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overly focused?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
After months of discussion with my ds's school, it seems he is finally moving toward the upstairs (older) classroom, where I have thought he belonged for a long time. The transition is still in process and I am just keeping my fingers crossed that things continue as well as they have...

He seems much happier about going. I haven't received time-out sheets since he started moving up there. The day I observed (the impetus to them actually moving toward the transition, I think), I saw him work intently and get very interested in the lessons. When he was in the younger room, (2 and 3 year olds, mostly), he was one of a couple 4 year olds (immature 4 yo's). He was getting into trouble, and his teacher told me at conferences that he was not able to hold his concentration on his works (one of their indicators of readiness to move up to the older classroom was to have the ability to focus on works).

I asked the upstairs teacher yesterday whether he was having the behavior difficulties he had a few weeks ago. Her answer was a little confusing, so I'm not sure she understood what I meant. She paused.... and said, "He is very intent on his works. It's to the point that I've thought about trying to redirect him, but I haven't since he's actively engaged and using them appropriately in different ways." I think I understand what she's saying. I know that Montessori lets children interact with works as long as they are actively engaged and learning, and I trust that she is being very vigilant as to whether he is actively engaged and learning and the she will show him different works when necessary. When I asked him about school, he told me that he had only done two works that day. That seemed reasonable.

I know that over-focus on certain activities can be a sign of ADD or OCD, but I think that most every 3 and 4 year old is a little of each of these (not pathologically, just developmentally - kwim?), so I don't worry about those things necessarily. Personally, I kind of think he might just be so overjoyed to have works to do that offer a new level of stimulation. I'm wondering, though, what a Montessori teacher might be looking for or thinking in cases when a child is "overly intent" on his or her works. And what constitutes overly??
post #2 of 6
Sounds to me like he loves the materials. I can spend a long time on materials. I can do them many different ways. And at 30-something years old, it is still worth it.

Don't worry.
post #3 of 6
Glad to hear that things are working out for your ds. I'm sure if he's anything like my ds, he is loving being around the older kids upstairs. I wish mine had a chance to go up and work with the older ones sometimes.

I'm kind of wondering about the overly focused thing too, maybe your ds is just so excited to be around new materials that he is just focusing, I don't think that would be overly focusing. Perhaps the kids that are already in that class kind of take the materials they have for granted since they've been around them for a while now.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reassurance and feedback. I guess I'm not really worried, rather more confused. I see it as a positive that he is concentrating his attention (the very thing they were complaining he couldn't do downstairs, but that I assured them I knew he could do), but she the fact that she mentioned it to me in a not-so-positive way led me to think there is something deeper she's looking at/for... and I don't know what this is. So I'm just curious what she might be thinking about, from a Montessori/early childhood perspective, and how a person could determine a child to be too intent on works.
post #5 of 6
Personally, I'd be annoyed at the phrasing of her sentence and ask for clarification Something simple like please explain, I'm not understanding what you mean.

Sounds to me like she wanted to say something else, and instead couched it in these terms, which made her impressions overly confusing. Clear the air - get a straight answer!
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose-Roget View Post
Personally, I kind of think he might just be so overjoyed to have works to do that offer a new level of stimulation. I'm wondering, though, what a Montessori teacher might be looking for or thinking in cases when a child is "overly intent" on his or her works. And what constitutes overly??
You know your child better than anyone - if you think he's simply so comfortable and ready for this new place, you're probably right. It may also be his coping method for this transition to a new place, even if it is familiar, it's new. Just step back, let your son adjust, enjoy, and have faith in the method. It sounds to me like he was just very ready for this change. If she says something like that again, I suggest you say, "I assume you'd let me know if this is something to be concerned about?"
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