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Pro/Con of child starting one semester early - would she be bored by last term?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello again - reality is starting to settle in and I'm thinking long and hard about sending my daughter in January (open slot in 3-5 and she'll be 2y9mo).  One thing that has come up in some readings is that Montessori classrooms are geared such that the typical child can finish all material in 3 years.  That's great - now I'm starting to wonder - if I sent Lindsey in January of this year, what happens at the end of her 5yo year.  If she starts getting bored with "been there, done that" - will a good Montessori teacher find other things for her to do? And what type of material?  Is there anything I can do to help promote a good outcome.  At the end of the story, my goal is that my little one be the best person she can be - whatever that is.  No matter what, I'll love her.

 

We have an assessment next week - I would love suggestions on discussing the pros and cons of enrolling a child early.  My take - she's do great, but what about 3 years down the road and everything is old hat.  The admissions director is going to assign a top notch teacher to do the assessment, but I'd like to be prepared to ask some good relevant questions about the pros and cons of early admission.

 

Thanks again,

Sandra

post #2 of 10

A good montessori will pull 1st grade work in for the kindergarden-age child that is ready for the work...  that being said, they probably have similar "lessons" than the kindies, but just delve into it another step further.

post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbarr_NY View Post

Hello again - reality is starting to settle in and I'm thinking long and hard about sending my daughter in January (open slot in 3-5 and she'll be 2y9mo).  One thing that has come up in some readings is that Montessori classrooms are geared such that the typical child can finish all material in 3 years.  That's great - now I'm starting to wonder - if I sent Lindsey in January of this year, what happens at the end of her 5yo year.  If she starts getting bored with "been there, done that" - will a good Montessori teacher find other things for her to do?


The assumption is wrong.  Students won't go through all the materials.  There are more than enough materials that they will be engaged the whole time. 

 

Nobody is going to go through all the maps AND all the math AND all the language AND ....

 

There will be times of boredom, of course.  If it seems to be becoming a real issue, I've had no problem finding new ways to do the materials to show children that engages them.

post #4 of 10

I have had an overall good experience in starting children earlier than 3 years old.  As long as they are showing some signs of "readiness" such as interest in other children, sociable to adults (not too shy/clingy with parent), using the toilet.  The materials and lessons cover development from the ages of around 2 1/2 to 6 +.   There are more than enough lessons/materials,  as Matt said.  Also, because of the Montessori philosophy of having an open work cycle...the children are repeating certain exercises as part of their work.  For example, some children make 100s of flags, others write stories every day for 3 months straight, still others are busy scrubbing, cooking and decorating.  It's not like once you use the activity, you are done.  These materials are meant to be repeated, practiced and perfected in much the same way that we learn musical instruments.  And, as all the recent research shows, early exposure increases facility in acquiring knowledge. 
Can you observe the classroom she might enter?

Good luck!

post #5 of 10

My older DS went through a lot of the 1st grade materials by the end of his K year.  A lot of the materials can be used for different purposes, and are the same materials used in the elementary classroom.  Your child will not "run out" of work to do if you start her early!

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone - this is very reassuring.  I want the best for Lindsey, so will await the assessment to determine admission for January or September.  Many of the teachers are very seasoned (average of 15 years teaching), all certified and the teacher meeting her is very good as assessments.

 

One thing I find reassuring about the assessment process is that EITHER outcome will be good.  If they accept her now, that is good.  If they determine she's not ready now, that is good (I'll be happy to wait until she is ready).

 

I feel peaceful about that aspect - one of the few times in life where either outcome is good.

 

Now I'm off to hit some garage sales to hopefully find some low shelves!  :)

post #7 of 10

I was very interested in this thread since I am in a similar situation with my daughter possibly starting next Fall at 2yr 9 months.  I hadn't considered the "boredom" factor (she would actually spend 4 years instead of 3 in the 3-6 primary class) but was happy to read the replies that alleviate your fears.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanny2032 View Post

I was very interested in this thread since I am in a similar situation with my daughter possibly starting next Fall at 2yr 9 months.  I hadn't considered the "boredom" factor (she would actually spend 4 years instead of 3 in the 3-6 primary class) but was happy to read the replies that alleviate your fears.



Yup - me too!  DD has a November birthday, which could put her at 2 years 9 months OR 3 years 9 months to start (in a couple of years).  I'll make the final determination later, depending on her personality and development.

post #9 of 10

 

Both my dc started Montessori in January, before their 3rd birthdays.  One has a March b'day and the other late April. It wasn't planned for DS, but a January start date worked out when we needed to make new child care arrangements. It worked out really well for him. So well, that we decided to start DD in January, 3 years later when she reached the same age. Neither of them had any difficulty with boredom as a result of starting a little early. There was always so much for them to do. 

 

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well, my little one went to the school for her assessment (she's already calling it "her school") - when I was getting my visitor badge, my normally shy little girl ran across the hall and tried to join a Lower Elementary class in progress.  She wasn't happy being gently removed.  We redirected her to a nap room to wait for her assessment - and of course, she was not happy about being removed from THAT room since she was enjoying herself.  Finally time for the assessment!  Lindsey kept looking for me - and I ended up being in the corner of the room, keeping a low profile.  She tried several of the activities, spent some time with the teacher, but their final assessment is that Lindsey is a typical 2 1/2 yo, the classroom is a seasoned primary room - with a LOT of material out and they thought she'd be overwhelmed and might get frustrated or feel bad if the other children corrected her.  She also displayed some (age-appropriate) traits typical of (transitional toddler/not yet young child) of holding onto items with two hands rather than handing over with one hand, jumping from task to task.  Nothing wrong with what she was doing - it was very typical of a child her age, just not a good candidate for a seasoned primary class.

 

They usually start the year with an almost empty room in September and as the children start learning, more materials are added - makes perfect sense.  So, she'll join the "freshman" class in September (we're going back in February for another assessment - 3 months is a world of difference at this age) and we'll most likely sign a contract for September.

 

The admissions director referred me to another school with a toddler program, which is full (now I see the angst of people trying to get children into a program with no openings), so we'll practice at home with transitions between activities, putting material away.  Fortunately, I'm not in a rush to enroll her - if the other school gets a toddler opening we'll enroll - otherwise, it's wait until summer programs.  Things all happen for a reason and I do believe that things end up for the best.

 

I feel very good about the entire process - even the recommendation not to admit her in January.  It was clear their objective is to bring in children who are ready and will do well in the classroom and program!  So, she's completely typical for her age, but not a good fit for a smooth well-established class.  :)

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