DD started in Montessori preschool at 2.5 yo and was there for 2.5 years. Afterwards, she moved on to a regular kindergarten.
Now I have the opportunity to move her back to a Montessori elementary, but I hesitate because I am not sure if it's the best fit.
She had a wonderful teacher at the Montessori preschool, but I have never seen her blossomed under Montessori. She is forgetful, disorganized, easily distracted by others, and didn't care much about some of the casa activities (especially math). She is not a confident child and was lately suspected that she might be suffering from a mild case of ADD. Her current teacher is very concerned about her mind drifting away during class - and that is all too often. I have changed her diet a bit and provided some physical exercises which might be helping somewhat.
My concern about putting her in a Montessori elementary is that:
1. There will be more small group work and discussions among students in class, and all of different nature. This might further distract her.
2. She is expected to take a lesson and continue with her own work for 2 to 3 days, checking off her own work diary when done. It is a great way to train kids to be independent and be responsible for oneself. However, with her forgetful nature, she also has a tendency to stall. I am afraid that at the end of the day, with so much freedom, she will progress at snail's pace and lose focus.
3. I sometimes think that she is more suitable to a structured learning environment where everybody does the same thing, although at a slightly different pace, at the same time. Since she doesn't have much confidence in herself, she tends to shy away from what she perceives as difficult or new tasks. I frequently have to push and drag her into something. When she realizes that it's not as difficult as she initially thought, she might actually enjoy it. In other words, is Montessori elementary suitable for a child who is passive? It seems to me that elementary requires a child to take on much more intiatives than casa, and if she didn't seem to be a great fit in casa, what will happen to her in elementary?
Has anybody seen a child who doesn't fit Montessori? perhaps an ADD child (she is mild)? Can anybody share their experiences?
I just want to add that DD loves to listen to stories, people, current events and history. She has a good memory of what she heard if it's to her interest. Although she can read some story books now (e.g. Fancy Nancy), she still is not greatly motivated in doing her own reading and I find it a bit strange (compared to DS who is 19 months younger. Although his reading level is significantly lower, he would attempt to read words aloud on his own). She recently had an IQ test. She fared average except for general knowledge and visual perception (shapes and different combinations) where she fared on the high end of the average spectrum.
I hv talked to dd's teacher (not a montessori school). She feels that dd needs structure, and I agree. I have seen the difference between ds and dd. It is so easy to tell - ds is definitely a montessori child (he can probably fit into many different types of schooling), while dd's case deserves more thought. We have decided to turn down the Montessori school's offer. In dd's case, whether Montessori works for her will largely depend on the teacher, and that's a risk we are not willing to take.
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