I have a 6 year old that will be starting first grade this fall. He has only ever attended Montessori, but last year was an awful experience for kindergarten. He was being bullied daily by a child whose mother was good friends with the teacher- whose mother ran the school- (so of course nothing was done), and he wasn't directed at all, so spent all of his time in the practical life area of the classroom.
I am concerned that he would be behind his classmates in first grade, and I do not want self-esteem issues to come into play. I am also concerned about him socially, because he has a great deal of anxiety after the bullying last year.
He has said he would like homeschool, but also really liked the public school when we visited.
School starts in 4 weeks and I still don't know what we are doing! Help!
Mom to two beautiful boys, now in school to be a therapist and help other women with PPD.
I'm sorry to hear about your son's experience in Montessori. So many thoughts ran through my head about bullying, etc. and whether that was even a real Montessori school. Makes me mad to think of bullying in a Montessori, heck bullying ANYWHERE - regardless of mom's relationship to anyone!!!
I'm of mixed opinion - could probably argue either way. I think the socialization aspect is so important, so my first suggestion would be to start with the public school, if you have a positive view of it. If it doesn't work, you can always bring him home whereas if you start him at home, would be more difficult to integrate mid-session, if desired.
That said, speak to the principal of the elementary, explain your situation and ask if you can speak to the teacher he will be assigned. I have to believe that a teacher with an incoming class of 1st graders would want to be aware of the situation so that she can be attuned to any nuances, therefore sensitive to a child's reaction to a situation.
Please note - I am speaking from perspective of excellent Montessori school where I did not hesitate to contact the head of school, if needed - and it was only once, to confirm the pink eye policy.
p.s. Maybe there is another forum discussing school bullying at the lower levels that you can also get some feedback.