The Seed Montessori School (TSMS) in Quezon City
From my previous topics about parenting and Philippine Education, I almost divert my blogs purely from those that are not connected with my personal journeys. Although I’ve written a bunch of stories about our child’s growing up years (you know well when a parent gets overjoyed with milestones they chronicle pieces of it) to the point I already get the hang of it and pacify any personal stories. Whilst once in while I received inquiries from parents to give feedback and reviews for The Seed Montessori School (TSMS), mostly came from emails and parenting forums.
To cut the story short, from way back 2013 I was in search for schools for my incoming first Grade child. The factors I considered are the following:
- Method of teaching – previously we came from a progressive preschool and we wanted to get a grade school that offers the same philosophy, not tied up to traditional learning (esp. book-based, idle educators). We even yearn to screen teachers handling our child (of course we can’t do that 100%.) As parents (or is it just me) we have a certain right to evaluate their teaching abilities. I am particularly interested where they get their tutelage. I believe teachers or educators in general has to have the PASSION in teaching and genuine concern for the children, absence of these elements will only prove your into it because of your needs not because of your wants. I’m saying this because for an instance at home, we are the primary teachers of our children from the very beginning. I had taught my child to enjoy read/write/doodle on her toddler years, entering preschool for her was never a problem. We aspire this learning strategy to continue and progress, not hamper by inefficient teachers. I was a former IT staff at Immaculate Conception Academy (ICA Greenhills) and saw how these kids transform into confident young adult. At that time the school’s curriculum was so advanced and how progressive they were, I assess the teachers (and the system) could be that competent they were able produce intelligent/compassionate kids. To conclude the method of teaching and right kind of teacher should go hand in hand to make learning gradual, clever, fun and interactive. “Maria Montessori’s book (1870–1952), The The Montessori Method (1909), she advocated a child-centered approach to education. A system of education for young children that seeks to develop natural interests and activities rather than use formal teaching methods.”
- Proximity – it has to be near the vicinity, and has to have an available school bus service that caters per area only. Our priority is accessibility, we don’t want our student to have that added stress traveling to and from school. Fortunately TSMS is situated around Don Antonio just across our village.
- Set-up – when was the school established, who were the people behind the start-up.
- Credibility – we were keen to know as to who are the founders and from what institution they previously belong. “The Seed Montessori School was founded on October 15, 1988 by Teresa Palma-Bonifacio, Noel P. Morales and Mavis Bonifacio-Morales. It is organized and operated by 3-generation Montessori teachers trained in prestigious Montessori training centers in Italy and the United States under the supervision of Association Montessori International. AMI was organized by Dr. Maria Montessori to advance Montessori education throughout the world. All 3 -generation Montessori teachers descended from a family of educators, amongst them is the illustrious statesman, Dr. Rafael Palma, former President of the University of the Philippines for 10 years. (source: TSMS website)”
- Feedback – I got some information from educators and co-parents, by that time there weren’t feasible feedbacks/reviews available online. Only mentions of school location and contact info.
- Class Ratio – to be specific as parents we don’t like class size reaching 40:1 student-teacher ratio. With TSMS, we started Grade 1 with 36 students (SY 2013-2014). The teachers were saying they did not anticipate the volume that year they should have added another section for first grade (technically they have two sections). By second grade, the sections were divided into three making the ratio 35:1. At this point (SY 2015-2016) first grades have 3 section already.
Back then during the summer of 2013, the schools that I made an ocular visits are:
- UPIS – we didn’t make it from the quota (we were behind by 3 points).
- Holy Spirit – I don’t want to be attached with private all-girls Catholic school, first impression do last (from getting application forms, they charge something for every inquiry made) and some noted that they extort extra fees from time to time (e.g. raffles.) It added to the negative credibility of the church.
- Diliman Preparatory School – the student-teacher ratio is unbelievable, the extortion is also chaotic 🙂
- The Learning Tree – admission were already closed by the time we get there
- Our Lady of Mercy School Quezon City – I don’t want to be attached with private Catholic system of education, but I heard the school’s curriculum is recommendable.
- PWU-JASMS – the proximity is too far, but I heard a lot of positive things about JASMS
- The Raya School – too far and they only have grade school sbut they are very progressive.
- Kinderheim – definitely a turn-off (too small in terms of physical space and community, too dark, ratio is too low).
- The Growing Place – offers preschool only, but they have a spacious playground and tree house! 🙂
- The Seed Montessori School – so far it’s been our choice and we’re sticking to it at the moment.
The Seed Montessori School
Based on our monitoring for the past three academic years of being THERE. 🙂
The school present a balance between academics and non-academic skills. There’s a blend of progressive and traditional orientation. Given that, our child sometimes instill how happy she were at ELC inasmuch as she compared the lesson from ELC they offer a different taste more often, she said there’s no repetition in terms of activities. Now that she’s in third grade, she again uttered, they were taught with a song that ELC taught when they were in preschool days. She can’t avoid comparison, but we hope the school should mapped out more unique activities so children will look at the teaching load with fresh and excitement. But what she liked most beside the school’s honing of self-reliance, good work habits, and leadership, she get to express herself through music, arts, sports, meeting new friends and helping friends. Her study habits are still of the same strategy since we started preschool. She makes homework independently unless if she’s experiencing coping up with new vocabulary and selective questions. She also talks about their teacher’s story telling and how she looks forward to their library schedule and bi-annual book fair.
Some parents preferred small class size, the way I see it, it may be workable on preschool levels to accommodate the attention and specialization between child/teacher relationship. As the child grows they need to work with their social skills given that they should be into bigger community. The hindrance why parents find small class agreeable because of the fear of BULLYING. TSMS stand a voice and is firm against bullying, they even held a anti-bullying seminar for parents last year. Just in time when a parent of a preschooler had a bully classmate and I think they already resolve the issue. The way I see it, there are no bullies, they are misguided or even pushed by parents to go that far (that’s another topic to discussed soon!)
TSMS employs a holistic method in evaluating the development in children, the school offers a trimester academic assessment. Activities range from programs, walk for peace, educational trips, dance presentation, public speaking, sports, music, arts and special projects. Each levels participate in their annual Filipino and English Elocution (to enhance public speaking), Sports Olympics, club (elective) meeting once a week. Club choices ranges from Arts and Craft, Dance/Performing Arts, Cul inary, Sports, Glee, Story Telling, Go Green, Tambourine, Board Games, violin and taekwondo. Both violin and taekwondo incurred extra fees. At the end of school year, recognition awards were given to students who excel in Elocution, Sports, Computer, and Quiz Bee. This kind of set-up is neutral between the significance of academics and developing the child’s skills. The school is Non-Sectarian, religion can still practice their belief through values formation classes. If you want to learn more about TSMS you can visit the school personally through an appointment.
With a little help our child somehow excel in this school being able to get Gold medal in Sports for Balance Beam and Bronze medal for Quiz Bee (both first Grade) and Silver medal (second Grade). These are unexpected accomplishment from her. She went home with a note from her teacher (the usual thing they do as a parent-teacher communication, as I said to her it’s always best not to expect, just always do you best. 🙂
How to get there?
By public transportation
From EDSA Quezon Avenue or North Avenue
Take Commonwealth Avenue
Ride Fairview bound public transport (for FX = PhP20, PUJ’s = PhP13or bus)
Get off at Ever Gotesco Commonwealth/McDonalds, take the foot bridge
Get a pedicab (tricycle) in front of BPI across Ever Gotesco Commonwealth and instruct driver to take you to The Seed Montessori School, inside Don Antonio Heights subdivision. (pedicab rate: PhP25 special rate, Cooperative ride – Php7)
Bring IDs to present to the security guard (just in case).
Ride Quiapo, Baclaran, Ayala or Ever Ikot bound public transport (bus, fx or PUJ’s are available) and get off at Don Antonio
By private transportation
Take Commonwealth Avenue;
Turn at Holy Spirit Drive (between Petron and BPI), across Ever Gotesco Commonwealth;
Turn left at South Gate of Don Antonio Heights subdivision;
Turn right at Don Vicente St. (2nd St. from the guard house)
Turn left at Zuzuarregui St. (2nd St. on your left);
Get off at Zuzuarregui corner Samonte St., across Mormons Church.
From Commonwealth Avenue (Southbound)
Turn right to Zuzuarregui St. (end point at Don Antonio Heights subdivision)
Turn left to Samonte St. (Gate 1 of TSMS)
Quezon City: EARLY LITERACY CLINIC (ELC)
Early Literacy Clinic : Hello World, Here I Come!
2nd Singapore Math Learning Festival Round-up
Quezon City: Progressive Schools and Traditional Schools Directories
Feedbacks for Kinderheim for Incoming Nursery/Kinder
Parenting: Summer Activities For Kids
The Seed Montessori School (offers Preschool/Elementary/High School)
#4 Samonte St., corner Zuzuarregui St.
Don Antonio Heights, Capitol District, Quezon City
[t] 931-1677, 931-1155, 431-6709
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Disclosure: This article is being published based on our (family) observation and experiences from TSMS since 2013 to present. No business relationship involved with any company or organization promoting this event.