private school exhibitors told us that they love kids from Shir Hashirim, because they are so kindergarten-ready.
*The Director and Teachers*: Elena has operated the school for more than 30 years, and she is hugely knowledgeable and experienced about all aspects of child development. Our son is our first child, and it is very important to us to have such an experienced director. Because she is so experienced, straightforward, and professional, she has earned the full respect of all the parents. At the same time, she is warm, fun to be with, and most of all caring and helpful in various situations. All the teachers are very knowledgeable and responsible, and really good at educating children in the Montessori way.
I have been at this school for five years. First my oldest daughter then my five year old twins.
The worst thing about this school is leaving it. I can't begin to put words to what Elena and the other teachers at Montessori have done for my children. All three of them more different from another… they found out how to unlock each of their potential in completely different ways. The school offers such a variety of methods to learn and ignite their imagination that no child will be left in the dark. For me all other schools pale in comparison. Elena doesn't coddle parents, she advocates for the kids and for some it's an adjustment, but every time I have had a concern she has come back to me with insightful and focused feedback and advice. It has allowed me to access my children in ways that I can't imagine having lived without. The plays, the music the art are all opportunities to see your children in new light. When going through the kindergarten process she helps guide and steer your kids towards the schools that she believes they will thrive in. She asks almost nothing of the parents, no Galas no huge hide expenses, a few year books that are coffee table worthy, and some DVD's of your kids plays. My advice is to do the parent and me and stick with it.. then you can really understand what the experience is like. I was taken aback at first at the lack of screaming kids, the quiet and the focus.. but then you come to understand that they are engaged and directed.
My son thrived in the Montessori environment and at this school. This school in particular is so rich with stimuli and my son has gotten exposed to everything from Mandarin to yoga to Frank Gehry. Elena runs a tight ship, and while she intimidates many parents at first, as soon as you get to know her you will find her warm, personable, and very charming. Great sense of humor too. She is a gifted educator and knows each and every kid very well and gives solid advice to parents. We will be sad to graduate next year!
I am so impressed with this school and what my daughter has learned there. Both campuses are beautiful. The program is amazing. Music, theatre, Chinese, French, and Spanish, baking, gardening, yoga are just some of what is offered. My daughter has learned to read and is going to be totally prepared for elementary school. She adores the teachers and loves going to school. There really isn't anything else out there like this school.
If you have the opportunity to give your child a Montessori education at the Montessori Shir-Hashirim then you are one of the blessed ones in Los Angeles. This school is easily the best Montessori school in the LA area. I spent several months touring all the Montessori schools on the Westside. A friend suggested that I check out the Montessori Shir-Hashirim Preschool as a paradigm to compare the other schools I had seen. What I discovered was that NOTHING that I had seen came close to the amazing experience that this school offers a preschooler. The director, Elena, spent the morning with me, showing me both of her schools and explaining a lot about the Montessori method. She is very patient and answered all of my questions. So many lower-level schools use the Montessori name as an advertising tool and don't use the Montessori method. Shir-Hashirim is a great Montessori school period.
The last couple of months I ve been filling out kindergarten applications. It s made me really reflect on what an incredible experience my daughter has had at her Montessori school in Hollywood. Montessori Shir-Hashirim is an amazing school. The Director, Elena, is a gifted educator who speaks several languages and truly understands what it takes to create a calm yet vibrant environment where children can flourish. Unlike other preschools we visited where chaos reigned, when you walk through the door of Shir-Hashirim, you instantly feel a sense of balance. It's a special place where children can focus, learn and thrive. When we drop our daughter off in the morning, we know she is going to have a fun and enriching day of baking fresh bread, rehearsing for a Shakespeare play, learning all of the countries in Africa and taking a yoga class with her friends. Sound magical? It is! I would recommend MSH to any parent who prizes a stimulating, nurturing environment. It has provided our daughter with a foundation for life!
Look no further this is the best pre school in LA. Both my children have flourished in this school. While having fun and gaining some of the best friends they will ever have my children were exposed to a wonderful curriculum. On any given day they will learn about different artists, science, drama, instruments, singing, stories and just having fun. The montessori method works at the child's individual pace. If your child is interested in reading they will learn if they are interested in something else the focus will be on that. Its nice to know that once I drop my child off they will have a truly interesting day ahead of them and will never be bored. This is a very special school there is nothing like it in LA.
We love Shir-Hashirim Montessori for our 3 year old son. He has been attending the school for the past 6 months after being pulled out from another Montessori school that we were unhappy with. We noticed a significant difference in his attitude and development as compared to the old school. He comes home from Shir-Hashirim Montessori very cheery and is always excited to tell us about what he learned from the day. The next morning, he cannot wait to go back!! We are so impressed with what he has learned so far! Some of the classes he has are Dance, Yoga, Drama and Computer. Just last week he was reading words! He also knows his continents and is always counting. Truly amazing. He has learned to bake, garden, etc. etc. There is just so much that Shir-Hashirim Montessori offers! The school itself is very clean, cute, and warm. It's a very intimate and homely feel, yet there's also structure. No clutter or chaos whatsoever which is what you would expect from a pre-school. The times I have picked up my son, the kids have always been well-behaved and quietly working. We are so blessed and lucky to have our son at Shir-Hashirim Montessori!
This school has taught us as much about good parenting as it has taught our daughter to be confident, curious, and adaptive. As a child, I attended a developmental preschool so was unsure what to expect from Montessori, but Shir Hashirim has converted me to an evangelist. I recommend this school without reservation. They will care for and help any child excel; the only "fit" issue to consider is whether the parents are prepared to share educational responsibility with the school - we did and will be forever grateful. My daughter graduated into a top Kindergarten and has remained at the top of her class. In Elena We Trust!