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I'm Withdrawing Her From Montessori Preschool

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My DD is 3 yrs 3 months. For the past 5 months, she has been attending a small (12 kids) Montessori preschool, but I've never felt that she has fit in, or bonded with the other kids. When she was in daycare (before I was a SAHM) she LOVED her daycare/preschool. She'd often try to push me out the door if I lingered too long in the morning when dropping her off.

But this school - she's never really been excited about going. Most of the time she matter-of-factly states she doesn't like it there, and I never get the feeling that she is having an enjoyable time there. She never wants me to leave in the morning, and the other day she just cried and cried when I tried to leave.

I had a long talk with the director tonight, and expressed my wish to take her out. The director said she would waive the 30-day requirement, and so tomorrow we are going to stop by before school starts so DD can say good bye to her, and to the other teacher, who she really likes.

In a way I feel very sad because she has learned so much - geography, Spanish, she knows all her numbers by just looking at the digits, etc. etc. I really do feel Montessori is very valuable but I just don't think this was the right fit for her.

I just wanted to share this with someone, because it feels kind of sad.....
post #2 of 13
My daughter is in a Montessori nursery right now (she is only 29 months) and I am learning that small class are NOT always that great. Her other daycare was really overwhelming - 30 kids in one class with 3 carers. She loved it but after about 2 hours, she really had had enough and wanted to leave. In her current Montessori nursery, there are 7 kids with one Montessori adult in the room. It is calm (almost TOO calm), tranquil, and lovely to look at but there just is not enough activity going on in the class to get her excited about it.

It is important to note that Dr. Montessori's ideal number in a classroom for children aged 3 to 6 was THIRTY kids. I imagine that with just 12 kids, there just is not enough dynamic in the class.
post #3 of 13
I agree you need to do what is right for your daughter - and it sounds like this class was not the right fit. Sometimes we try to do everything we can to give our kids what the think is best for them, what they will enjoy and want, but we cannot see all ends, and sometimes it doesn't work out.

Please just keep in mind that Montessori classrooms can vary greatly from school to school or even teacher to teacher, too. So while this may not have been a good fit, another school might work great, not that I'm saying you have to stick with montessori or anything.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I do really like Montessori. It is amazing the amount of stuff DD has learned, and I love how it is self-paced.

cmlp - that is an interesting observation. Perhaps she would have done better in a larger classroom. I'll keep that in mind when I will be checking out some of the other Montessori programs in my area for the next school year.

Anyhow, we dropped by this morning before school started to pick up her extra clothes and her cup, and to say goodbye to the teachers. Bittersweet, but done.
post #5 of 13
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmlp View Post
It is important to note that Dr. Montessori's ideal number in a classroom for children aged 3 to 6 was THIRTY kids. I imagine that with just 12 kids, there just is not enough dynamic in the class.
This is a good point. Having a big enough group definitely creates a more dynamic environment. I just thought I would clarify that by Montessori's guidelines the ideal number is 40!
post #7 of 13
Aw, man. Too bad. Will you PM me with which school you were at?
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
I agree you need to do what is right for your daughter - and it sounds like this class was not the right fit. Sometimes we try to do everything we can to give our kids what the think is best for them, what they will enjoy and want, but we cannot see all ends, and sometimes it doesn't work out.

Please just keep in mind that Montessori classrooms can vary greatly from school to school or even teacher to teacher, too. So while this may not have been a good fit, another school might work great, not that I'm saying you have to stick with montessori or anything.
:

Sounds like you are doing the best thing for your daughter; but if you really do like the M method, maybe there will be another school that's a better fit somewhere down the line....
post #9 of 13
Big Hug. My DS is in the same situation as your DD. He's been in a new Children's House since Sept. but never liked there. It's also a small class with 12-15 kids.

At first he said he didn't like the "No"s from the directress even though they were towards other kids. He's kind of sensitive, shy and obidient boy. I communicated with the directress after I got some advice here. The teacher changed the tone afterwards. Still he doesn't like there. He always tells me that he likes the previous daycare better. One weird thing though is that everyday after the half-day morning class when we asked him if he had fun, he always says yes!: But then at night or in the next morning, he would say he doesn't want to go.

What I get from him is that he doesn't like some of the materials there. He wanted to try new ones but the directress kept him repeating the ones that he doesn't have interest.

From the conference I had with the directress, she observed that when DS encounters some challenges, he just tends to avoid to try again. (She's right on this point). And she wants him to master some materials/skills first before going further, which I also think is reasonable.

I can see that as DS is sensitive, he kind of feels pressure from the challenged materials meanwhile bored with sort of the repeated excercises. On the other hand, I also agree with the directress's points.

Other concerns on this new preschool/kindergarten are, 1)that so far they don't have outside playground so barely outside activities, 2) DS is one of the eldest kids in the class and will always be as they're only going to enroll younger kids to expand the class size. I learned from Paula Lillard's book that one of the toughest things for a new Montessori class is that the elder kids have no examples to copy from. That's so true. DS learned a lot from older kids at previous daycare. I guess these are also a couple of main reasons that DS misses the old daycare.

But we're stuck in a contract that we can't withdraw him right now. So I am going to let DS keep going, at least finish this school year. Meanwhile, I'm looking at other Montessori schools in my area. Hopefully I can find one.
post #10 of 13
icecream, get thee to a larger school!!! As I said in my previous post, I grow more and more convinced that small classes are NOT a great idea, even less so if your son is one of the few older children!! Think about it, would you, as a 4 year old, prefer (1) a class of 15 kids, 3 of whom are your age or older and the rest younger or (2) a class of 30 kids, at least 15 of whom are your age or older? Also, the bigger the class, the more likely the child will bond with another child just like him.

Montessori classes are already pretty tranquil. You halve the recommended number of children and I can see how it could get kind of bland, especially for an older child.
post #11 of 13

Homeschool

charmander,

I'm sorry to hear that the school isn't working out. Both of my children are in Montessori Schools and they are happy. I guess it depends on the child and the school. I don't know if its an option for you, but have you considered Montessori home school? You'll have to arrange playdates, etc to make sure your child gets the right socialization, but it is great from an academic and development standpoint.

Just a thought.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by usingmontessori View Post
charmander,

I'm sorry to hear that the school isn't working out. Both of my children are in Montessori Schools and they are happy. I guess it depends on the child and the school. I don't know if its an option for you, but have you considered Montessori home school? You'll have to arrange playdates, etc to make sure your child gets the right socialization, but it is great from an academic and development standpoint.

Just a thought.

Well, I don't think I'm cut out to be a homeschooler, so I am looking for a place for her to go to starting in September. Luckily, there are some good Montessori schools in my immediate area.

From now to Sept, though, I am definitely going to ""school" her. She and I will be learning and exploring and all that - and at her own pace and according to her interests (sort of Montessori?) although I don't have any of the M materials...

But thanks for your suggestion!
post #13 of 13
Good for you for taking her out of a situation she isn't thriving in....I hope you and her have a lot of enjoyment together these next few months!!
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