DS is four and has been attending a local M preschool for a year and a half. Mostly it's fine. I have known all along that it's not purely a Montessori curriculum, but he's been mostly happy and I'm picking my battles.
In the past couple of weeks, he's been grumbling more about school and the teachers have been pulling me aside to mention listening issues and him not wanting to do his work. He's been not listening much at home either so I wasn't too surprised. But yesterday, I got a new view into the problem. Several times, DS has said he doesn't want to do tracing. Yesterday, his teacher showed me a tracing worksheet as an example of him not doing his work. He'd done about a quarter of it. I asked "is this bad?" and she informed me that they're supposed to do one tracing sheet in the morning and one in the afternoon. It's a double-sided sheet with tight rows of letters and numbers filling both sides.
Ok, if I had to do that twice a day I'd be grumbling too!! I tried to make sure DS didn't see my reaction. The last thing we need is him feeding off my negative reaction to his school work. I talked to DS a bit about it and he reeeeeally wants to do workbooks like the older kids at the same time. But a quick chat with the teacher informed me that workbooks are for kids that are closer to writing.
Now, I can get him a workbook to do at home if that's what he wants. I may even be able to get the teachers to let him do it at school if I pushed it. But...isn't the core of Montessori that the learning is child-led? They get to do lessons, but then decide what work to do?
I don't want to be "that mom". I think he should learn to do not-fun assignments. But at the same time, he's four---a year and a half from regular kindergarten. He's very bright and learns instantly if he's engaged. But he's also stubborn and pissed off about the tracing issues, and is feeding off the teachers' frustrations.
There's another school down the road a bit that has a more traditional curriculum--though I'm not sure I can afford it. I didn't look at it before, though I should have. I also don't want to set a precedent of yanking him when something doesn't go our way.
So...we're working on the listening. We talked about doing the tracing so he can get good enough to do the workbooks. I'm going to let him get a workbook this weekend. But...does the twice daily big tracing assignments sound normal? Yes, his beginning handwriting is beautiful, but his temperment and mine are pretty similar, and I know that as soon as schoolwork seemed pointless, I quit trying. Keep me engaged and I'd learn years beyond my grade level. He's the same way.
Any advice, suggestions, "hang in there"s, etc would be highly welcome.
Anyone come out with that handbook for parents yet??? ;)