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Words from Our Parents

We are so blessed with and grateful for the continuous trust and support from all our parents! Due to the limited space, we cannot display all of their heart-warming comments, so here are just a few of them.

You can also read more of our glowing reviews on Yelp and Care.com

I myself am a preschool teacher at a high quality preschool in Menlo Park, and my son is going to be 3 years old soon. I planned to enroll him at the preschool I worked at originally, but after my second child was born, I realized how hard it was to take care of the younger one while keeping the older one busy and happy, especially that my son is super attached to me and often refused other people's care and help. This being said, I got upset at him many times because he constantly wanted my attention while I needed to take care of the younger kid, and afterwards, I would feel guilty and bad about myself for not being patient enough (for moms, I bet you understand the feeling). Anyway, long story short, I eventually decided to send my son to a preschool nearby so I can enjoy my maternity leave and give some good amount of attention to my daughter.

This Montessori school came to my attention from Google search, I believe. I opened the website and looked through everything they had. The website is so formal and organized with valuable information such as their schedule, staff background, teaching philosophy, admission

Ellen Z. 
October 12th, 2023

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process and so on. Everything is so formal and professional that I thought it was a center-based day care in the beginning. I compare this website to the website from my school, and yes, Garden of Joy has impressed me and left me with a great impression about them. I first thought that the owner was a person who knew what she was doing and had put great effort into this school. If you go ahead and check out the website, you will understand.

I then enrolled my son in Garden of Joy, and of course, the first two days, he cried. But after that, his crying just got less and less, which gave me huge comfort. More importantly, everyday when he came home, he would tell me, "Mom, I love going to school." As a preschool teacher and mom, this is like music to the ear because I know he is happy and comfortable, and only a high quality school and good teachers can make it such a wonderful place to go. He has been to school for two months now, and he still tells me often that he loves going to school and loves his teachers. Remember I said my son was super sticky to me? He used to be sooo sticky to me that he would follow me everywhere, including the restroom, wait for me to be ready to eat with him, and refused to play with other children. But now, he has been more open to other children and can play independently for a longer period of time at home. Thanks to the school for all the guidance and practice. My son comes home talking about the other children and fun things they are doing at school and often says that he misses his friends. 

My son's home language is Chinese and some English, but soon after he went to school, he started to try speaking in English more. More than that, since Spanish is such a famous language in California, Garden of Joy even has a Spanish teacher Ms. Margarita, who is also super kind and patient, to teach the children Spanish.

One other big plus to mention is the teacher to kids ratio. At a regular preschool for 3 and above, the ratio is 1:12. Although Garden of Joy has some children under 3, their ratio is still very good. They have 3 full-time staff members, with around 10 kids right now, which makes the ratio 1:3 or 1:4, which is still lower than the mandated ratio. As a teacher, I understand how hard it is to give each and every child a fair amount of attention, but this school does make sure that every child is being watched and well cared for by providing more staff for the kids, and it really makes a difference.

I am a preschool teacher, and before I started working at Menlo Park, I worked at a few schools and had experience at some family day cares. Garden of Joy is for sure the best one I have found so far. I just feel regret for not sending my son to school earlier, or else I would have had a much better rest after my second child's birth.

I am thrilled to write a review for my daughter's Montessori school, as it has been an amazing experience for her. Over the past year, she has absolutely thrived in this environment, thanks to the incredible teachers, Ms. Sierra, Ms. Katherine, and the entire staff.

From the moment we walked into the school, we were greeted with warmth and enthusiasm. The facilities are clean, safe, and inviting, providing the perfect setting for a child to learn and grow. The Montessori method that is followed at this school is truly remarkable. It fosters independence, curiosity, and a love for learning.

My daughter's teacher, Ms. Sierra is exceptional. She has a way of connecting with each child individually, ensuring they feel heard, valued, and supported.

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Cynthia T.
September 7th, 2023

She possesses an excellent balance between warmth and firmness, which truly helps in guiding the children and maintaining discipline. It is evident that Ms. Sierra genuinely cares about the well-being and development of each child. She goes above and beyond to personalize the learning experience for them, ensuring they receive the attention they need to flourish.

Additionally, Ms. Katherine, the assistant teacher, is always there with a smile on her face, ready to assist the children. She is patient, kind, and makes sure that each child feels included and engaged. Both Ms. Sierra and Katherine work exceptionally well as a team, creating a harmonious and loving atmosphere.

Since my daughter started attending this school, I have noticed a tremendous growth in her confidence, independence, and love for learning. She has developed a genuine curiosity about various subjects and has been exposed to a wide range of activities that have enhanced her cognitive and emotional development.

The school also provides an excellent balance between structured learning and creative exploration. The school offers a beautiful outdoor playground, allowing the children to explore and engage in physical activities. They also organize field trips and events to further enrich the children's learning experience.

Overall, I am beyond grateful for our experience at this Montessori school. My daughter's growth and happiness speak volumes about the exceptional care and education she receives. I highly recommend this school to any parent seeking a nurturing, supportive, and stimulating environment for their child's education. Thank you to Ms. Sierra, Ms. Katherine, and the entire staff for creating such a wonderful place for our children to thrive.

Sarah G. 
November 30th, 2022

I am beyond thrilled and grateful that we have found Ms. Sierra and Garden of Joy Montessori.

Our search in the East San Jose area for a nurturing, safe, and compassionate school was extensive and exhaustive.  We toured half a dozen preschools in the East San Jose area, and each time were met with disappointment.

My son had quite a few challenging experiences in a few schools before we found Garden of Joy Montessori (being bitten and bullied at one preschool, and outright neglected at another). As a result, he had been experiencing a bit of social withdraw and apprehension about the school environment. In a very short amount of time with Ms. Sierra, Ms. Katherine, and the rest of the amazing support staff, he has blossomed once again back into the little boy I know. Confident, outgoing, playful, and excited to run to the door every morning and greet his friends and teachers. 

Upon first meeting Ms. Sierra Tan of Garden of Joy Montessori, I was immediately impressed with her extensive knowledge of not only the Montessori method, but also of children. I come from an educational background myself, and was really pleased with how much Ms. Sierra's passion for educating young minds showed through in our initial conversation.

The space the children spend their days in is filled with enriching materials that ensure they are kept busy learning through play and exploration. I love getting photo updates throughout the day of my son engaging with a variety of materials that are geared towards encouraging his own curiosity in the world around him. Planned field trips and outings that include parents and caregivers are an added bonus that lend themselves to the community feel of the school, and are a wonderful way for everyone to get to know each other, and enjoy time observing how the children interact with one another, and their teachers. 

Words cannot express how truly grateful I am to have found Ms. Sierra and all the wonderful teachers at Garden of Joy. Ms. Sierra is completely dedicated to every single one of the children in her care, and it is apparent in her unwavering desire to see them each succeed at their own pace, through love, support, and compassion.

Thank you Ms. Sierra for everything you have done to help my son regain his confidence, reignite his love of learning and exploring, and for being such an integral part of our lives, and an extended member of our family. We are forever grateful for you!

I highly recommend Garden of Joy Montessori International School. My daughter has been in this school for half a year, she has made a great deal of progress and she enjoys school so much so that now and then she would not like to leave when school is over!​​​

Ms. Sierra and her staff have created such a beautiful, loving, and nurturing environment that every child (and parent/guardian) feels comfortable, warmly welcomed, and greatly respected. They love children genuinely and the children love them back. In a way, this school is like an extended family for all families that they are serving.

Ms. Sierra follows the natural development of every child. With the use of Montessori Compass, she and her staff track every child's progress and make lesson plans accordingly. This takes tremendous amount of time and efforts, but they are dedicated to providing guidance that meets each child's individual developmental needs. 

This school has a very rich curriculum, covering Practical Life (including Cooking & Gardening), Sensorial, Language, Math, Art, Music and Movement, P.E., Science, Biology, Zoology, History, and Geography. With the major language being English, they also teach Chinese and Spanish, and children are exposed to different cultures as well. 

I have found this school through the recommendation of my friend. Now, we would also like to recommend it to any family that are looking for quality early childhood education for their little ones.

Michele P.
November 30th, 2021

I have so many things to say that I don't know where to start! I am a VERY protective mom who was anxious and nervous about sending the daughter to preschool for the first time. However, Garden of Joy Montessori International School won me (and my husband) over quickly and allayed all my fears!

Mindy V.
March 22nd, 2021

This month marked one year since our daughter started at Garden of Joy Montessori International School and we could not be more pleased with our decision to send her here. As working parents, we try to be realistic about the amount of time that we have to consistently teach our daughter the skills that she needs to be successful when she enters school. Garden of Joy Montessori International School is the perfect blend of academics, culture appreciation, and socialization. They foster independence, creativity, and a genuine pride in learning in all of their students. Ms. Sierra, the Founder, is completely committed to providing a warm and nurturing environment for children.

Beyond our happiness with the school is our daughter's, which is most important. She cannot wait to leave for school every morning. We are absolutely thrilled to have found an environment that is allowing our daughter to flourish and preparing her for her future education, while at the same time providing her an opportunity to have fun with the friends she has made. We look forward to watching her continued development as she continues her preschool years at this school. We highly recommend Garden of Joy Montessori International School.

Ms. Sierra has been a beacon of hope and comfort for us regarding our child’s education and social skills development. She exudes both professionalism and compassion as a preschool teacher.​​​

She loves all her students, nurturing them in a way a parent would; from providing them with fundamental education in a fun, collaborative, and creative way to giving them healthy meals. In addition to teaching them math and languages (Spanish, English, and Chinese), she is very meticulous about tracking the progress of each of her students.

Anh T.
December 24th, 2021

Since the beginning of the term, she has been working with us to keep us updated on our daughter’s education by sending us reports and pictures daily, via fantastic use of technology. Not only do we feel completely satisfied with having our little one in her care, but our daughter also loves Ms. Sierra too. She cannot wait for school every day – we would say that this is a sign of her being an excellent educator and influence for the future generation.

Ms. Sierra has created an excellent environment which is conducive to learning, but also incorporates fun activities in her program. Even during fun activities, I can see the thoughtfulness that went into planning them to still help teach the kids while they are playing. My daughter enjoys school so much that she want to stay even when the school day is over!​​​

On top of the academic skills taught in the school, the kids learn independence, manners, social skills, problem solving, the list goes on! It's apparent how much Ms. Sierra cares for the kids, but she also knows how to strike a balance of keeping the kids to an organized regimen while ensuring a good amount of playtime.

It is clear how much work and thoughtfulness goes into developing the vast programming at the school. With the quantity also comes a level of high quality in the curriculum. 

I am amazed at how well Ms. Sierra balances all parts of the curriculum while also managing to give personal attention to and keep track of each child's developmental needs in detail. In addition to all this, Ms. Sierra also does a wonderful job balancing the requests of parents with her understanding and willingness to work with the parents. I am very happy to see the progress my daughter

Phi O.
March 22nd, 2021

has made, how her confidence has grown, and seeing her reach more of her full potential.

Yan (Cindy) L.
December 27th, 2020

I have no hesitation to recommend Garden of Joy Montessori International School, which my son has joined since the beginning of July 2020. As a part time helper there, I myself have witnessed how devoted Ms. Sierra is to her school, and what a loving and nurturing environment it is.

Ms. Sierra’s love for children is striking and touching. As such, she has a natural talent to bond with children. Ms. Sierra is also an experienced Montessori teacher, who provides lessons to children based on their individual developmental needs. My son has learned a lot from her and we are very happy with our choice!

GOJMIS is a bona fide five-star choice for parents in the South Bay. Children receive a well-rounded educational program....Ms. Sierra loves her students, and they love her back. The variety of learning materials has children entertained and constantly learning. My daughter cannot wait for the next school day to arrive and anticipate each new experience...

Please check out his detailed and thorough review on our school's Facebook page.

Khoa T. 
August 9th, 2021

Words from a Third-Party Specialist

Ms. Kellie Bohlke 
MA, BCBA
2020 Behavior, LLC
March 5th, 2021

After spending even a short time in Ms. Sierra's program, it is clear the kind of rich learning environment she creates for her students. Not only does Ms. Sierra tailor academic activities to each student's developmental level, but also selects activities that build upon students' unique strengths. In her classroom, students are taught social and emotional skills, as well as functional life skills necessary for the transition to kindergarten and beyond. Ms. Sierra and her staff model compassion, curiosity, encouragement, and a strong work ethic. Her students are lucky to have her! 

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