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Requiring 4 days a week for preschool?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have long been sold on the Montetssori method, and we are looking into a preschool for DD to start in the fall. She will be 2 in May, 28 mo by the time school starts. She is very verbal (speaking in sentences, has been for months), very secure and independent (no problems with me leaving her for a few hours at a time), and in general, I have no doubts she will be ready for preschool by fall.

But I have a question for those who are experienced in Montessori education. The school we are looking at has a requirement of sending the children to school 4 days a week (M-TH) from 9:30-12:30. The hours are fine, but I was initially taken aback at the four days a week thing, as I was sort of thnking we would do 2-3 days a week. But... after speaking with the director, she explained that they find the consistency and predictability of the 4 day schedule to be really beneficial for the children. I could definitely see her point, especailly about having the four days be in a row, rather than having three alternating days in a week (m/w/f or something similar). That also gives them more days of the week IN the classroom than OUT of it and they find the chidlren to thrive under this structure. In theory, I don't disagree that this could be a good thing.

But I'm wondering... is this a standard Montessori practice? What are your experiences with how many days a week your child attends preschool?

We are fairly limited in our shcool choices, as there are only 2 Montessori schools in our town, and the other one is much more difficult to get into. Plus, they are a bit "stuffier" and I didn't feel as much warmth from them as I do from the one we are opting for. There are several other perfectly fine preschools in town that I could send her to for as many days as I choose, but I really don't want to forgo a Montessori education in the name of one day a week difference. Also, she could potentially attend this school through age 9 and I like the idea of her being there from the very beginning. I'm just wondering how normal this 4 day a week requirement is, and I'm curious to know if any of you think it's cause for any sort of concern.
post #2 of 7
Ds will start Montessori in August and they have the same policy. M-Th 8-12. I had been thinking of a 2-3 day a week preschool myself. But, I don't want to send ds to a different preschool just because of this. Actually, before they had this program (an offshoot of the larger Montessori school), even the little kids had to go 5 days a week, all day!

I agree in theory, too, it is just more than I was hoping for, especially since ds at this point, isn't really interested in other children, and has been cared for by my mom for the last 2.5 years. My mom has to go back to work next year, I have to work, so, I think it is our best option. I am worried, but this seems like the best option we have and I am excited for him to start his school.
post #3 of 7
Our M school only offers Monday thru friday and they have 2 programs 8-11:30 and 8-2:30 ... My son (4.5) is in the full day and my DD 2.5 is in the half day. I too agree that the 5 day a week for us seems a little much but I do think they are right. It really does make sense. I am so thrilled with our M school and the staff for the most part. You just have to really believe in the M school and you have to make sure it is right for your child. One thing i like about our school is that the majority of the parents are like minded parents and have similar beliefs ....
post #4 of 7
It's pretty standard with Montessori schools. A lot of them won't even take kids P/T at all. DD (30 months) is starting a Montessori preschool next week, and they agreed to only take her 3 days a week, but it will be 3 full days.
post #5 of 7
Ds is 4, he goes to montessori 5 days a week from 9:15-12:15. Last year he went Tues,Wed,Trs. from 9:00-11:30.

The only 'problem' as I would see it, just from our experience, is even at 3 ds would get very tired with two and a half hours three days a week. I felt he needed those two days to 'give him a break'. But that is just my opinion in our situation. Good luck with whatever you choose, we love montessori!!
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the feedback. It's nice to know that it's fairly standard practice. I am coming around to the idea the more I think about it.

Montessorimom8, thanks for mentioning the tiredness factor. I was only looking it at from a separation standpoint - I hadn't even thought that 4 mornings a week might just be too much activity. DD has a really high energy level and likes to go go go for the most part, but I will keep what you mention in mind.

All in all, we are still leaning heavily towards this school. I really believe in the method. So much so that I seriously considered going into a M teacher training program several years back. And my DH went to M until 4th grade, so he knows first hand how great it is!
post #7 of 7
The Montessori program DS will attend in the fall offers 2 days /3days/5 days either 830-1130 or a 9 hour program. We are sending him 2 mornings a week. That will be plenty for him ( hes 2 and will almost be 3 by fall)
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