or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › Montessori › 2.5 year old not doing well
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

2.5 year old not doing well

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

We just had our first unscheduled conference. Our son is attending Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  He's been attending for almost 2 years.

 

My son is the most advanced in his class of 30 toddlers.  He knows his letters, numbers, colors etc better than all the other children according to his teacher.  She said he is 'brilliant'. 

 

However, he seems to want to do his own thing when it comes to activities.  When they are supposed to move on to the next, he throws a fit and won't move on until he's ready.

 

He also won't really nap and likes to do a lot of the activities by himself.  They said he likes to take a toy and go off to a quiet area alone.  He doesn't really 'play' with the other kids.  There are over 30 kids M-T but fewer on Friday.  He apparently does better on Friday with fewer kids.  He often goes and sits on the stool in the bathroom because they have pictures of fish he likes and it's quiet.

 

Also doesn't like to eat when everyone else eats.  Rarely even eats his lunch.

 

I wonder if he's just around adults more and 30 kids is too many for him to handle? 

 

Maybe this is just a phase?  He has been throwing more tantrums lately at home.  The comments on his cards they send home with him every day say, "Trouble following directions" almost every day.

 

 

My feelings are that he's bored and needs to move to the next class but he can't since he's not potty trained yet.

 

I'm not sure what to do, give it some more time or take him to a more traditional daycare.

post #2 of 18

He sounds like he is ready to move up to me also.  If you like the school I would give it the next few months so that he can nail potty training and move up.  

post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHopeMom View Post

 

He also won't really nap and likes to do a lot of the activities by himself.  They said he likes to take a toy and go off to a quiet area alone.  He doesn't really 'play' with the other kids.  There are over 30 kids M-T but fewer on Friday.  He apparently does better on Friday with fewer kidsHe often goes and sits on the stool in the bathroom because they have pictures of fish he likes and it's quiet.

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHopeMom View Post

 

 

Also doesn't like to eat when everyone else eats.  Rarely even eats his lunch.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHopeMom View Post

He has been throwing more tantrums lately at home.  

 

 

 

 

My first thought was that 2 y.o's often parallel play so it isn't unusual that he isn't playing with other children a lot of the time. In addition, if he is cognitively more advanced, he may prefer a different kind of play activity than the other children. If he has been there for 2 years, then I imagine he is among the oldest as well as the most advanced in the toddler room. He just may not be finding many kindred spirits right now. If that's the case, then moving him to another daycare with similar aged classmates may not help. 

 

It may help if the teachers can bring in some of the works from the next class for him to explore, rather than trying to move him up to that class. 

 

 

 

I would find out what kind of tactics they are using when it is time for him to transition from one activity to another. Some children need a lot of help to smooth out transitions. 

 

 

As a final thought, it struck me that the quotes above suggest possible sensitivity or overexcitabilty issues. He may be reacting to stimuli and trying to cope with the intense emotions that arise from the stress. You may want to read about "overexcitabilty and giftedness" and see if any of it sounds familiar. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #4 of 18
Yup. Welcome to the reality of an advanced learner.

There is nothing wrong. Nothing of concern. Just his reality. This took me a long time to figure out.

Two things to keep in mind...he is still just 2.5...be aware that emotionally, socio-developmentally he is still 2.5.
I'm not sure what moving him up means and what ages those are but my concern would be their willingness to deal with this.
He might be delayed in potty training as most boys are (telling you he is advanced) if he was fully potty trained he would be more in the genius range...although this not the only classifier! As an advanced learner he may be delayed in fine motor skills and emotional stuff)

Beware of anyone who isn't qualified that labels your child brilliant. He might be brilliant...he might be a genius...he might be an advanced learner. They may forget his true age and not be sympathetic to his emotional needs or understand what is going on.

Yes he is bored..no moving him up may not help. He still won't be able to regulate himself so it may come out in other ways. Yes it is phase (kinda sorta)I strongly recommend finding a program that understands advanced learners AND has a mixed age room where he is either in the middle or the youngest...if you can swing it, Montessori might help best IMHO. Oh and even more obnoxious there isn't really testing that will help at this age. If I had to venture a guess, the MORE tantrums part is because they are so successful at school he is trying to expand out. Can you video record him at school with audio (and can you see it objectively) to find the triggers? (I did this at home for myself...I found I was transitioning to quickly and between the new baby noises and the music it was sensory overload.) my fear (for both our sons) is that these environments can foster either a hatred for school (husband...tested 155 but is dyslexic) and a constant behavioral disruption (moi tested 148 but did the textbook after school...)

My son is now four but he was like this then too. He always did parallel play, he never liked to interact too much with kids his own age and he absolutely, 100% has to have time alone in a room with no one else for at least an hour and a half sometimes as much as three hours...at 2.
It wasn't until he was 3 or 3.75 that he finally came around BUT what made the difference was playing with older kids. We homeschool (in part because of the issues you listed) so it is natural in our group to have 13 year olds holding a conversation with the preschoolers playing nearby or with them. he became frustrated with not running as fast they could so enrolling him in soccer and gymnastics with kids his age was a relief but not at 2.5.
He had massive fits especially when others told him what he could and couldn't do. I found a timer with lots of warning (15 min, 10, 5, 2) really made a difference.

Oh! I also found emotion cards...like they use with kids with autism...to be amazingly useful. It circumvented MANY issues and made communicating his needs easier. I use the ones that uses real kid faces and comes on a 3 ring binder. If you want I'll find the exact ones.

Did this help? Sorry it's scattered...making dinner.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all of your thoughts!  It's very helpful.

 

The teacher thinks the large class may be an issue for him.  He likes it when fewer kids are around.  So he could be reacting to how loud and chaotic the class is.  We checked out a couple other day care centers today and they have fewer than 15 kids so maybe this would be a better setting for him.

 

When he's not at daycare he's usually just with his mom at home playing quietly.  Sometimes he visits Grandma and Grandpa.  My husband and I have different work schedules so a lot of time is spent with only one parent at home.  We play music and he loves to dance but generally there aren't any other kids around on Monday, Wednesday and the weekend.  Might need to find some play dates.  He's been around adults more than kids so far.  Maybe this has something to do with it?

 

Brilliant may be a strong word coming from the teacher but he's certainly advanced compared to his classmates.

post #6 of 18

A smaller class may help a lot. I would look carefully at the classroom management and philosophy though. I find many "play-based" preschools have a chaotic, frenzied atmosphere even with a smaller number of students. When my dc moved from the calm environment of Montessori casa programs to traditional kindergartens, getting used to the frenetic atmosphere in the classroom was one of their biggest adjustments. It was exhausting for them and they are not particularly sensitive.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Well, yesterday's note said he was "Very destructive today.  Dumped all the contents of the shelves onto the floor". 

 

This school is a Montessori school, not accredited but they follow the method.  I think it's time to move him somewhere else. 

post #8 of 18

NewHopeMom, did you have any success talking to the teachers about any of the suggestions here, e.g. bringing materials from the next class for him? In my daughter's class, this is very common, as is rotating some of the materials so the kids all have something new to work with every 6-8 weeks or so. It does sound like there's more going on than boredom with the work, but he is clearly not getting his needs met and the teachers are probably interested in helping. Also it would be good to ask if he has any friends in the class, as separation from friends can be disturbing for toddlers, and maybe try to keep in touch with those families if you change schools, or just invite them over sometime even if you stay, and help him develop his friendships in a calmer setting.

 

Mamaprovides, that is a great suggestion about the emotion cards, almost all kids could benefit from more explicit work with emotional awareness - I would be very interested in the ones you mentioned with photos, if you have a chance to post the name or a link. Thanks!

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

All his notes this week said he was destructive.  He apparently pushed someone Friday but I would think this is a common thing at this age.

 

I'm not getting a good vibe from the staff.  They seem to be fed up with his behavior.  His class has had three different toddler room head teachers in the last year.  No issues with our son that we know of until recently.  He seemed to be doing so well and he suddenly took a turn.

 

We have toured several other 'traditional' daycare centers and a couple had former staff from our current daycare.  They were not fond of the director.

 

My instincts tell me he needs a new environment.

post #10 of 18
Hello,

I'm sorry he is going through this and I hope you find a better place for him.

Thanks, petitpois...

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Emotions-Flashcards-Visual-Learners/dp/B0019HWUO2

The cards are from natural learning concepts. I really like them. The company is also very receptive and emailed them about an extension pack (to see if they would make one) and also letting them know that is an excellent help to young children as well as those on the spectrum.

I found the use of real kids instead of drawings to be the key.
post #11 of 18

NewHopeMom, it sounds like you are doing a great job scouting and being sensitive to what's going on all around. It doesn't sounds like a problem with the Montessori atmosphere but something about this particular place... too bad, but you are solving it for your son.

 

Mamaprovides, thanks for the details! My daughter has always been attracted (like most babies) to books with photos esp of babies and kids, much more than drawings, and now she's starting to sign (and maybe sort of say, not sure) "happy" and "sad" and "sleepy" thanks to one of her early favorites (http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Talk-Lift---Flap-Book/dp/0756609860). So that's encouraging me to look for more variety, especially with naming emotions. I also noticed another board book called "Lots of feelings" that looked like a good intermediate step for toddlers, although I love how the cards can be used in subgroups, so really appropriate/adaptable for any age. We'll definitely get them! 

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
They have given us 30 days to find a new daycare center. He continues to throw things and empty shelves. A clear sign of needing more attention. He has figured out that causing problems = more attention. They run to him right away when he throws stuff and sometimes take him out of the room. So this is just rewarding his behavior since he likes more attention and probably likes getting out of the room.

He also won't participate in activities. We will be placing him in a more play based center with 10-15 per class rather than 30+. I don't think the Montessori method is working for him. Or this particular center is just unwilling or unable to handle kids who don't fall in line.
post #13 of 18

That is sad since Montessori should not be about kids falling in line, but it sounds like you've learned a lot about your child and his needs from this experience. I hope it doesn't turn you off to Montessori permanently, because it's all about creating an environment that allows each child to do things at the their own pace / in their own way. It sounds like there might be too many kids in that group though... good luck with the new place, keep us posted on how the transition goes! 

post #14 of 18

I hope you're not paying a lot for this pseudo 'Montessori' school. It sounds like your son is not getting the attention or respect he needs and deserves. Follow your instincts, mama and move asap.
 

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Opti-Miss View Post

I hope you're not paying a lot for this pseudo 'Montessori' school. It sounds like your son is not getting the attention or respect he needs and deserves. Follow your instincts, mama and move asap.
 

 

Sadly is was quite expensive. He started at his new daycare on Monday and he's doing ok so far.  Crying at drop-off but in a good mood at pick-up.  He has decided to not sleep very well at night though.  He was a perfect sleeper (8pm-7am).  Now he throws a fit when we put him down and won't calm down unless he knows we are in the room.  He eventually falls asleep around 10pm but has been waking up a 2am.  Lots of screaming and crying.

 

I guess this is related to a change of daycare.

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHopeMom View Post

 

Sadly is was quite expensive. He started at his new daycare on Monday and he's doing ok so far.  Crying at drop-off but in a good mood at pick-up.  He has decided to not sleep very well at night though.  He was a perfect sleeper (8pm-7am).  Now he throws a fit when we put him down and won't calm down unless he knows we are in the room.  He eventually falls asleep around 10pm but has been waking up a 2am.  Lots of screaming and crying.

 

I guess this is related to a change of daycare.


any updates with the new environment? Did his behavior improve in the play based setting?

We have just gave notice to our son's Montessori school and will move him to a play based daycare.

We are just tired of his behavior deteriorating instead of flourishing. On top of this, the staff turnover is really annoying and the head teacher has close to none skills of behavior management.

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
He's doing much better. The class is smaller and the teacher has kids of her own and is a little older and more experienced.

What you describe sounds just like the school we were kicked out of. Lots of turnover and a young inexperienced head teacher. Are you in Minnesota?
post #18 of 18

no, I am not in Minnesota, I am in London. I am glad I made the decision to change, have no regrets, brought my peace of mind back.......... looking forward to see him in the new daycare in a couple of weeks.
 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Montessori
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › Montessori › 2.5 year old not doing well