The Montessori method allows kids to self-guide. I have see how the teachers help kids who have unique challenges. That said, the school does not appear to have any children with learning disabilities.
All of the reviews about Children's House are true - It can be a wonderful experience where children grow, learn and flourish! I have two children there and I have seen the light of learning fill them from head to toe! I am very impressed with the teachers - from how well they "know" my child (they really do get to know each kid quite well) to how well they run the classroom (my mother - a former public school teacher with a very strong negative opinion of Montessori, was SHOCKED to see how well two teachers could manage 20+ kids.).
THAT SAID, the negative is also true. There is an attitude across the school's leadership that attending this school is almost an "honor." Like most private schools, the air of privilege is strong. This school is a feeder for the elite private schools in the area and very few kids move on to public schools.
And, for working families, there is little accommodations. They might alert you three weeks before they make a change to the schedule that leaves you scrambling to find daycare. You have to pay extra for daycare on the days they close for parent conferences (tuition does not cover that.) They close the first friday in December to prepare for the annual fundraiser (which does have personal shoppers, as one rater noted, but that is also because most 3 and 4 year olds need a bit of help). Communication from the school is erratic and often late. Anne, the school's leader, is much better with kids than parents (I have seen her be so kind to my child it made me cry, but I have also seen her be ice cold to parents. She is no nonsense). The school offers great teachers, but could use a BIG improvement in the areas of communication and understanding the challenges of working parents.
Fabulous place to work! Wonderfully supportive parent population! Intelligent, effective board! Focus is "the child". How does everything that I, a faculty member, do, benefit the child into becoming a joyful, lifelong learner who respects others.
Children's House is a wonderful school. I have three children and two attended Children's House. They both stayed for their kindergarten year. My son has a late August birthday and attended kindergarten at his next school and my daughter went to first grade after she left. Both were well prepared. The best thing about Children's House is the experience and excellent direction given by the administration, teachers and the parent board. Their teachers have worked at Children's House for years, you won't find that at other Nashville preschools.
Children's House is fabulous! The faculty is superb, experienced and exceptionally caring. Teachers truly understand my children's needs and work hard to individualize their learning opportunities. My children have learned more than I ever imagined possible in preschool! I particularly appreciate the mixed ages in the classrooms and the fact that children stay with their teachers in the same class during their time at the school. My kids can't wait to get to school each day and love their teachers. The administrators act professionally and fairly. They listen and offer support and guidance whenever I have needed it. My husband and I are welcome in the classroom and have many. many opportunities to volunteer and stay involved. I really appreciate that the school makes an effort to be inclusive of all families. An annual fundraising event for parents and adult friends helps to fund the school's tuition assistance program. This is a wonderful school. Check it out
I have to agree with the previous post. The teacher to student ratio is terrible. It is a cold environment. Although most kids will do fine here, I bet these are the same kids that would have done fine at a lot of places. If your kid ends up needing a little extra attention or guidance, they are not able to provide that.
A Montessori curriculum is hard to screw up and the teachers are long-serving and mostly good, but the atmosphere, the administration, and community make CH an emperor in new clothes. The student/teacher ratio is unconscionable for a preschool. There are 25 kids and 2 adults in each classroom. The Montessori method is quite regimented so it may be possible to meet successfully the needs of 25 children with 2 teachers, but they're not doing it at CH. When I asked for my child to be given more direction, I was told, "With 25 kids it's hard. You know, the squeaky wheel gets the grease." In other words, the disruptive children are the ones getting most of the attention. Fine, get some more trained teachers into that classroom. As a bonus, the teachers perhaps would be less stressed and a little more loving. The head of school is cold, socially inept, bad with children, and sycophantic with the parents. Which leads to those parents. If you aren't repulsed by fundraisers with cigar & brandy tastings, a holiday bazaar with mimosas for the parents and "personal shoppers" (I'm not kidding) for the children, then CH is your place. It's the hip and rich preschool with no soul.
Best place imaginable for growing young minds! I couldn't imagine sending my children anywhere else. My son has been able to expand his abilities in every direction he has wanted and at his own speed - whether fast or slow.