I saw this on another thread and wanted to post it here:
|I never thought I'd say this...but I think he might do better in a traditional, public school learning environment than in a Montessori one. He goes to a good Montessori school now, but he hasn't come away from it with a strong foundation in "academic work" as they call it. His teacher has basically told me, in so many words, that when it comes to school work, he has no strong points, and that he is "behind" in all academic areas. I flat out asked if she could name any strengths, and she paused and then said that he's very social. We like the teacher, and she has the reputation of being one of the very best Montessori guides in the city, but I don't know why it is this way. He's a bright kid, but she thinks he's dyslexic or has some type of LD, but we called to get him evaluated and all of the places we have called say he's too young to be tested.
I post all of this because, while I like the Montessori method and will be putting my daughter in the same school, I have heard that it's not for everyone and I never believed them. Now I kind of do. I think he's had a good experience, and it's provided him a nurturing environment, so that's great. But academically, I had higher hopes and this didn't turn out to be the case.
I have seen this before too. I know at least two women who put their son into Montessori and had the same experience - he just was not learning anything. In each case, the child was put in French public kindergarten, and within one week was spelling his name, drawing things instead of just scribbling, singing the alphabet. The mothers then went on and on about how Montessori was "just not for my son". I wonder if this has any truth?
I think in some cases it is the parent who misunderstands Montessori. For example, with respect to art, my understanding is that in a Montessori classroom, a child would not be told what to draw or how to draw a happy face, stick man, etc. but would be left to scribble until he came up with a drawing on his own. And I have read that scribbling is actually GOOD before the age of 6 - the more the better , because it trains for writing, and that telling a child under 6 what and how to draw just stifles imagination. For example, if you show a child how to draw a happy face or a stick man, that is the only thing he will draw from then on until you show him something else. And the child comes out being no better an artist than the child who continues to scribble until a later age.
A parent might think that her child was not really progressing in Montessori because he was not drawing stick men and happy faces and other thing that, in a public school, he would learn how to do. In French public kindergarten, children are told EXACTLY what they must draw during the art time and they are not allowed to deviate!