After months of discussion with my ds's school, it seems he is finally moving toward the upstairs (older) classroom, where I have thought he belonged for a long time. The transition is still in process and I am just keeping my fingers crossed that things continue as well as they have...
He seems much happier about going. I haven't received time-out sheets since he started moving up there. The day I observed (the impetus to them actually moving toward the transition, I think), I saw him work intently and get very interested in the lessons.
When he was in the younger room, (2 and 3 year olds, mostly), he was one of a couple 4 year olds (immature 4 yo's). He was getting into trouble, and his teacher told me at conferences that he was not able to hold his concentration on his works (one of their indicators of readiness to move up to the older classroom was to have the ability to focus on works).
I asked the upstairs teacher yesterday whether he was having the behavior difficulties he had a few weeks ago. Her answer was a little confusing, so I'm not sure she understood what I meant. She paused.... and said, "He is very
intent on his works. It's to the point that I've thought about trying to redirect him, but I haven't since he's actively engaged and using them appropriately in different ways." I think
I understand what she's saying. I know that Montessori lets children interact with works as long as they are actively engaged and learning, and I trust that she is being very vigilant as to whether he is actively engaged and learning and the she will show him different works when necessary. When I asked him about school, he told me that he had only done two works that day. That seemed reasonable.
I know that over-focus on certain activities can be a sign of ADD or OCD, but I think that most every 3 and 4 year old is a little of each of these (not pathologically, just developmentally - kwim?), so I don't worry about those things necessarily. Personally, I kind of think he might just be so overjoyed to have works to do that offer a new level of stimulation. I'm wondering, though, what a Montessori teacher might be looking for or thinking in cases when a child is "overly intent" on his or her works. And what constitutes overly