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Anyone have a child who didn't like Montessori? - Page 2

post #21 of 31
I don't know where everyone gets this idea that Montessori and imaginative play are incompatible. I think the difference between Montessori and other pre-schools is that imaginative play is not prescribed. We don't teach the children to play imaginatively, because it's not something that needs to be taught. We don't tell the children to play because it's about following the child.

It's not that imaginative play is prohibited. If I see my kids building "hospitals" and "train tracks" out of the brown stairs, or saying to each other "you be the baby and I'll be the mummy" while they do up each other's buttons, or writing about "ferees" (their spelling) with the movable alpabet, I rip the materials out of their little hands and thunder: "No imaginative play here!"

People just have a really narrow view of what imagination is about. It's the difference between giving a child a silk to play with or a fireman's costume. One is open to his own imaginative interpretation. The other one is for pretending to be a fireman. People are too hung up on what children should play and what play looks like. Like pretending to be superman requires imagination, but developing the social awareness to say: "Excuse me, please" to someone doesn't. When in fact the former is just a firing of mirror neurons copying what they saw on TV, and the latter actually requires a skillful application of imaginative power, in that you must imagine another person's feelings in order to successfully navigate your way through a crowded space.

In fact, Montessorians use imaginative play all the time. Hello? Grace and Courtesy demonstrations? Not to mention the various games I play all the time with my children, which have at their root an understanding of whatever material is to hand, but are in fact full of imaginative undertakings.

I've heard it said that Montessori is for every child, but not for every parent. And, having set the cat among the pigeons, I think I'll end there.
post #22 of 31
My son started in Montessori in the fall, but we pulled him and went to a coop preschool. His behavior was like night and day. He does better with individual, unstructured play and he didn't understand the rigid structure involved in Montessori.
Primarily I think the issue was more of a personality one with the head teacher....but he definitely rebelled against some of the structure to the point where he refused to do ANYTHING.
He is thriving and doing fantastic in the coop preschool, so each child has different needs.
post #23 of 31
this has been a great thread to read...Thanks!

We are deciding if we want to send our twin girls to a charter Montessori school or a charter Reggio Emilia school and I am so conflicted about which one.

Some of my main concerns are addressed here so I now have some better questions to ask.

Kristin
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBronsil View Post
I think if people feel trapped in freedom, that is an unusual situation that I can't really understand.
Imagine that you have hours of free time, but there is nothing that you want to do. You don't want to scoop beads or stack pink towers or line up red and blue rods. You want to play babies with your friends. You want to dress up and be a princess or a pirate. You cannot see anything in the classroom you want to "choose", except for snack. It is boring, mind-numbing, and for a 3-year-old, not something to look forward to. Sorry, but this is what I believe my 3-year-old felt in the M classroom.
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by squimp View Post
Imagine that you have hours of free time, but there is nothing that you want to do. You don't want to scoop beads or stack pink towers or line up red and blue rods. You want to play babies with your friends. You want to dress up and be a princess or a pirate. You cannot see anything in the classroom you want to "choose", except for snack. It is boring, mind-numbing, and for a 3-year-old, not something to look forward to. Sorry, but this is what I believe my 3-year-old felt in the M classroom.
Fair enough.
post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by squimp View Post
Imagine that you have hours of free time, but there is nothing that you want to do. You don't want to scoop beads or stack pink towers or line up red and blue rods. You want to play babies with your friends. You want to dress up and be a princess or a pirate. You cannot see anything in the classroom you want to "choose", except for snack. It is boring, mind-numbing, and for a 3-year-old, not something to look forward to. Sorry, but this is what I believe my 3-year-old felt in the M classroom.
I think this is a very valid point and I've heard other parents say similar things and thus chose a play based preschool for their child. There are a lot of great play based preschools out there and I'm a huge fan of the Reggio schools in our area. I have 3 girls that love, love, love their baby dolls. They play with them all the time. They have Barbie's and Littlest Pet Shop pets. They have balls, jump ropes, art supplies, and an outside swingset. We have puzzles, books, board games, a play kitchen, and Little People playsets. Lego's, Tinkertoys, Lincoln Logs, dress up clothes, and Matchbox cars. When deciding on a preschool, I wanted them to be able to go to school and be exposed to a different environment than what we did at home. I wanted them to learn without it being a little jr. professor academy where they were given worksheet after worksheet and forced to memorize math facts. I wanted it to be a beautiful, peaceful environment where respect and peace was the main philosophy.

In September, dd1's head teacher was out for about 3 weeks and I got reports from the co-director, who was filling in, that dd literally would pick ONE job and sit with it for 90 minutes while looking bored and observing the other children. She would walk around and look at jobs on the shelf without picking them. I was horribly concerned and the co-director said that when a child "look bored" they will gently encourage them to select something of interest, but it's perfectly natural and ok for them to also just sit and observe. They could just sit down at the table and have a snack if they wanted. Or they could go sit in the library and read/flip through books or color a coloring page. Four months later, at 4y2m old, she is thrilled with the fact that she is reading, doing the hundred board, and can tell me the parts of a flower. I think that month she spent "looking bored" was truly a very valuable month in her learning progress. Also, a good Montessori teacher should be observing his/her class and making sure to switch out jobs from time to time to switch things up for the children.

Just food for thought.
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Dip View Post
We are deciding if we want to send our twin girls to a charter Montessori school or a charter Reggio Emilia school and I am so conflicted about which one.
You lucky, lucky momma.
post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCFD View Post
I think this is a very valid point and I've heard other parents say similar things and thus chose a play based preschool for their child. There are a lot of great play based preschools out there and I'm a huge fan of the Reggio schools in our area. I have 3 girls that love, love, love their baby dolls. They play with them all the time. They have Barbie's and Littlest Pet Shop pets. They have balls, jump ropes, art supplies, and an outside swingset. We have puzzles, books, board games, a play kitchen, and Little People playsets. Lego's, Tinkertoys, Lincoln Logs, dress up clothes, and Matchbox cars. When deciding on a preschool, I wanted them to be able to go to school and be exposed to a different environment than what we did at home. I wanted them to learn without it being a little jr. professor academy where they were given worksheet after worksheet and forced to memorize math facts. I wanted it to be a beautiful, peaceful environment where respect and peace was the main philosophy.

In September, dd1's head teacher was out for about 3 weeks and I got reports from the co-director, who was filling in, that dd literally would pick ONE job and sit with it for 90 minutes while looking bored and observing the other children. She would walk around and look at jobs on the shelf without picking them. I was horribly concerned and the co-director said that when a child "look bored" they will gently encourage them to select something of interest, but it's perfectly natural and ok for them to also just sit and observe. They could just sit down at the table and have a snack if they wanted. Or they could go sit in the library and read/flip through books or color a coloring page. Four months later, at 4y2m old, she is thrilled with the fact that she is reading, doing the hundred board, and can tell me the parts of a flower. I think that month she spent "looking bored" was truly a very valuable month in her learning progress. Also, a good Montessori teacher should be observing his/her class and making sure to switch out jobs from time to time to switch things up for the children.

Just food for thought.
That makes sense. But your child admits that she was not bored. She was engaged during that time though, must have been! She wasn't eating snack for half the morning. And it was a month, not a year. I know you're trying to point out the potential positive. But I was not misinterpreting my daughter's boredom. She was not happy. It's different.

I just think it's important for people to see the other side.
post #29 of 31
Your post makes complete sense to me and gives words to what I think my three year old is experiencing. She wil not continue at Montessori - it is not a good fit. Thank you for sharing your experience.
post #30 of 31
I hated Montessori and still do: Thank you for this share - I got it completely.
post #31 of 31
I don't see the purpose in reviving this old thread if you've nothing to add, Rupert. Do you care to share more & start up the conversation? I'm all for discussing the virtues & draw-backs of Montessori but I think the folks here would appreciate a more in-depth discussion. Thank you!
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