P & J Montessori, like Cherrybrook, was yet another “best kept secret”, uncovered long after I had completed my online research. I found out about it while speaking to a dear secondary school friend of mine, a montessori/right brain/home schooling mummy and educator who had done her due research.
Owner Miss Julie Ong does her own admin, so email replies to enquiries took longer than your usual 12 hours -the expectation in these times.
I also found out that she is the mum of a primary school friend of mine!
Having had the privilege to attend/self-invite to a parent meeting (my sis is very happy with the choice for her older son!), I now know that she is on Whatsapp to her parents as a priority over PR or marketing.
Therefore, costs are completely fair, and quite affordable since there is no marketing team.
At the parent meeting the montessori materials were laid out with instructions for us parents to try out. After all, they needed to show us our kids were not doing the “nothing!” they attest to, when interrogated about their day at school! I kid you not, some of this material was complex, and many of us gave up quickly. We are told that the children are introduced to the material bit by bit and by trained staff.
When I asked Julie what materials would be good for me to have at home for my 14 month old, she said only practical life items, books, and lots of movement!
Exposing them to the material as an untrained but well meaning parent means they bore of it when they come to school and think they know it when actual fact there are deeper dimensions to the activity not explored before, thus, a missed learning opportunity.
She also urged that if I had a stable carers for him, to delay any schooling for as long as possible. This was said with so much care, experience and sincerity.
We had a beautiful parent evening session where lots of parenting and communication pearls were shared. There was a vibrant discussion after as the other parents were lovely, extremely sociable and approachable. There was a mix of locals, returning locals and expatriates.
In summary, P & J are a true home style montessori with longstaying and experienced guides for when you want to home school your child with the montessori philosophy but can’t trust yourself with it completely 😉