Starting Montessori at 4 vs 3 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-16-2006, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What the advantages of going to Montessori preschool at 3 rather than starting at 4? We're going to talk to the directess (my dh's bf's mom) but she's on vacation right now and won't be back for a little bit.

Any thoughts? What are the pros vs cons of starting at 3yo or 4yo?
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#2 of 8 Old 08-20-2006, 01:11 AM
 
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This is a tough one. I can totally understand, it is expensive!
However, you should know that in many ways, this program is designed to start at 3 because of the behavioral tendencies and stage of development. The child who starts at 4 will not have the same interest in the early materials that the younger child has. For example, the polishing activities and cylinder blocks would be less interesting to a 4 year old. These materials train the pincer grip in preparation for writing. The child is able to learn much more effortlessly in the 2nd and 3rd year, when he starts at 3. During the 1st year, the child spends time observing the older children working on the materials that he will use later. The child is also hearing and listening: the bells, sentences, geometry, recipes, math facts. Time spent absorbing knowledge. In the Children's House community, it is a rich and fertile field - because of the large size of the group, there are many different types of work going on. This also will help with the child making choices about what is interesting to him, because he will have a pretty wide repertoire of activities as possible choices. Familiarity breeds interest. Also, the children learn so much from one another and enjoy learning together.
Good luck with your decision, I'm trying to make a similar decision about Suzuki. I am curious to hear what your dh bf's mom has to say about this.

My sweetie and I have a lovely little lady 07/02 and 3 cats
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#3 of 8 Old 08-29-2006, 10:12 PM
 
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i have the same dilemma tho we've already decided to wait til after holiday break and ds will then be 3.5. we didn't start dd til she was 4...and she seemed to acclimate well to the routine and environment.

i appreciate your insight lillianna and hate to say that the money is also a factor. it'd be nice to have a longer break from tuition as our budget is seriously hurting since dh had his appendix out and then a string of bad luck re: things needing to be fixed on cars and in the house.....

i'll be watching this thread.....

beth
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#4 of 8 Old 08-30-2006, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Guess I should post an update...

We decided to send ds1 next year. We'll take this year to let him mature and get better at verbalizing. We'll send him next summer when it's 2.5 hour days 4 days/week to get him acclimated.

And it really stinks to have money be a factor, but we realized that sending ds1 now, 3 years of tuition, then in 2 years, ds2 would be there, so we'd have 2 tuitions for 1 year, then 2 w/just one child and that's if we didn't have any more children! The pocketbook says ouch!

Lilliana - thanks for responding - I've been reading your replies on other threads as well and we're more consciously incorporating Montessori into our home life - thanks for all those tips!
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#5 of 8 Old 08-30-2006, 12:49 AM
 
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My family wasn't ready for Montessori until my Dd was nearly 5 years old. She made a beautiful transition at that point, but there was no way that, as a SAHM, I was going to put her into Montessori for the minimum 15 hours per week required by our school. We just weren't ready for that.
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#6 of 8 Old 08-30-2006, 09:35 AM
 
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TBH, Montessori is designed to start from birth (obviously NOT in a school environment!! ) Maria Montessori did lots of research about something called the "external pregnancy" - something I imagine most mamas on this site actually take for granted and do anyway. It is all about allowing the child to take the lead, no pacifiers, extended breastfeeding, sleeping with the child, but when the child (if the child) is in their own room, allowing them to sleep on a mattress rather than a crib so they can get up when they need to. Keeping "attractions" in their bedroom to a minimum, but enough to entertain them. Encouraging the child to mimick the things that are done around the home, ie: baking, sweeping, polishing, feeding the cat, that kind of thing that fosters independence etc.

This is a highly crude and brief description!! I apologise.

We are lucky enough were we are to have a toddler program within our Montessori school and I liase with the toddler teacher, as I am a childbirth educator, to encompass some of these premises within my parenting education. They start as young as 15 months, which, if used as the way it is intended as an extension of what happens at home anyway, should be some nice "social" time and hopefully a gradual wean to the first year of primary (aged 3). I am not entirely sure that I am comfortable with children leaving their mamas at 15 months and that is another story, however, my daughter is going to start this week, she is now 2. I will surely be slated by some, but for her, I think it will work. She has two older brothers who have been at Montessori for a while now and so she is very very familiar with the school and her orientation has gone really well. If she were at all uncomfortable about being left or showed any signs, I would review it, and, like all of us on here I guess, her school time will by no means be an abandonment, but one where there is 100% commitment by me and my husband, liasing and interaction with the staff.

So, a long winded POV - !!
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#7 of 8 Old 08-30-2006, 05:22 PM
 
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Quote:
arwenevenstar TBH, Montessori is designed to start from birth (obviously NOT in a school environment!! ) Maria Montessori did lots of research about something called the "external pregnancy" -
So true! I lam glad you brought this up. Dr. M referred to the "fourth semester" and the "Psychic Spiritual Embryo"...References for her study of embryonic life are Absorbent Mind-Ch 7, Child in the Family-Ch.2&3, Secret of Childhood, Ch 2,and Ed for Human Development (Mario M) Intro and Ch 1. I should clarify that I was referring to the Children's House as being designed to start around 3.

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We are lucky enough were we are to have a toddler program within our Montessori school and I liase with the toddler teacher, as I am a childbirth educator, to encompass some of these premises within my parenting education.
Cool! This sounds like a mutually beneficial relationship! We did the Bradley Method, I felt that there was alot of respect given to the child's needs for the birth process.

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CindyAccount How much does the montesorri 's tuition for elementary kids? I maybe consider it as well for my 2nd and 4th graders. They are not challenged in school at all and no daily homework.
Tuition varies by school. Probably in the 5K-7K range for the year, IME. They will be challenged, but still no homework!

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#8 of 8 Old 09-02-2006, 01:33 AM
 
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My ds started Montessori when he was 4. I wasnt ready to send him 5 days a week at 3 so he went to a local co-op and then I had Montessori materials at home. Thats my one beef with Montessori. 5 days a week so young--I tend to be a little Waldorfy on that one!
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