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Why 5 days for little ones?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm visiting a school on Friday, all of their programs are 5 days a week, half or full day.

My older son will be almost 5, so this seems fine for him, but for the little guy, he'll be 26 months.

How often are your little ones in Montessori toddler/preschooler age? I'm only looking at half days right now.
post #2 of 23
My kids that are in M school are DD1 who is 3 (will be 4 in Nov.) and DD2 who is 2 (will be 3 in Oct.).

We only do half days because after lunch at 12:00 they take a 2 to 2.5 hour nap and then they have another work cycle or outside play (maybe both?) and then go home. This is also when they have more laid back time (birthday celebrations, yoga, dance, etc.) To me, it wasn't worth the extra $ to keep my kids there for a nap since they can do that at home. Plus, they usually like to spend an additional hour at home working from our own Montessori job shelf. However, our school is awesome and invited my almost 4 year old to stay until 3:30 every Wed. (she naps there) so that she could attend the dance class. She *LOVES* it and talks about Wednesday every day!

When we first toured the school for DD1, they only had a 1 half day per week opening, so we snagged it to get our foot in the door. It was an extremely rough two months for DD because 1 half day per week was not enough consistency. It was like the first day of school EVERY Friday. She would cry every week and say she didn't want to go. Then we got 2 days (lasted a month) then in the summer a lot of kids are taken out of school for those 3 summer months, so we got our 5 half days. I originally didn't want more than 3, but the lack of consistency was really confusing for her. It's so much easier for her now because she knows what to expect. And let me say that I was EXTREMELY against her going 5 half days. Extremely!! I'm a SAHM and she is my first born, so it was really more about me. Now that she has been in school since Feb., I can honestly say that 5 half days is really better for the child. In fact, she misses out on so much fun and learning in the afternoon, but I'm still not willing to be away from her that long. Mommy time in the afternoon will always trump school.

DD2 only goes 3 half days and we are seriously thinking about 5 half days, but I think we'll wait until she gets moved to the 3-6 classroom for that.

I think your 5 year old will do great in the 5 half day program and maybe you can ask if they will allow 3 or 4 days for your 2 year old. Sometimes schools will bend the rules. One of the schools that was on our list has 4 and 5 day programs, but they said they would work with me and allow a 3 day program. Doesn't hurt to ask! Maybe explain when he is closer to 3 that you will want the 5 day program. Good luck!
post #3 of 23
My 3 1/2 yo is in five full days at his Montessori program. I was reluctant about 5 days a week but everything they said was true about the routine working better and them getting confused when it is every other day. He went 3 half days and 2 full days last year and it was too confusing for him. He seems to love his full days there.

Wendi
post #4 of 23
My son is 3.5 and goes 5 half days. We had intended on 3 days when we were looking to enroll, but after talking to teachers we decided that 5 would actually be easier on him. Going 5 consecutive days is easier for a child to predict and time-line in their head. The transition between school days and off days is hard for little ones when they go back and forth so much. We heard form a lot of teachers that children that do fewer days miss out on special things (like sharing days, library time, garden work) too. So we decided to try 5 half days and see if DS got burnt out, but he has been flourishing!
post #5 of 23
Well we started out with 3 half days right now, but totally are switching to 5 half days(my school only offers half day program for 3-6) when we can afford it next month. DS really misses those 2 missing days and gets frustrated that he doesn't go every day. We figured it was best to start 3 days and see how he did/progressed/normalized. Now that we know he loves it, it will be 5 days/week for him!
post #6 of 23
My 3-year-old is five 1/2 days a week. Besides hearing it was better to go 5 days a week for consistency - it's actually cheaper for me to pay for 5 days because of the difference between their 3 and 4 day program fees and my daycare costs.

Now if I could just get her to let go of me so I could leave the school, that would be nice. At least this week she wasn't crying when I left, as the teacher held her so I could escape. She just had the sad puppy dog look on her face. She likes school, but she wants Mom to go to school with her. Even discussed this past weekend having Dad drop her off if they didn't improve, because she generally can care less if he sticks around or not.
post #7 of 23
DD is 32mo and goes 4 half-days (12 hours total) per week.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you

My older son, it really won't be an issue. He'll be 2 months shy of 5 when we start, and he'll be full time, all day the next year.

I can see how 5 days might be good wrt consistency for him. He is in daycare 2 days right now and it can be rough on him when I leave since he's there so little. Perhaps *I'll* be able to let go more in a year. He seems to crave consistency more than my older son.
post #9 of 23
After a year of 5 days, I am still not truly buying it... we are losing so much time to just be, he has so little life outside school. We used to have pt day care only 3 or 4 days, it has been very different this way. The school has nothing to suggest, either. So it's 'consistent'- but not exactly a good way I just can't believe I am the only one, but I think others simply keep their kids home some days, or choose other types of schools just to avoid the daily factor.
post #10 of 23
My DD 4 just started and she had never been away from me. I was really concerned. We did a Waldorf parent child class one day a week previously. She totally loves her montessori school! I am so happy with the way things transitioned. She literally hops out of bed to get started with her day. She goes five days from 9-12. Yes she misses me ... and wants me to be there with her ... but knowing I can't be there - she still wants to go
post #11 of 23
We had done lots of "mommy and me" type classes starting at age 2 with dd...tumbling, dance, soccer, etc. all fun, 1/2 hour classes at the local parks dept. We normally only did 1 class per week, and she owuld long for more stuff to do...I tried filling our days with playgroups, library trips, etc,m but she really wanted to be with the other kids more.
I too was reluctant to send her 5 days..and to be honest, it has been hard...on ME. I think it is easy on her to go 5 days, and the weekends she just asks about going to school. She is the oldest "3" there is though, she was 47 months when school started, and she is actually 4 now. to be honest, AT 3, I probably would have felt differently.

I am missing says where we just veg out at homeand dont have anything to do..its going to sound bad, but i HATE the we have to go ALL the time...i feel like we are just running, running, busy all teh time..I spent 1.5 hr taking her to school and picking her up each day.....and she's only there 3 hours....ANd they only have morning, and I am the anti-morning. serioiusly. abnd, I'm GRAVELY mourning the loss of the "homeschooling lifestyle" I had been planning on..*sigh8
BUT...she loves it. freaking loves it. and I want what's best for her.
*sigh*
post #12 of 23
The 5 day schedule is definitely about consistency. Children need consistency to be able to establish their sense of order and know what comes next, which helps them feel secure and centered as they're moving towards independence from their parents (which truly starts when they move and crawl, so don't worry that starting school is the first big leap). I have two Montessori children, one 10 and one 5, and they really thrive on those routines that are part of their daily routines. My daughter was really happy to have her own space and her own routine when she started the primary class at 3.

I work with the little ones and I can definitely say that the 5 day program allows them the greatest amount of independence and comfort/consistency because they know what comes next; some of the parents in our program were really having a hard time until they were able to observe their little ones settled, calm, and self-directed in the program. Hopefully you'll feel better once they're settled in and you have the chance to observe them in their environments.
post #13 of 23
But what about the tradeoff of not having consistency at home, cause you are always all pooped out after school? Having done another child care 3 days a week, then 4, then the Montessori 5, I can see how much easier the 3 and 4 were on him. I just don't like having to be a tradeoff...

Quote:
Originally Posted by FWMontessoriMommy View Post
The 5 day schedule is definitely about consistency. Children need consistency to be able to establish their sense of order and know what comes next, which helps them feel secure and centered as they're moving towards independence from their parents (which truly starts when they move and crawl, so don't worry that starting school is the first big leap). I have two Montessori children, one 10 and one 5, and they really thrive on those routines that are part of their daily routines. My daughter was really happy to have her own space and her own routine when she started the primary class at 3.

I work with the little ones and I can definitely say that the 5 day program allows them the greatest amount of independence and comfort/consistency because they know what comes next; some of the parents in our program were really having a hard time until they were able to observe their little ones settled, calm, and self-directed in the program. Hopefully you'll feel better once they're settled in and you have the chance to observe them in their environments.
post #14 of 23
I don't get the consistency argument. If it were that critical they'd be in school all day every day, 24/7. So at some point they need to get the heck out of there and go home, but then are they being "inconsistent" in the afternoons or weekends or whatever? Makes no sense. You're drawing a line randomly in the sand to say that 5 mornings is "more consistent" than 3 or 4.
post #15 of 23
Consistency isn't just about a certain number of days in a row, it's about building a classroom community. All of the children seeing each other each day without seeing some certain days, others on other days, coming and going at different times... Some programs make it work that way, but the ideal is that the five days a week expectation makes a solid, consistent community (class) of learners. And yes, the five days may be arbitrary in the big picture, but it obviously jives with the majority of what older kids and adults are doing each week. Home on the weekends, and back to it on Monday.
post #16 of 23
Interesting topic... I am considering a Montessori for my daughter next year, she will be 3 and I am worries about her feeling a bit lonely because of the lack of personalized attention...
Gigi
post #17 of 23
My kids both go 5 days, half days, DD has since she was 3 and DS is now at age 3. It wasn't a problem for them, in fact the consistency was much better than a lesser program - she had gone to things 2 or 3 days a week and had a hard time readjusting after the 4 days off she had.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnjenny View Post
Consistency isn't just about a certain number of days in a row, it's about building a classroom community. All of the children seeing each other each day without seeing some certain days, others on other days, coming and going at different times... Some programs make it work that way, but the ideal is that the five days a week expectation makes a solid, consistent community (class) of learners. And yes, the five days may be arbitrary in the big picture, but it obviously jives with the majority of what older kids and adults are doing each week. Home on the weekends, and back to it on Monday.
I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by basilisa76 View Post
Interesting topic... I am considering a Montessori for my daughter next year, she will be 3 and I am worries about her feeling a bit lonely because of the lack of personalized attention...
Gigi
I'm not sure I understand why you think they don't get personalized attention? My children get lots of attention from their teachers. The children get to choose their works, but the teachers go around and work with them, they don't just sit on the side and nod or anything. In fact I feel that the environment lends itself to more personalized attention since the teachers don't spend as much time teaching to the whole class as they do in other settings.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by basilisa76 View Post
Interesting topic... I am considering a Montessori for my daughter next year, she will be 3 and I am worries about her feeling a bit lonely because of the lack of personalized attention...
Gigi
Why would there be a lack of personalized attention?
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by basilisa76 View Post
Interesting topic... I am considering a Montessori for my daughter next year, she will be 3 and I am worries about her feeling a bit lonely because of the lack of personalized attention...
Gigi
Gigi - there is plenty of personalized attention in M school- that is what it is all about really. Individualized learning for the student, at his own pace, etc. The teacher/directress keeps an eye on each student and guides them along at their own pace, kwim?

And - since we are both in the ATL, PM me if you want to talk schools!
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnjenny View Post
yes, the five days may be arbitrary in the big picture, but it obviously jives with the majority of what older kids and adults are doing each week. Home on the weekends, and back to it on Monday.
I'm not sure it's wise to compare apples to oranges, i.e., the needs and expectations of a 3 year-old are by no means comparable to what much older children much less adults need. This whole "start as you mean to go on" thing is often taken WAAAAY too far, otherwise, why not put 1 year-olds in "preschool" 5 days a week? Why not make 8 year-olds travel to foreign countries with little or no notice since that's what many adults who travel for business or in the armed forces must do. And speaking of what older chidren do, would you advocate homework for 3 year-olds, etc.

Babies and toddlers are not just small adults.
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