Keep DS In Montessori? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 05-06-2012, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is having problems at the AMI Montessori preschool he started this year. Before the Christmas break his teacher suggested he be evaluated because of his energetic outbursts and lack of focus. We nearly pulled him out of school because he had been having problems for months and it didn't seem to be getting better. But, I spoke to the director of the school and she told me she felt the only problem he was having was lack of maturity, and that he was happy in class. We decided to keep him there and see how it would go for the rest of the year. Well, since then there have been positive and negative reports from his teacher. According to her he will be calm and focused for a few days and then have some bad days. We had our parent conference last week and it was again suggested that he be evaluated. She said he has made progress socially, but he is not able to focus on his academic work. She said he can only focus for more than a few minutes if she sits with him. 

It is our opinion that DS is normal for a 4 yo. He does have a lack of focus on tasks that he is not interested in at home. Like getting dressed in the morning, brushing his teeth, cleaning up after himself, etc. However, he will focus on an activity he is interested in for a while. He does have bursts of energy, but he is nowhere near hyperactive as far as we can tell. He does fidget, but DH is the same way. We don't feel it is appropriate to have a child his age evaluated unless there are extreme behaviors. 

This teacher has also suggested that a classmate was shaking too much and her parents have not seen this behavior nor have I seen it while at playdates. Also, she complained that another child was too whiny right in front of the child and other parents and children. DS does have a good relationship with his teacher and the other children in his class. We are frustrated that his teacher is insisting something is wrong with him. Even if he does have a problem, we would not have him evaluated until he is older. We feel like she just needs to figure out how to deal with him the way he is. At his traditional preschool last year he was the golden child. I feel that he did better there because all the children were doing the same activity at the same time. However, I do think it might be good to keep him in the Montessori environment because it will teach him to be more focused and independent in the long run.

We don't want to be in denial, but this just seems kind of crazy to us. I just feel so sad and frustrated. I am really unsure of what to do next. We really like the Montessori approach and we have a younger son who will start school next year. We were hoping to keep them in Montessori until age 12. We're wondering if we should switch to a different class or school.

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#2 of 6 Old 05-09-2012, 04:13 PM
 
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That is so funny, because I have been having a similar experience with my DS at his Montessori school, and I was wondering the same thing. He is 3.5 also, and from everything I have observed, he seems to be a normal kid. Our family doctor thinks he's a normal kid as well. They want us to enroll him in Sensory Integration therapy, but the one that they recommended is way out of our budget. I was wondering if maybe going every day might be too much for him at this age, and perhaps he gets too tired. I love Montessori, also. He seems to be getting a lot out of the materials. I guess I don't have any advice for you at this point. Just giving you a little bit of solidarity, I suppose. I would be interested in what others have to say.

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#3 of 6 Old 05-12-2012, 05:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ernverry View Post

That is so funny, because I have been having a similar experience with my DS at his Montessori school, and I was wondering the same thing. He is 3.5 also, and from everything I have observed, he seems to be a normal kid. Our family doctor thinks he's a normal kid as well. They want us to enroll him in Sensory Integration therapy, but the one that they recommended is way out of our budget. I was wondering if maybe going every day might be too much for him at this age, and perhaps he gets too tired. I love Montessori, also. He seems to be getting a lot out of the materials. I guess I don't have any advice for you at this point. Just giving you a little bit of solidarity, I suppose. I would be interested in what others have to say.

 

I have found a lot of similar stories through my searches online. I have spoken to two different professionals on the phone and they both suggested that Montessori is not for every child, particularly those who are not self motivated. We are frustrated with the school because it is part of the Montessori philosophy that the environment/method will teach self motivation/self control and focus. We feel like they aren't giving him a chance to grow, this is only his first year and he just turned 4. We also feel strongly that our teacher just needs to retire. She has been teaching for 30 years and she just doesn't seem to be able to tolerate any class disruption.

 

So, we are considering several options. We have informed the director of our current school that DS will not be continuing with his current class. We have asked if they will consider switching him to a new class for next year. We have also looked at another Montessori school that has opening for the fall. We are also considering putting him back in a play-based preschool. He is to young to be stressing about school!!!!!

 

It's interesting they are suggesting sensory integration therapy. Is that based on their own opinion or has your DS been evaluated? We looked into the free testing services offered by our county (at the school's request). The speech pathologist I spoke to was one of the people who suggested Montessori might not be the right environment. She emphasized that their services are to test for "significant developmental delays" which would place a child in the special education program. DS is nowhere near needing that kind of program!! The private psychologists are charging over $1000 for evaluations, which we can't afford and are not willing to spend on a child who seems normal to everyone else. Also, many of the psychologists I found don't test children until age 6.

 

It's good to talk to someone who is dealing with the same situation. 

 

Audrey

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#4 of 6 Old 05-12-2012, 05:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ernverry View Post

That is so funny, because I have been having a similar experience with my DS at his Montessori school, and I was wondering the same thing. He is 3.5 also, and from everything I have observed, he seems to be a normal kid. Our family doctor thinks he's a normal kid as well. They want us to enroll him in Sensory Integration therapy, but the one that they recommended is way out of our budget. I was wondering if maybe going every day might be too much for him at this age, and perhaps he gets too tired. I love Montessori, also. He seems to be getting a lot out of the materials. I guess I don't have any advice for you at this point. Just giving you a little bit of solidarity, I suppose. I would be interested in what others have to say.

 

Our doctor also suggested that 5 days may be too much for him. She also said that it sounds like there are a lot of rules for a young child to follow and that it didn't really seem developmentally appropriate. However, the school was not open to reducing the number of days.

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#5 of 6 Old 06-20-2012, 06:31 PM
 
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I have a 4 year old son who just completed his first year at a Montessori School. He is active, social and does not always focus. However, we have had a wonderful experience. The teachers have been supportive and have guided him throughout the year. I believe Montessori is best for our children. With the right environment and support the children feel successful and empowered! I would investigate other Montessori Schools in the area.
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#6 of 6 Old 06-23-2012, 09:45 AM
 
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Too many teachers, regardless of philosophy, seem to not know the different ranges of normal in children...especially boys. Your dc sounds like a normal boy to me...I would go with your instincts.

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