The Kid is switching over to public school from his Montessori preschool/kindergarten at the end of the summer, and (like you do) it's starting to make me nostalgic about all the things I love about Montessori.
Example: using restitution over punishment. A few times over the years, the kids have brought home a toy (like the doll with the newly repaired beard above) or piece of a classroom work with a note that they need to help fix it and return it. It's not done for accidentally broken items, but when something gets damaged more intentionally or carelessly, the child is expected to help make it right.
[Shameless sidetrack: My favorite story of this is actually when the Kid capriciously decided to flush the state of Mississippi--in puzzle piece form--down the toilet. We made him do chores all weekend to pay to replace the puzzle, but I did privately share a laugh with Sweet Husband, "Mississippi! Of all the places!"]
Now, of course, I know that the ability to send things home with those expectations presumes a lot--parents who don't work two jobs and are home in the evenings, a stocked cabinet of art supplies, etc.--but still, it makes so much sense to me. And it really illustrates so much of what I love about the whole Montessori underpinnings--we want these kids to be smart, sure, but we're trying to raise good people here, most of all.
I've been having some good discussions with a friend lately about the pros and cons of public vs. private school. I haven't come to much in the way of conclusions about which is better (civics vs. academics, diversity vs. individual attention, supporting all kids vs. maybe having better for your kid, and on and on and on), but I have firmly decided that, at least, in the realm of possibilities in my area, there are things to love about all of our schools.
In that vein, if you'll indulge me in a small, unscientific poll, just because I'm curious: What do you absolutely love about your kid(s) school?