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Any negative aspect of the Montessori method?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Any aspect of the Montessori method that you disagree with, did not feel the need to apply, or regretted using? (Aside from the cost)

TIA!
post #2 of 30
I personally do not possibly see how floor beds would work for babies and young toddlers! My kids were contained in cribs. Other people use them without problems, but I personally just don't see how it works.

Other than that, I can't really think of anything off the top of my head.
post #3 of 30
I don't avoid imaginative play as much as some Montessori moms do. I let my daughter read books with humanized animals, we pretend things, etc.
post #4 of 30
I went to tour a Montessori school....I didn't understand why it was so bad to have imaginative play either. Each *student* was not able to play with a toy until they showed they could play with it the right way!
post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtoS View Post
I went to tour a Montessori school....I didn't understand why it was so bad to have imaginative play either. Each *student* was not able to play with a toy until they showed they could play with it the right way!
I don't have a problem with it in school; each material has a very specific purpose and teaches a certain skill. So each child must be introduced to the correct way to use the material.

I'm more thinking about those families that choose to go all-Montessori at home. Most kids will have imaginative freedom when they get home from school, but I've seen some Montessori homeschooling families online who embrace the concrete-only aspects of Montessori. That just doesn't work for us -- I don't think I could restrain DD's imagination if I tried!
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenfl View Post
I don't avoid imaginative play as much as some Montessori moms do. I let my daughter read books with humanized animals, we pretend things, etc.
Wow, I can't believe there are families that do that! I don't think that Maria Montessori would have approved of that at all. It seems like a huge twisting of the Montessori philosophy.
post #7 of 30
It's good to read this thread. The lack of imaginative play is my only concern about Montessori, but I assumed we could just do that at home.
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy's Mom View Post
It's good to read this thread. The lack of imaginative play is my only concern about Montessori, but I assumed we could just do that at home.
I've sat in on a few Montessori classrooms, and honestly I don't think that it's missed in the class. There is really an amazing range of works for the children to choose from. Something for every tastes and every mood.

Maybe it doesn't really make sense, but I kid of feel that there's more freedom in the Montessori classrooms that I've visited than in the play-based classrooms that I visited. In the play-based classrooms, the play has a kind of nasty habit of being entirely orchestrated by one or two of the stronger personalities in the classroom. It also tends to be fairly narrowly defined in one way or another: in conventional classrooms there's a whole lot of "you be Belle and I'll be Ariel" and in Waldorf there's a pretty limited range of the sorts of things kids are encouraged to play. By encouraging each child to choose constructive tasks, most (maybe all?) of which have some sort of finished product to work towards, I think that a well run Montessori classrooms engage children, including their imaginations, more than any other sort of classroom I've seen.
post #9 of 30
This may seem like a silly question, but what exactly does the teacher do if a child starts to play pretend? Also, how do they 'deal' (for lack of a better word) with a child who starts to attend school and loves to play pretend?

I'm not too familiar with that particular aspect of Montessori, so forgive my ignorance.
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoonasasi View Post
This may seem like a silly question, but what exactly does the teacher do if a child starts to play pretend? Also, how do they 'deal' (for lack of a better word) with a child who starts to attend school and loves to play pretend?

I'm not too familiar with that particular aspect of Montessori, so forgive my ignorance.
I think it really depends on the school, and also on the situation.

I think that treating the materials with respect is strongly enforced at most Montessori schools. And I think that a lot of pretend play with the materials is not respectful with them: stacking things up so that they can be knocked down, swinging the glass pitchers around as part of a game. I think that most schools would not allow the materials to be treated roughly.

Some schools are more strict about pretend play than others. At most, so long as you're being respectful of the materials and using them in the proper way, I don't think that the teacher cares if you're pretending to build a skyscraper with the Pink Tower or pretending that you're preparing arranged flowers for the ball at the castle. I'm sure there are some really extreme Montessori teachers who wouldn't ever allow that sort of thing.

In all the Montessori classrooms that I've been in, the teachers have used redirection and talking things out. A good directress is a guide, and I think the right way for them to handle a bored or distracted child is for them to make suggestions for more productive things to do, and to really work with them to find something that fits their current mood.
post #11 of 30
I asked questions about Montessori for 3-6 year olds in this thread: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...les+montessori

It includes my experience watching a teacher re-direct a child who began to play imaginatively with classroom materials.
post #12 of 30
Thank you both.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
Wow, I can't believe there are families that do that! I don't think that Maria Montessori would have approved of that at all. It seems like a huge twisting of the Montessori philosophy.
I don't think that Maria Montessori would approve either. My DDs go to a very traditional Montessori school and they are allowed to play with materials in ways other than the intended way. I've seen kids take the pink tower, the stairs, and rods and build something fantastical out of them with nary a word from a teacher. Again, this is a *very* traditional Montessori school.
post #14 of 30
I have found that even in Montessori a child can *fall behind* in certain subjects, as is often a problem in traditional public school settings.

My child is older and I have noticed that she is doing well in some areas,and VERY lacking in others. While many M students may excel beyond public school peers I doubt my child is one of them.

Also,while I liked independent work to some degree I would prefer more teacher involvement.It seems like the children are teaching themselves and each other while the teachers just guide/observe. I would like to see more teacher teaching.

I really don''t like that my child has to sign up for lessons from the teacher,and then gets an attitude if she does not learn something in one lesson. Seems like we are paying for my child to teach herself when we could do that for free at home.

For a child who gets everything and is more driven this type of school setting would be ideal.It turns out to not be the best fit for my child.
post #15 of 30
I remember the imaginative play dilemma when I had Montessori briefly as a kid, too. Also, the whole early weaning thing *really* bugs me.

mattemma04-what subjects is she lacking?
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
I remember the imaginative play dilemma when I had Montessori briefly as a kid, too. Also, the whole early weaning thing *really* bugs me.

mattemma04-what subjects is she lacking?
The early weaning thing is really not Montessori, at least not at our school. I think that one book about baby Montessori or whatever is just weird.

Anyways, we have no imaginative play dilemma. My son comes home with tales of imaginary play daily. But he also separates that from his other time doing activities.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
I remember the imaginative play dilemma when I had Montessori briefly as a kid, too. Also, the whole early weaning thing *really* bugs me.

mattemma04-what subjects is she lacking?
I think the early weaning this is more a product of the times that the books in question were written during. To my knowledge, Maria Montessori never said anything about early weaning: that was part of the Montessori revival of the 1960s, when breastfeeding was looked down upon in the US in general. Waldorf also technically insists on early weaning (and some Waldorf communities still take it very seriously). However, I think that the types of parents who both of these philosophies tend to attract do not follow the early weaning thing.
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
I think the early weaning this is more a product of the times that the books in question were written during. To my knowledge, Maria Montessori never said anything about early weaning: that was part of the Montessori revival of the 1960s, when breastfeeding was looked down upon in the US in general. Waldorf also technically insists on early weaning (and some Waldorf communities still take it very seriously). However, I think that the types of parents who both of these philosophies tend to attract do not follow the early weaning thing.
Oh, I agree. It just is irritating to see it in writing in otherwise very wise books. And yes, it irritates me about Waldorf, as well.
post #19 of 30
Maria thought the child should stay with the mother for the first two years.

Botheration. I just read a blog that had a ton of quotes from Maria about the awesomeness of cultures who did baby wearing and kept the baby close and now I can't find it.
post #20 of 30
Okay, can I ask why imagination is discouraged? I never really understood that. I was going to register my daughter in Montessori. Just going on the tour made me nervous and uncomfortable. Kind of like going to your grandmother's house as a kid and she had alot of cool china etc but you couldn't touch anything. I just couldn't imagine my daughter being there all day learning how to use cleaning cloths and folding laundry.
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