Montessori, and a related ? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-15-2005, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone have their kids in Montessori school? I visited one this afternoon and was impressed. I think it will be good for my son, who will be 3 1/2 when he starts. It brought up a question for me though.

I know they emphasize letting the child do as much for themselves as possible (including pour their own juice, put their own shoes on, etc.). I know most kids that age are really into that, but my son doesn't seem to want to do a lot for himself right now. I don't know if it's because I haven't fostered that in him, or because I am humoring his desire to be "baby Evan," as he calls himself. I just figured this was a phase he needed to go through and I should let him. Now I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong.

I have a younger son, but he's 14 months, so this is not new-baby syndrome or anything. Evan just wants me to do a lot of things for him. Am I doing him a disservice by seemingly meeting his "needs?"

I hope this post makes sense. It just made me wonder what the balance is between meeting your child's needs and helping them grow up. I'm starting to call him "Peter Pan." :LOL
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#2 of 6 Old 03-16-2005, 01:55 AM
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My DD, who is now 3, started at Montessorri when she was 2.5. (She goes 2x a week, 6 hours each.) She transtioned absolutely amazingly well and really likes it. She has always been fairly independent, with some wierd not so independent things, so the school is a good fit for her. What I understand about the philosophy is that they work with the child's interests and nothing is forced. If a kid is trying to work on something that they aren't quite ready for, the teachers are there to help or give them something more appropriate for them. Your son might surprise you in what he is willing to do for himself in a school setting. One day I picked DD up and she was having a fit about something and started crying. One of her teachers commented on what must be wrong with her because she never crys at school. Well, she cries plenty at home. I think that kids do act differently in different places and with different people, and that is ok. YOu have to of course make the decision based on what you think is best for your son.

My DD is so much at a stage right now where she has to do so much by herself. In fact, you do something for her that she wanted to do, and she will "undo" what you did, to do it herself. Today walking home from the car she was crying about something and DH tried to help her. He thought she wanted to be picked up so he did, then she was screaming to be put down. So he did, she walked back to where he had picked her up so that she could walk that part alone. This can be funny and so #$)(*# irritating sometimes.

As far as Peter Pan, this triggered a personal thing for me because DH used to say that about himself -- wanted to be like Peter Pan. Quite a difference between a 3 yr old and a 30 something, but we are dealing with some heavy issues right now due to his still lasting Peter Pan complex. Not sure why I am sharing that since that is obviously not what you are dealing with, but for the record, I do think that his mother babied him in harmful ways (and continues to do so to this day, but that is a whole other post). I think that it is great to be there for our kids who do not develop in linear ways, but we also need to teach them how to grow their own wings, so to speak. Finding that middle of the road is always the trick, I guess. By saying all of this, I am by no means trying to imply that you are babying him in a bad way. Just rambling late night thoughts!
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#3 of 6 Old 03-16-2005, 06:01 PM
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I have my 2 and 1/2 year old in a morning Montessori program 3 mornings a week. I had the same exact concerns as you esp since my son is a year younger and I seriously doubted that he was ready to do all these things on his own. All I can say is I was SOOO wrong. He has thrived. In fact he now gets mad at me if I try to do things for him (get his coat & shoes on, etc.) He helps me around the house now too. I SWEAR! Hand the kid a sponge and he loves to clean. He does dishes, helps with laundry etc. They also do a lot of fun things at his school...lots of art and music and free play outdoors everyday.

Anyway, I think it all comes down to the school. Montessori schools vary as much as any other school and it depends how the teachers handle it. I have seen Mont schools that were more rigid then I would like. Ds's teacher is AMAZING. She is very firm but gentle. I'm amazed that she gets all these kids to put away the toys (or "work" as they call it) when they are done...put on their own snowsuits...hang up their hats & gloves themselves...blah blah blah. But they do it with very little resistance. Its all in the way its presented.

I would go with how you feel but its also good to give something a chance even if you have a few doubts. We were VERY nervous but are so happy with ds's Montessori school.

"We shape the clay into a pot but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want" Lao Tzu
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#4 of 6 Old 03-16-2005, 06:22 PM
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This thread is making me sad because I really liked the montessori program my 2.5 year old was in but I had to pull her out because she was scared of her teacher. Also it was kinda far for us.

she liked the program, though, and did very well with all the independence aspects of it.
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#5 of 6 Old 03-16-2005, 06:52 PM
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just wanted to chime in and say that it is fairly common and age appropriate behavior for a 3-3 1/2 yo to want to be a baby again, regardless of if there is a new baby involved. My 3yo did this (with a new baby involoved, lol) and I was a bit freaked out and thought it was all about the new baby, but then learned that others I knew who had one kid the same age were doing it too, so it wasn't my newborn bringing it out in her, just a normal devleopment. Once I started thinking about it more, it made sense. What a huge leap in development, all of a sudden they CAN do things themselves, but will Mama still want to help them? or will she help them if they do need it at some point? or if I don't need Mom for this, does she still need me? I think it makes a ton of sense.

Also, my now 4yo can get ready to go outside by herself at pre-school (snowpant, coat, mittens, hat, gator, boots, the whole Minnesota winter thing), but at home still insists she needs help. Different expectations at school, plus at home, I only have to help two kids get ready for the outside, I have the time (even if it doesn't feel like it), not 18 3-5 yos running around like maniacs.

Not that this specifically addresses your montessori question, but I felt like responding to the other thing. Sorry if it's too off topic. Let's see, how to bring it around back on dd will most likely be starting a Monessori program in the fall, there!

R~mama to 3

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#6 of 6 Old 03-16-2005, 08:42 PM
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Moved to Montessori sub-forum...

anna kiss partner to jon radical mama to aleks (8/02) and bastian (5/05)
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