what happens to 3-6 year olds if they go to public school kindergarten or first grade? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-04-2010, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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This is partly curiosity, partly to plan if financially necessary.

My DS will be 3 in December. 2 weeks ago, he started a 3-6 class in a Montessori school and absolutely loves it. He has been in daycare since January, and I see a huge difference in how much he loves school now. Before, he would cry at drop offs, now he pretty much kicks me out the door. This morning (Saturday) he asked to go to school. Before this was unheard of.

The plan was to let him do a 3 year cycle, and when he was 5 and a half, to have him start kindergarten at the public school. We live in an area where the schools have a great reputation, but I have never seen a child absolutely love school. Many parents in my area do just what we were planning. Montessori school, then kindergarten/first grade at public school.

My question is, what happens when kids do go to public school? Is it hard for them to adjust? What happens to the love of school? Are they challenged enough? Just these 2 weeks makes me want to keep him in this school for as long as possible-however if we do that, we have to start saving now, it will be expensive. What are people's experiences?

Karen, mother to a wonderful active three year old.
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#2 of 8 Old 09-04-2010, 10:38 PM
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For us, the 3 year cycle includes kindergarten. There is an elementary school classroom at our school, too, that some families stay at but most do leave. I've heard that it's a really great class, and maybe if we win the lottery we will be able to think about it. Most children at our school do the 3 year cycle, and then start 1st grade at public school. We'll either do that, or homeschool.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#3 of 8 Old 09-09-2010, 10:52 PM
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At my children's Montessori, the Primary classes (ages 3-6) is a three-year cycle with the third year being the kindergarden year. The majority of the students go on to first grade at a public school. The school does have an Elementary class (first thru third grade) but it is small.

My oldest's experience with Montessori is similar to your son's. He was in daycare and cried at almost every drop-off. When he started M, I was worried about him being in a five-day program but he absolutely loved it and begged to go to school. He is in his third year and we are planning to keep him there for first grade rather than send him to public school. I had always thought I would send him to public school in first grade but he is thriving at Montessori and I hate the thought of him not transitioning well. The school is pricey but so worth it!

Mama to DS 10/04, DD 12/06, and DD 11/09 my baby
Missing DS 10/08
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#4 of 8 Old 09-09-2010, 11:04 PM
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My dd did Montessori from 2 1/2 until starting K at the local public school this fall. So far, so loves it and is incredibly excited to go every day. (Like yours, OP, our schools are considered quite good.)

However, it's only been a week, so it's too early to say anything definitively. I am concerned about whether things will be challenging enough for her - she learned so much at her Montessori school and loves science and math. I'm worried this won't be encouraged enough. Curriculum night and the first parent/teacher conference will be soon, so I'll get more answers there. I also plan to supplement those interests at home.
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#5 of 8 Old 09-10-2010, 10:35 AM
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There was an adjustment for my 2 dc (and for me!) when they moved into public school. PS seemed more chaotic.

Aside from the academics and general problem-solving, the other children were not as independent. Often my dc were helping out. For example, DD would help the other kids zip up their coats and put on their shoes to go out for recess. Many were still learning simple things like returning materials to storage shelves or buckets when they were done with them. The level of noise in the ps classroom took some getting used to.

My kids enjoyed ps, despite the adjustment. They are pretty flexible and accommodate well to new situations though. The teachers were fairly good about finding academic challenges for them. I think there are benefits to staying in Montessori though, that go beyond academics.
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#6 of 8 Old 09-10-2010, 11:49 AM
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Mine is currently in both Montessori and public school kindergarten. It's working out great, she is used to following instructions and I think that the overlap is easing her into the public school routine fairly well.

Mother of two. : 4/05 and 1/07 Wife of one. : 7/01
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#7 of 8 Old 09-10-2010, 12:40 PM
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FWIW, my older brother and I attended Montessori pre-school. I have no negative recollections about my starting public kindergarten and have heard none tell of when my brother started. Except that I recall I wanted to change my name and the teacher wouldn't let me!

Mama to a dd 10/05; ds 3/09, dd 2/15 and two angels. Expecting another miracle 7/16!
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#8 of 8 Old 09-10-2010, 01:06 PM
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I know my son is going to have a hard time adjusting to public school. But it will be at least 75% his personality (he especially has a hard time with noise) and he would have trouble no matter what. So I'm glad to let him finish the 3-yr cycle and get a good grounding before moving into first grade.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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