Taipei Short-Term Elementary School

Taipei short-term elementary school Montessori school

Every winter, my kids and I head to Taipei to visit family and learn Mandarin. My kids were signed up for a public school program this past trip. I worried about their transition into a Taiwanese public school since they tend to be more strict than schools in the US. Serendipitously, the program got canceled at the last minute, leading us to find another Taipei Short-Term elementary school — a newly opened Montessori program that was a better fit for my kids.

When my kids were younger I found a preschool that allowed short-term enrollment. As they’ve reached elementary school age, there are very few programs, especially when our US school holiday doesn’t align with the Taiwanese school holidays. If you are planning a trip to Taiwan during the Lunar New Year holiday or Summer break, I have an extensive list of camps for kids.

This for-profit school is certified by the Taiwan Ministry of Education and accredited as a Montessori institution.

If you’re curious about this Montessori elementary school, keep reading to learn about our firsthand experience. I’ll cover common questions other parents have asked. This post is not sponsored by the school, nor do I earn a commission. Everything I’ve shared in this article is based on the time my children were enrolled at the school from December 2023 to January 2024.

Progressive Montessori Learning Space

The school is located on the second floor of a university’s industrial design department. The floor plan is divided by glass walls for a modern open-air feel. Student work is on display, contributing to an inspiring atmosphere for anyone visiting the school.

High-tech 3D printed models created by the university students
Modern open social or learning space

Small Class Size

During my children’s time at the school, there were 6 full-time students with up to 4 short-term students. My son struggles in larger groups; his California class has almost 30 students, and he feels withdrawn and found it hard to make friends. He often said he didn’t want to go to school. Transitioning him to this Montessori school worried me, but he felt comfortable right away. The teacher noted that he was talkative, participated in all the activities, and quickly connected with the other students. He truly thrived in this environment. After the first day, he ran to me at pick-up to share how much he enjoyed his day. I was almost moved to tears!

姊姊 (big sister) helping my daughter through a classroom assignment

Mixed-age Classroom

Student ages ranged from 6 to 11, with certification extending up to age 13. This arrangement allowed my children to be in the same class. Another benefit is that a mixed-age environment fosters leadership skills. Students are encouraged to seek assistance from classmates before turning to the teacher, promoting teamwork, self-learning, and problem-solving—the cornerstones of Montessori education. My daughter became a more confident and independent learner in the 3 weeks she attended this Taipei Short-Term Elementary School.

Classroom during a lesson about dinosaurs

Homework Policy

Parents have the option to decide whether their children will receive homework and the amount they’ll receive. As my kids were short-term students, I chose to opt out of homework due to our packed schedule with numerous extracurricular activities and family events during our limited time at the school.

Curriculum and activities

Music Arts

In the afternoons, students participate in singing and piano lessons in the music room. Additionally, they venture off-campus weekly for tap dancing classes and outdoor taiko drumming sessions at a nearby park, providing them with musical experiences and more time enjoying the outdoors.

Piano lessons
Learning Taiko drumming outdoors

Language Arts

The head teacher obtained her Montessori accreditation in Australia and is fluent in Mandarin, Taiwanese, and English. The primary language of instruction is Mandarin. Since our goal is to improve Mandarin, my kids focused on Chinese during the English lessons. They even learned how to use a Chinese dictionary. Chinese lessons were customized to match my children’s different proficiency levels.

For those focused on learning Mandarin, I would avoid peak travel periods like Christmas and summer breaks, when other English-speaking visitors are more likely to enroll. Despite efforts to maintain Mandarin immersion, a visiting student who spoke only English gravitated toward my son, leading to more English usage. The teacher took notice and separated the two, but with such a small group, it’s challenging to limit interaction.

English is also incorporated into the curriculum. From my observation, the students demonstrate proficiency in understanding English and read at a higher level than their peers in the US. My daughter also enjoyed learning cursive, something she had not learned from her school in California.

Learning Traditional Chinese Characters from their favorite books
Learning how to use a Chinese dictionary
Cursive writing practice

Montessori Math

After just a few days at this school, my daughter exclaimed, “I actually understand this kind of math!” Back in California, her school teaches the Common Core curriculum, which many parents find frustrating. We’ve joked about needing to watch online videos to help our children with 2nd-grade Common Core math. My daughter’s math skills improved substantially at this Taipei Short-Term Elementary School. The school provides various Montessori math manipulatives to help them complete their math assignments.

Hands-on Science

There are many opportunities for hands-on science fun, from learning how to use a microscope to discovering the organs within a human body. Additionally, students receive an introduction to engineering through the CIO Maker School, a third-party STEAM program. This program conducts engaging hands-on projects at the school, where students construct wooden models. CIO is one of my children’s favorite part of their school experience.

Using a microscope to study organic matter
Learning about the organs in the human body
A teacher from CIO Maker School assisting with a project
Intro to Engineering with CIO Maker School

Physical Education

The school day includes ample exercise opportunities. Once a week, the students decide what activity they do on physical education days — basketball, tennis, or running laps. On Fridays, the entire class walks to the sports center for their weekly swim lesson. During the week, students also walk to their dance and drum lessons.

Morning Basketball
Group swim class at the sports center

Field Trips

Once a week the class goes on an off-campus adventure. My kids were excited about taking a chartered bus to Keelung to visit the Marine Science Museum. Another memorable trip took them to the Taipei Zoo, where they immersed themselves in wildlife encounters. The school organizes diverse field trips within and outside Taipei city, and even ventures overseas! It’s worth noting that there are no field trips during exam weeks, ensuring students can focus on their studies during these periods.

A field trip to the Taipei Zoo

Location, Schedule, and Tuition

Location

Located in Taipei’s Zhongshan District, the school is just an 8-minute walk from the nearest MRT station, with several public buses stopping directly at the school gate.

School Schedule

The school day runs from 8 am to 3 pm. Students have lunch but no snack time. There is no designated nap time. Physical education is scheduled for Monday mornings, while Thursdays are dedicated to off-campus excursions. On Friday afternoons, the class walks 15 minutes to a nearby sports center for group swim lessons. During the week, the class also walks 10 minutes to a nearby park for taiko drum lessons and takes the MRT for dance class.

Tuition

The cost of tuition for short-term enrollment is NT 15,000 per week. This is approximately $475 USD. Please note that this tuition pricing is subject to change by the school. Tuition includes all supplies, daily lunch, and field trips.

Enrollment Process

Use this link to contact the teacher via LINE APP and mention that you learned about her school from my blog. LINE is an app that is widely used in Taiwan. Almost every business uses LINE to connect with its audience. I also use LINE in Taiwan to make free calls to my relatives and friends and have never needed to get a travel SIM card.

In a small group environment, the class functions like a family and the teacher must assess if your expectations align with the school’s philosophy and current students. If you’re in Taipei, you can also arrange a visit to the school.

Available remaining dates for summer 2024

At this time there are no consecutive weeks.

  • May 13-17
  • May 27-31
  • June 3-7
  • June 17-21

Summary of Our Experience at This Taipei Short-Term Elementary School

I was impressed by how the school fosters peer-to-peer learning, problem-solving, and collaboration among classmates. Teachers offer a variety of learning experiences to accommodate different learning styles. Additionally, students learn to take responsibility for their actions and decisions.

On our way to class, we often see the university and high school students sweeping the campus grounds. My kids mentioned that they also have responsibilities such as sweeping the classroom, washing dishes, and other duties. This experience taught them the importance of everyone contributing to the group’s functioning. They are now more willing to help out at home. No more complaining about unloading the dishwasher!

A child who normally complains about school, my son enjoyed every day at this Montessori elementary. I plan to enroll my children again next year and every future visit to Taiwan.

This post isn’t sponsored, and I’m not earning any commission. Everything I’ve shared in this article is purely my own opinion.

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