My kids have been at the same montessori for over 2 years now. They were both doing fantastically until the start of this year. My daughter's transition to 1st grade was a bit rough, but after the first few weeks, we settled into it and she is already on her 2nd grade math book...progress is nice!
My son, on the other hand, has had an awful time. He is in the same class with the same teacher, but its been trying to say the least. True, kindergarten is much more demanding that P3 and P4, but this transition is not what we expected from him. Every week was getting harder and harder, understandly so since they have to be prepared for self direction which is required in 1st grade. We sensed that his reading was below par, and had heard last year that they questioned his fine motor skills for his writing. Had that checked by the county, and he was on par for fine motor but did have a speech issue (which we knew). Starting this year, he has speech and its progressing fine.
The work continued to get harder every week and he was pushing back on it greatly. He was asking to be home schooled. Yep. Its was heart-breaking. We had him tested privately, and he showed very very poor bilateral coordination (1.5-2 years delayed) and fine motor precision was 6 months delayed. We also had him tested for sight even though the school never suggested this and he is far-sighted (+2 in both eyes). So, we are working through that. Speech therapy 2X/week is progressing nicely. I've been requiring them doing workbooks at home to strengthen his hand strength every night (do this before you watch any TV, and they rarely complain and just do the 4 pages). We are also doing a lot more physical exercise with them nightly. Simply couldnt find a close OT for him nor could find one to go to his school....so while we know he needs help here, we are trying our best to fix this alone.
The kid has a lot going on! He was feeling too dumb at school and was quite simply pushing everything away and refusing to participate in group lessons nor do his individual work. if he felt he was going to fail at it, its logical that he wouldn't want to try.
We are seeing great improvements in his writing. He is getting stronger overall. His academics are all improving, and he is finally starting to read, thanks to private reading tutoring with his teacher. His speech is progressing...and we also were seeing great improvements in attitude at school....but the last 2-3 weeks, he's slipping back and refusing to work again. They are prepping us for their recommendation to repeat kindy next year...at least the teacher is. He simply is not showing the emtional maturity or self direction needed for first grade, and if he doesn't improve in this regard, and we put him in first grade, I fear he will fail.
My daughter is doing great! But, my son worries me to death. My heart breaks for him. Do I move him to a charter school for first grade, and leave his sister where she is (which is very stressful for us with two school calendars and such), or do I move both (even though she is doing well) or do I let him stay in kindy or do I ensure he moves up? The options are quite varied.
I'm simply not sure if his fears/issues are holding him back, or if he is truly immature for his age. The kid has a lot going on. He already feels overwhelmed, but moving him to a new school without his sister would be a tough adjustment, and keeping him where he is might be equally trying.
So, how does one determine if montessori is a good fit for a child?
imho, i think you should keep him in kindy one more year to help him mature. good for you for doing the medical investigating! i'm sure these delays have been causing him much frustration. you are seeing improvement, so celebrate that! i think doing a do-over in kindy will only help him mature and gain self-confidence and get more of a feel of how to self direct himself. if his little world has been askew, how can you expect him to perform like an average child with no delays, vision issues, etc.
that is my two cents. good luck!
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