WOHMs, half-day Montessori and daycare - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 04-13-2006, 03:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone have experience with sending their children to Montessori for an am-only (3s and 4s) program, and then daycare in the afternoon? We will probably have to do this in fall, depending on my work schedule, but hopefully only for a few days a week. I'll pick ds up and have lunch together before dropping him off, but I worry about so many transitions. Has anyone tried to juggle a schedule like this? If so, any advice?
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#2 of 9 Old 04-13-2006, 03:01 PM
 
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#3 of 9 Old 04-13-2006, 03:04 PM
 
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Hi!
We set up an All-Day class in our school so that the child in this situation would not be faced with so many transitions. Maybe there is an All-Day Children's House in your area?
Another thought that I had is that sometimes, the Directress may be willing to keep a younger child for the remainder of the day. The young child could even nap in a quiet corner of the room.
The other idea I had is that you may be able to find a reasonably priced "nanny" who could be with your son at home in the afternoons.
I would personally have concerns about a child going from a Montessori environment in the morning to a completely different approach in the afternoons. The child would have to comply with different expectations in each environment which may be contradictory. Maybe you can find an inhome day care with a similar philosophy. Our area has a County run service called "Starting Point" that has lists of in home day care available.

My sweetie and I have a lovely little lady 07/02 and 3 cats
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#4 of 9 Old 04-14-2006, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the ideas, Lilliana. We'll be meeting with a group of parents in a similar situation, and hopefully we can pool ideas about what options are available locally. We are actually happy with the pm play-based daycare -- the center is really high quality, and it would allow ds to have more social interaction and free play with his peers. We had a bad experience in the past with in-home daycare, but it was not Montessori. Then again, I heard Montessori for 3 yo's was only half-day because a full day is too rigorous for that age. But I'm guessing that Montessori-oriented daycare would be different from a formal Montessori kindergarten program?
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#5 of 9 Old 04-16-2006, 07:29 PM
 
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Well this is about as rigorous as we get:
The children in the All-Day who in their first or second year play outside before lunch, then they have an hour to setup, eat, clean up, refresh in lav, socialize etc. and then most of them choose to nap or rest on a cot. If not, they choose something to do in the room right along side the children in their 3rd year. This includes all presentations, book corner, baking, music, special group events, audience members for upper level performances and also nature walks. It's not really rigorous in the sense that the child is expected to perform anymore than s/he is required to demonstrate mastery in the morning work cycle. The 3rd year of Children's House is in some ways more rigorous than the 1st but would not personally use that word to describe it. It's just that I feel the child is more comfortable and better served by spending as much time at home as possible. Though I also feel that the child benefits from participating in the morning work cycle, 3 hours away from home for a 3 or 4 year old is just about right. The All-Day was created in response to a need for both parents to work, not because of a developmental need. The Children's House should be set up in a comfortable and familiar manner, so should be homey to the child anyway but there is still no place like home!

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#6 of 9 Old 04-17-2006, 08:51 AM
 
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YOu really do need to check with your Montessori to see if they are able to stay all day. I think it would be hard on the child to go from morning Montessori to afternoon Daycare. The children in our Montessori school are very different kind of thinkers than a child in just daycare and that could be a no so good situation for the child. My childrens Montessori school has an all day program and if the younger child needs to be all day they just make arrangements like another poster said. Maybe you can get a nanny a few days a week and split it with the M school the other few days ... Good luck with your choices. Some of my hardest parenting choices revolve around my childrens schooling.

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#7 of 9 Old 04-18-2006, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Lilliana, for the great play-by-play and also to Melda for the advice. There is an all-day Montessori near us, and that's definitely something to consider for next year since that program isn't available for 3yos. I wouldn't have thought of that, so I appreciate your mentioning it. But we prefer the school where he's planning to attend in the fall because it's more established as a Montessori and has a sunnier, more peaceful school environment. I did ask already our school about the all-day program, and they explained the 5yo's have the classrooms in the pm for other activities when the little ones are gone.

Re our decision about what to do in the afternoons, I should say that "daycare" doesn't do the place justice. It really is a fantastic center where ds has thrived--it's in a university setting and is more of an early childhood learning program than just daycare. Their philosophy has some elements of Montessori, but also incorporates Reggio Emilia, M. Garber, problem-solving approaches from "High Scope," etc. He's already been going there and it's familiar to him, so we're most likely going to keep a few pm spots there. We can always pull him out if it doesn't work, but if possible we'd like him to keep him in a place where he already has a lot of friends since he will be with new kids in the am.

Anyway, I do appreciate the responses, and some of our friends think we're pushing it, too. Other friends managed to do a similar arrangement and think it's worth trying. I can post again later in the year to let people know how it turned out if cmlp or others are considering this in the future. Right now, we're just undecided about how to handle the 90 min gap between the two programs...
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#8 of 9 Old 04-18-2006, 01:10 PM
 
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I am in a similar situation. Some of the Montessori schools here offer extended day services for an additional fee. Georiga law states that these schools must be licensed day care center to provide extended day services for children 3-4 years old. The school that I really like only wants to be a school and not have to follow state guidelines so they choose not to be licensed by the state and the 3-4 year olds can only stay in school for 4 hours. This school has a relationship with a nearby day care center that will pick up the kids from school at 12:00 and provide extended care until 6:30 if needed for a fee. Check with your school I am sure other parents are in the same situation, the school may already have a relationship with a near by center that you can check out.
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#9 of 9 Old 04-18-2006, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, GA Mom. That's a good idea, and it's great to hear you have a nice arrangement.

Actually, I have an update--I called the nearby all-day program directly, and it *does* take 3yo, the fee is just a little higher. They have a waiting list for the fall, but apparently it's not very long, so we have a chance. Right now, it's just a relief to have a backup plan for the fall in case Plan A doesn't work...

Thank you so much, Lilliana and Melda, for nudging me on this
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