high-energy ds and montessori? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 16 Old 06-03-2009, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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a friend of mine is interested in montessori for her ds in the fall. he'll be 3 yo in october. her concern is that montessori might not work for him because he is so high energy. she is wondering how he'll do with the work cycle. if he'll be able to focus on his work. how do montessori guides handle high-energy kids? any thoughts or suggestions about this?

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#2 of 16 Old 06-03-2009, 10:18 PM
 
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One of my children is pretty high strung. She's only 3.5, so it's hard to tell if it's ADHD at this point, but we have had her evaluated once a year by Alta Regional due to her being 8 weeks premature. They told us that she has no problems with focus and concentration, so it's more than likely to be her personality. She has been in a Montessori class for almost a year now and she has done exceptionally well. The class and guide actually has a very calming effect on her. She is thriving in the environment and I'm blown away by how much she wants to learn and how much she retains.

I think that most Montessori schools and guides have many students like this and are willing to work with them. Honestly, I can't envision any other type of education for children, so I'm a little biased.

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#3 of 16 Old 06-04-2009, 03:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by redsfree View Post
a friend of mine is interested in montessori for her ds in the fall. he'll be 3 yo in october. her concern is that montessori might not work for him because he is so high energy. she is wondering how he'll do with the work cycle. if he'll be able to focus on his work. how do montessori guides handle high-energy kids? any thoughts or suggestions about this?
They usually go from:

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To:
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Hope that helps!
Matt
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#4 of 16 Old 06-04-2009, 11:13 PM
 
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I am frequently amazed at the level of calm at DS's preschool. I've gone to birthdays and playdates and such with his classmates, and trust me they are not naturally calm kids. There is just something about the environment that inexplicably (OK, I bet Matt could actually explain it, but I can't) makes them all act in an unbelievably calm manner.

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#5 of 16 Old 06-05-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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I am frequently amazed at the level of calm at DS's preschool. I've gone to birthdays and playdates and such with his classmates, and trust me they are not naturally calm kids. There is just something about the environment that inexplicably (OK, I bet Matt could actually explain it, but I can't) makes them all act in an unbelievably calm manner.
So true! I have seen the kids in our school go nuts on the playground, but something about the classroom that makes them so focused!! It's really wild.

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#6 of 16 Old 06-08-2009, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MattBronsil View Post
They usually go from:

::::
:::


To:
:::
::
:

Hope that helps!
Matt
thank you for all the replies! i'm sure it will give my friend more confidence in montessori. matt, could you please get a little more specific as to how a high-energy kid goes from to ? how does a guide help with this specifically? thanks!

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#7 of 16 Old 06-09-2009, 01:03 AM
 
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thank you for all the replies! i'm sure it will give my friend more confidence in montessori. matt, could you please get a little more specific as to how a high-energy kid goes from to ? how does a guide help with this specifically? thanks!
It's more the environment as a whole.
1) The classroom is set up with materials that engage the child.
2) The older children in the classroom are often settled very early in the year so the younger children tend to follow their lead.
3) The teacher observes the child to see what the interests are of the child and adjusts presentations and materials accordingly.
4) There are not a lot of complicated rules like many schools. The rules are simple: Respect the classroom and each other. So if a child is running around, the teacher can help the child reflect on how that's not fair to other children and show the child how to walk in the classroom.
5) They're in a situation where movement is encouraged (as opposed to a situation where they sit and listen to the teacher a lot and do stuff sitting at a table) so all the guide really has to do is turn that movement into something more productive, as opposed to trying to stop it.
6) The materials, especially in the practical life area, are breakable. If a child breaks a glass, the teacher helps the child see that this material is no longer available and needs to be taken care of next time something nice is put out. The materials also have a certain amount of awe attached to them by the teacher that the students pick up on. They then learn how to treat the materials a certain way and this helps calm them.

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#8 of 16 Old 06-09-2009, 01:28 AM
 
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My son is high energy and did not fit into his montessori school too well. So we left.

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#9 of 16 Old 06-09-2009, 01:49 AM
 
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My son is high energy and did not fit into his montessori school too well. So we left.
May I ask what problems you ran into?
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#10 of 16 Old 06-09-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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They just seemed like they couldn't handle him. He didn't always choose work himself when they wanted him to, he wasn't as advanced in reading and writing as the other kids, and they had to give him too much one on one attention. It just wasn't a good fit for him.

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#11 of 16 Old 06-09-2009, 12:13 PM
 
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They just seemed like they couldn't handle him. He didn't always choose work himself when they wanted him to, he wasn't as advanced in reading and writing as the other kids, and they had to give him too much one on one attention. It just wasn't a good fit for him.
This is not meant to be snarky, but would a more traditional classroom be better for him? Where he has to sit at a desk and not move around at all? Personally, I think that would be worse for a high energy child. Maybe in this scenario it was more about it being the wrong school and teachers than it was the Montessori method?

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#12 of 16 Old 06-09-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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We also have a good friend who's high energy son was asked to leave the Montessori school. I hope your friend's son finds a good fit wherever he ends up.
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#13 of 16 Old 06-10-2009, 01:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BCFD View Post
This is not meant to be snarky, but would a more traditional classroom be better for him? Where he has to sit at a desk and not move around at all? Personally, I think that would be worse for a high energy child. Maybe in this scenario it was more about it being the wrong school and teachers than it was the Montessori method?
It very well could be that school. We haven't tried any other montessori schools. We switched to a waldorf one and he did great, there. Next year though, he'll probably go to public school, though we hate that idea, but that's what we have to do.

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#14 of 16 Old 06-11-2009, 01:38 AM
 
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My EXTREMELY high energy, expressive DS started in the Montessori toddler program at 2.5. He had a wonderful teacher and assistants and he adjusted beautifully. This is not to say he didn't struggle with self-direction and external control... he required probably more social interaction with the teachers than the average student, but he was thriving academically. He loved the materials and the teacher was having to bring in works from the primary rooms for him to keep him challenged (according to them he had mastered the majority of the work in the toddler room).

At three he moved into the primary classroom and it was absolutely disasterous. In retrospect, it was probably a combination of a number of issues... wrong teacher/student match, bringing a very talkative active child into a normalized primary classroom at almost the end of the academic year, dealing with a child whose teachers had developed into his social peer group (due to a lack of language development in the other toddlers), a prolonged (by the school) transition period where DS figured out that he could manipulate his behavior to be in whichever room he wanted to at the time (acting out in the primary room meant he could return to the teachers he knew and and his friends; acting out in the toddler room when he was bored or agitated with younger children meant he could go do more challenging work... the behavior worsened dramatically when he was moved full-time into the primary room), beginning a new classroom after a long break (spring break) in the school year, and so much more. It was just really bad. DS was unhappy, disruptive, and physically acting out (normally a very loving, talkative child). The primary teacher and school administration were fed up and unwilling to work with him. We pulled him out and he will be returning in the fall... with a different primary teacher.

Anyway, it was very difficult on us as parents to decide what the best move would be. I really don't think the problem was with Montessori being incompatible with a high-energy child... just many external factors that sort of snowballed. The Montessori environment was extremely engaging and calming for DS. So much of how a child will fit in depends on the teacher's personality and personal style. In our case, it was the wrong little primary classroom/community (very quiet, analyticial children and a teacher who was accustomed to that) for him. Hopefully he will fare better this Fall.
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#15 of 16 Old 06-14-2009, 03:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BCFD View Post
This is not meant to be snarky, but would a more traditional classroom be better for him? Where he has to sit at a desk and not move around at all? Personally, I think that would be worse for a high energy child. Maybe in this scenario it was more about it being the wrong school and teachers than it was the Montessori method?
I'm not aware of a traditional pre-school classroom that has this expectation.

My DD's friend was asked to leave as well. The teacher could not handle her in the classroom - she was extremely friendly and such a sweet kid but just kept "bothering" the older kids with their work.

I should add that my DD is on the higher energy end of the spectrum and did not enjoy Montessori either, so it could have been the teacher's limitation. In the end we are so happy we went for a high quality play-based school instead.
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#16 of 16 Old 06-28-2009, 11:52 PM
 
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My DD's friend was asked to leave as well. The teacher could not handle her in the classroom - she was extremely friendly and such a sweet kid but just kept "bothering" the older kids with their work.
Could you explain how this child "bothered" the older kids? What did that look like?
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