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#1 of 16 Old 01-10-2005, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mamas:

My older DS, age 5, will be starting Montessori pre-K at the end of the month. He had been enrolled in a traditional pre-school with a Montessori bent, but I found that, with his ADHD issues (hyperactivity, oppositional behavior), he was not thriving in that environment (too structured, not enough music, teacher unable to work with his issues). As well, he has been IQ tested and is scoring in the gifted range (135 - 140 ish). He is very intellectual and is a verbal/aural learner (i.e. needs to speak and hear to learn effectively). I would like to hear from other moms with ADHD and/or Gifted children in the Montessori system - what is your experience, what should I watch for, how can I enhance the lessons for my child?

Thanks for your input!

Tabitha ~ devoted wife to my best friend Stephen ribbonyellow.gif and gentle Christian mom to six DSs: notes.gif E - 2/09/00REPlaySkateboard04HL.gifA - 3/05/03superhero.gifA- 6/05/06 guitar.gif H- 2/07/08 jog.gif J - 11/14/10 bouncy.gif T - 8/23/12 + stork-suprise.gif due 9/20/14!  brokenheart.gif DD Janae 10/19/09 angel2.gif
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#2 of 16 Old 01-11-2005, 03:50 PM
 
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I'm not a mom of a kid with add/adhd but I work as an Assistant in a 9-12 (4th-6th grade) Montessori classroom. And I have substituted in 1-3, 3-6, and 6-9 classrooms. We have quite a few add/adhd kids in our school. One thing about a lot of these kids is that they crave structure, Montessori gives them that without it being hindering. They do have a certain amount of freedom within limits, the time is structured so the kids know what to expect from their day, yet within these boundaries are choices like: where to sit, who to work with (if anyone) what piece of work to complete first, when to have a snack, etc... It helped me immensely to read literature which suggests solutions to common problems like what areas of the room to avoid setting these kids in to do their work. I suggest that you speak with the teacher ahead of time to let her know certain needs like this, as well as any dietary restrictions.
i think you are going to find that the teacher is going to be very open to whatever you have to suggest and will be more willing than a public school teacher to work with your son instead of against him. Not to knock public school teachers, it's not them per se, but rather the environment they are expected to teach in! Montessori is set up so each kid basically has an IEP lol!
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#3 of 16 Old 01-12-2005, 02:25 PM
 
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My sister had her Add/adhd kids in Montessori until 4th grade. She swore by it.
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#4 of 16 Old 01-24-2005, 08:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunmountain
I'm not a mom of a kid with add/adhd but I work as an Assistant in a 9-12 (4th-6th grade) Montessori classroom. And I have substituted in 1-3, 3-6, and 6-9 classrooms. We have quite a few add/adhd kids in our school. One thing about a lot of these kids is that they crave structure, Montessori gives them that without it being hindering. They do have a certain amount of freedom within limits, the time is structured so the kids know what to expect from their day, yet within these boundaries are choices like: where to sit, who to work with (if anyone) what piece of work to complete first, when to have a snack, etc... It helped me immensely to read literature which suggests solutions to common problems like what areas of the room to avoid setting these kids in to do their work. I suggest that you speak with the teacher ahead of time to let her know certain needs like this, as well as any dietary restrictions.
i think you are going to find that the teacher is going to be very open to whatever you have to suggest and will be more willing than a public school teacher to work with your son instead of against him. Not to knock public school teachers, it's not them per se, but rather the environment they are expected to teach in! Montessori is set up so each kid basically has an IEP lol!
I have a 5 1/2 year-old son in his 2nd year in Montessori, and I am now meeting with obstacles because he is both ADHD and gifted (IQ=140). It seems the administration at the school is hesitating to recommend him for 1st grade (lower elementary) for the fall because he occasionally melts down in response to frustration, and he needs some extra pushing at times to try new works. I feel like they either "don't get" him, or they're worried he'll just be "too much work" for them, yet he has thrived beautifully in the Montesorri environment thus far. I remain convinced Montessori could work well for him for elementary. Any suggestions???????
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#5 of 16 Old 01-24-2005, 09:12 PM
 
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honestly that sounds more like an age-related problem, a maturity delay. you have to ask yourself, will holding him back help him master some skills/educational goals to be better prepared for being a first year? or will it be boring and frustrating?
i held my first back and had him repeat kindergarten, and I am so glad I did. He would have just become more frustrated and withdrawn. he really blossomed that second year.

In general I am in favor of holding boys back a year, my ds started 1st at age 7. The classroom should offer him enough to do, my ds was doing multiplication and division in K, starting to read and researching subjects more in depth.
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#6 of 16 Old 01-25-2005, 03:17 AM
 
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We're having trouble with our 5 yr. old son at Montessori too. They seem to be encouraging us to seek out traditional school for K, they say for the increased structure. I'm not sure if it is that, or if they may not want to deal with his defiant/oppositional nature, which can be pretty challenging. Any thoughts on the traditional school structure for "difficult" children.
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#7 of 16 Old 01-25-2005, 01:03 PM
 
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Thanks for the reply- We have wondered if holding him back a year would be helpful, but 2 psychologists we have worked with have insisted that would be a disaster because he'd act out more due to boredom. (Incidentally, he already reads at a 2nd grade level and has been working on multiplication this year in K.....also, his best friends are 2 six year-old kinders who will move up in the fall ). It's so hard to tell how much of the behavioral stuff is maturity-related, or how much is simply ADHD/giftedness, which will be ongoing. What I do know is that he does adapt pretty reasonably to new expectations; he started the kinder enrichment program on Jan 3, and went from verbally challenging most teacher directions to pretty much going with the flow in less than 3 weeks. My heart and my brain tell me he'll have some bumps, but will overall do well if they move him up. I just hope they'll be willing to try....
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#8 of 16 Old 01-25-2005, 01:12 PM
 
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My hunch is that it totally depends on your school district and what ancillary services are available. You should definitely observe the traditional classroom and talk with the principal about your child's issues/needs and see how they respond. The issue with the public school in our district is that it's quite socioeconomically mixed, which is great socially, but presents difficulties academically for a child who is already reading fluidly and has more Montessori-taught independent skills than the majority of the kids who enter the public school system; hence a set-up for boredom and acting out, particularly in the early grades when there aren't the varying academic tracks for kids at different levels.
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#9 of 16 Old 01-26-2005, 03:56 PM
 
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Montessori has a few advantages for ADHD/Gifted kids.

The first being that each child can work at their individual challenge level. Very important for academic success. Another is the built-in flexibility. For example, my son's classroom had a little file box with index cards. Each card had an activity like, 'go outside and run around the tree 3 times'. The students were allowed to pick from this box during the day when they needed to let off some steam. It helped a lot!

One more advantage I've noticed is that the kids get to keep the same teacher for three years. This is great because the teacher really gets to know your child, who won't need to "start over" every year with a new teacher. The growth just continues.

But that's just been my experience. Every school is a bit different and the teacher can make all the difference.

To enhance the lessons...you can make your home as child-friendly as possible. Help him master his environment. Provide your son with as many opportunities to do things himself. Give him a kid-sized pitcher to pour his own milk. Encourage him to prepare and clean up his own snacks (with help of course!). Keep experiential things like sturdy musical instruments and puzzles out and available.

Most importantly, pay attention to what he seems interested in and help him seek more info about those things. And read to him a lot!

Good luck!
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#10 of 16 Old 01-26-2005, 06:14 PM
 
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I couldn't agree more with everything you've said- that's why I'm lobbying so hard to have my son stay in Montessori for lower elementary! If they're willing to deal with who he is, and work with his issues, I think everyone will have a truly rewarding and enjoyable experience. Maybe I'll print your posting for the conference we're having on Friday!
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#11 of 16 Old 12-04-2006, 04:42 AM
 
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My son (age 5) was/is going thru the same situation at his Montessori school. He is high energy and has (SPD) sensory issues. His IQ and academic knowledge test out in the 99% of the population. After a year the Children's House teacher (AMS) seemed to discreetly and indirectly suggest we consider other educational options. She thought he was too argumentative and was easily distracted by the on-goings within the classroom. She said she'd never met another child like him.

I explained my son's issues openly with her and explained what I thought the Montessori environment should provide. Then compared that to a traditional school environment and asked her what environment she thought would be best for my son. She agreed that Montessori would be the best. I never again heard any suggestion of considering other educational options.

That was over 2 years ago. Everything has worked out great. My son loves his school. He still has his moments and is working thru his sensory issues but we don't regret our decision at all. Next year he'll enter Lower Elementary at the same school. This will be another challenge. We're wondering if the same teacher will suggest that he stay an extra year in CH. I believe this would be a disaster - he would be very bored and honestly he would look down on himself about it.

For the last 2 months another Montessori teacher (AMI) at the same school - same classroom - has reviewed our son on a daily basis. She says he is all boy but that she has seen plenty of children with similar issues. She does not see any LE promotion problem.

We'll see what happens...
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#12 of 16 Old 12-01-2008, 04:14 PM
 
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Hi,

My son is just now 7 and in 1st grade at a Montessori school. I had asked about moving him into kindergarten early since his birthday is in November (He also did 3 years pre-school/kindergarten there) and he is advanced in his social skills, but they said to leave him where he was and if he needed extra work they would accommodate him on any level. They felt his emotional skills (self-control, etc.) warranted staying at his age level.

One of the main advantages to the Montessori method is students being able to use materials from any level- thus preventing boredom (or at least minimizing it). They are very aware that hardly any child is on the same level in each area of learning. The social skills are really how the group is divided. My son is working on 3rd grade math level (his teacher said "I do not have enough hands to give him enough math work") and is at the basic 1st grade reading. The teachers say he is internally motivated and working hard- very good for a child who is most likely adhd. He is learning from the 2nd and 3rd grade students about problem solving social skills.

If a child is in a good Montessori school, they will give them the materials to keep them from getting terribly bored.
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#13 of 16 Old 12-10-2008, 04:11 AM
 
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dd has SPD and montessori has been a great experience for her. in homecare she ran wild and was bored and behind. at 3 i got her montessori, it took 6 months to help her get motivated and increase her attention span. by 4 she was getting bored as it was not challening for her and she wasnt willing to challenge herself. so little over 4 yrs upon the director's recommendation, we moved dd during the summer into the pre-k/k classroom to see how she would adjust. she stepped up to the challenge and is excelling. she love doing her "homework" and often asks for extra worksheets! i'm worried when she eventually goes to public...

single mama to DD 5.09
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#14 of 16 Old 12-10-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwmom View Post
Any thoughts on the traditional school structure for "difficult" children.
i taught special ed. in public schools for 7 years. montessori is much more accommodating for these kiddos as they are allowed freedom of movement whenever needed. indeed, movement is built into every activity. public schools do not allow for this movement b/c a: there's not much room and b: they're not willing to allow the "chaos" of kids getting out of their seats whenever they feel like it.

also, public schools require that kids focus on X subject for X amount of time, all teacher led. montessori is quite the opposite.
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#15 of 16 Old 12-12-2008, 05:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nocurfupa View Post
One of the main advantages to the Montessori method is students being able to use materials from any level- thus preventing boredom (or at least minimizing it). They are very aware that hardly any child is on the same level in each area of learning.
True dat!

One of my favorite materials is the trinomial cube. If a younger child picks this up, the teacher can show him how to sort the pieces then put the cube back together. On the same day, a 3rd grade child might take it and learn how to solve the equation for
(a+b+c)^3
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#16 of 16 Old 12-12-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nocurfupa View Post
Hi,

My son is just now 7 and in 1st grade at a Montessori school. I had asked about moving him into kindergarten early since his birthday is in November (He also did 3 years pre-school/kindergarten there) and he is advanced in his social skills, but they said to leave him where he was and if he needed extra work they would accommodate him on any level. They felt his emotional skills (self-control, etc.) warranted staying at his age level.
This sounds like my ds, who is 4. His birthday is JUST before the cutoff in my state, and I have struggled with when to stark kdg. Since discovering Montessori, I've been much more comfortable with starting him "late" and letting his social skills catch up to his knowledge.
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