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Fed up with our Montessori school

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Long vent ... sorry.

Evidently this is not a match. I've absolutely had it with my 3.5yo's behavior after he attends his Montessori school. His attitude is saucy and rude. He is hyper and wound up and refuses to listen. It takes me 2 days to get him back, "normal" after he's had 3 half-days of school.

Also, I feel like I'm being cheated by the classroom hours. We were told school was from 8:30 to 12:30 and full day students stay for nap time and then afternoon session. Well, I drop him off at about 8:20 and there are hardly any students signed in. So I've started to wait around and see what time they show up, 8:35, 8:45. That is an interuption of school hours, and nobody seems to care! Then there lunch time is at 11:30 which means nap time starts at 12. So I started picking him up at 12:00 instead of 12:30.

The kicker ... last Thursday I asked about what time lunch started because I wanted to pick him up at lunch time so that I could take him to lunch with a family friend who was coming to town. It was a very special thing. I arrived a few minutes before 11:30 and he was sat a table by himself and then everyone else was already eating lunch. I never said a word, but the mama bear in me was going nuts. First I was early, not late and secondly, they should have held off and why did he get segragated?

The teachers rave about how good he is, how much they enjoy him. And on a few occasions they've told me he had not been listening on a particular day. So I feel like I'm getting honest feed back when he is both good and bad.

But really this attitude of his is not worth it. So I'm 99% sure I'm pulling him at the end of the month and we'll try a different type of school in the fall. The other Montessori in town is even more expensive than this one and I feel like we are already paying too much considering what I've mentioned above.

I'm all for the children learning from the older kids and indepedent thinkers, but this is not what I had in mind!
post #2 of 12
Yeah, I'd leave unless they can do some major work to show more responsibility. Maybe not even wait to the end of the month.
If they're that lax about their stated schedule, then how good are they at making sure that kids aren't frustrated with the materials they're using and at introducing new materials as the children are ready.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I had a good talk with the directoress yesteday. She's floored at the behavior I described by him. She says he exhibits none of that at schoo. She did say he was a tad disruptive yesterday so he was made to sit with the teacher, but she clamied it was not normal behavior and it was easily fixed and the rest of the day went well.

She suggested we go 5 days. She offered to do it free of charge. But I think I'm going to hold off doing that. We will see if things improve this coming week or not. If they don't, than it will be his last week till the fall.

She said she thinks he may be frustrated as there are more 4 1/2 yo boys than 3 1/2 yo boys and that our son gets left out a bit by the boys and ends up having to play with the girls during their outdoor free time. He's just a tad smaller than those boys so he can't do the monkey bars.

She did mention he gets frustrated easily. Which I notice at home. So I really leaning towards letting him mature the rest of the year at home and trying thing again in the fall.

Thanks for letting me vent here!
post #4 of 12
Just wondering, because I'm thinking of enrolling my already-saucy 3.5 year old girl in a "real" Montessori school (vs. "Montessori-inspired, which is what she was doing before we moved), what is it about Montessori do you think inspires these behaviors? Because the last thing we need here is more sass.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
Just wondering, because I'm thinking of enrolling my already-saucy 3.5 year old girl in a "real" Montessori school (vs. "Montessori-inspired, which is what she was doing before we moved), what is it about Montessori do you think inspires these behaviors? Because the last thing we need here is more sass.
I don't think the Montessori philosphy does inspire this. I think this particular school that my son is enolled in my not address it enough or, may not notice it enough. I'm not 100% sure. I know the first Montessori school he was enrolled in it was addressed. But I was also around those teachers more than I am this one. This school claims they see none of that with my son. They think he is acting out over something. (I agree) What, we are not sure. We suspect it is the lack of boys to play with, he feels left out.

I think the Montessori program is awesome, but this school may not be a match for us. Still treading water here trying to figure it out.
post #6 of 12
I see, so it's more a school-specific issue. I came from the main page so I didn't quite get the whole background. Thanks.

Good luck with your decision!
post #7 of 12
Before you pull him out, I personally would suggest taking the Director up on the 5 days a week option as the consistency can really help.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koloe View Post
Before you pull him out, I personally would suggest taking the Director up on the 5 days a week option as the consistency can really help.
If school is the source of the problem, why would I extend his time there?
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeannaK View Post

She suggested we go 5 days. She offered to do it free of charge. But I think I'm going to hold off doing that. We will see if things improve this coming week or not. If they don't, than it will be his last week till the fall.
I would consider this as well. Sometimes it's the TRANSITION that is the most challenging- We have the hardest time going to class on Mondays, because he's been home all weekend. The consistent 5 days a week might helps him get into the groove more and feel more a part of the community there.

I'm certain that my son is more challenging at home than at school. He's 3.5, too- it's a hard age to get the friendship/socializing thing figured out! Sometimes when I pick him up he's grumpy and I have to be really extra patient and loving. I think kids often relax and show their feelings more at home than at school. You're a safe person that he knows he can relax with.

OH! One thing that really helped us was letting him be more in control at home. Some of the "sassy" behavior might be due to him being younger than some of the boys, and/or not getting to have much say in the play he has with the other kids. For my son it was during outside play, they would play "good guy/bad guy" and Max always had to be the bad guy. When we came home we would make a point of playing this same game, and letting him make the rules and be the good guy. We also did a lot of play inspired by Playful Parenting (Book by Lawrence Cohen) such as wrestling, and other physical contact play.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ell-Bell View Post
Some of the "sassy" behavior might be due to him being younger than some of the boys, and/or not getting to have much say in the play he has with the other kids. For my son it was during outside play, they would play "good guy/bad guy" and Max always had to be the bad guy. When we came home we would make a point of playing this same game, and letting him make the rules and be the good guy. We also did a lot of play inspired by Playful Parenting (Book by Lawrence Cohen) such as wrestling, and other physical contact play.
Yes! I think that is the bulk of the issue. He is frustrated by the older boys not playing with him. He's in the middle zone. I'll look into that book also. I guess we will consider going 5 days, just seems that since he is frustrated while he is there it is counter productive to expose him to some place he may not be mature enough for.
post #11 of 12
Just a thought.... My DD came home from Montessori all kinds of wound-up too. I realized it wasn't a behavioral problem necessarily. She was so quiet and used so much concentration working while in school that she just had to get rid of all that pent up physical energy. (her school did not have a recess and usually very little time outside at all, it was a preschool) I tried taking her to parks on walks or something similarly physical when she got home, that solved it for us.

HTH
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input. I think that is part of the problem. Mostly I think he's tired! He's mentally tired, but physically he's wound up. So the new routine is to have him play outside with the dogs, then straight to nap. Part of me feels like I'm cheating, because I'm distancing myself from him by shoving him outside and then to nap, but it seems to be working. As long as we aren't fighting and having conflicts than it's good ... right?

We had his parent teacher conference last week. He's doing okay. Frankly, I've decided not to worry about how he does there. He's only 3 1/2 and as long as he likes it I don't care how much he learns this year. He's only there 3 1/2 hours, 3 days a week. There is no need to pressure him at this point!
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