Preparing 5 year old for Montessori - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-17-2006, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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We're on the waiting list for our Dd to enter Montessori in the fall. I'm wondering how to prepare her for a few things. For example, she has never shown any interest in dressing herself. Because of her age, they will want her to be capable of zipping her own coat and snapping or buttoning anything necessary. She also will have to be fully potty independent, but now she doesn't wipe for BMs and shows not only no interest in doing these things for herself, but a definite resistance to doing these things.

Should I somehow work on these skills? If so, how?
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#2 of 5 Old 03-17-2006, 06:24 PM
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No, I wouldn't worry about it or try to prepare. I remember when I went to visit the Montessori preschool my son ultimately attended for 2 years. I watched the other kids pick out their activities, unroll their rugs, play, put their stuff away, and roll up the rugs again.

You couldn't pay my kid to put something away after using it. "How nice", I thought. "Even though he'll obviously never do what these kids are doing, at least he'll see that other kids can."

Well, within a few weeks of school, he was doing all these things. They pick it up, and your dd will, too.
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#3 of 5 Old 03-17-2006, 06:33 PM
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I'd talk to the school and find out exactly what they expect. Ask them for advice and suggestions how to work on the skills they are expecting. If they are accepting her at 5 years old, they would have to realize that she won't already know what the other Montessori kids have learned over the past few years. Likely they will work with her when she gets to school. Will she be going full days? (our Montessori schools do full days/5 days per week at age 5). If so, and you are really worried about the fall, maybe you can see if there is a way they can squeeze her into the half day program for the remainder of this year. Then she could pick up some of these skills before the fall.

I know our Montessori school doesn't usually start kids at 5 because most of the other kids have had 2-3 years of Montessori experience already (they do make exceptions though). And in those 2-3 pre-school years they learn "help me to do it myself" and have little work areas with zippers/buttons/snaps etc. I bet they will work with your daughter and let her work in some of the areas for the skills she needs help with. Montessori school should be trained in working with kids at all levels and working at different rates. If you talk to them, they may even be able to lend you some of the work for your DD to take home over the summer, if they even think that's necessary.

I don't know how your school works with regards to the bathroom, but at ours the kids went themselves. They were obviously shown the bathroom and taught how to wash their hands properly when they were done, but they didn't even have to ask to leave to go. They would simply get up quietly and put on a beaded necklace that hung by the door (so the teacher's knew that someone was in the bathroom and only one child went at at time) and went on their own. If they didn't wipe, the teachers would never know (I guess unless the child came back stinky). So as long as she is able to get to the bathroom herself, and go without help, and wash her hands properly when she is done, I likely wouldn't worry too much about the wiping. You can work on that at home and it will then carry over to school.

Tofie ~ mama to DD1, DD2 and Pookie v3 debuting December 2011
Oh my God....women are the COWS of PEOPLE!! --Reese, Malcolm in the Middle
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#4 of 5 Old 03-20-2006, 06:46 PM
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While I think it is true what a pp said about the school working with her, this is what I'd do with ds, 4, at the beginning of the school year. He also had no interest in dressing himself:

With socks, I'd tell him, "I'll do one, you do one". With shirt, "I'll do one sleeve, you do the other sleeve". Same with pants, shoes, etc. Eventually he just started to do it himself. He somehow learned how to zip his jacket, because I never taught him - it must have been his M. directress! Ds also rebelled at first, but once I told him we'd do it together - teamwork - he was satisfied and then just started doing it himself. I make sure everything is very child friendly - velcro on shoes, etc. so he CAN do it himself.

With the potty, I wouln't expect the teachers to wipe a BM on a 5 year old, not to be insensitive but I'm being honest. I also do the "you wipe first, I'll help with the rest if you need it" approach.

Good luck! You have all summer to use the 'teamwork' approach!
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#5 of 5 Old 03-29-2006, 08:06 PM
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I've been thinking about this too. DS1 is enrolled at the local Montessori for grade 1 in the fall. He is fully potty trained & will wipe himself if he has too. I am concerned about the fact that he isn't used to being around large groups of children (especially older ones) & he really doesn't seem self-motivated when it comes to the alphabet & writing. He knows how to write quite a few words, but he won't name the letters (I think he can he just doesn't want to).


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