Is your M school very academically focused/pushy? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 11 Old 01-18-2007, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
MistyB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 893
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do not know if my expectations for pre-k are way to low or if my son's school is nudging a bit more than I would.

He is room is mostly 4 and 5's. Two older 3's and one 6. But the older students are doing sight words tests weekly. And he needs to have the names of all of the 13 original colonies learned by tomorrow.

I am unschoolerish at heart but love the practice and freedom of a Montessori classroom. It is just hard to reconcile the two ideas sometime.
MistyB is offline  
#2 of 11 Old 01-18-2007, 04:10 PM
 
RomanGoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Across the pond
Posts: 2,051
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MistyB View Post
Two older 3's and one 6. But the older students are doing sight words tests weekly. And he needs to have the names of all of the 13 original colonies learned by tomorrow.
Montessori is all about going at the rhythm of the child so if a child is ready to read or learn about geography, then no problem. However, my understanding of Montessori is that it is certainly not about tests or homework.

Roman Goddess, mom to J (August 2004) and J (April 2009).    h20homebirth.gif signcirc1.gif
RomanGoddess is offline  
#3 of 11 Old 01-18-2007, 05:49 PM
 
ihathi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Weekly tests of any sort sound very not Montessori! Are they graded? What kind of justification do the teachers provide for these tests?

Is this a certified Montessori school?
ihathi is offline  
#4 of 11 Old 01-18-2007, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
MistyB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 893
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The school does not have full certification but adminastrator and all of the teachers have current Montessori certification.

I have nost asked any questions about the testing yet as it just started less than 2 weeks ago. I need to try to catch his primary teacher to ask her about it.

My guts tells me that it is less her, although she controls the classroom, but moreso parent pressure on her to really push academics. Most of the parents want their kids reading fluently by 4, speaking multiple languages and a few of the students go to mathnasium or places like that, because 4-5 year olds need math tutors.:

I just plan on sitting down with Alec tonight with his USA puzzle and discussing each of the colony states, the colony flag and trying to make an interesting experience out of it. I can't imagine trying to make him remember them all at this age.
MistyB is offline  
#5 of 11 Old 01-18-2007, 08:48 PM
 
Lillianna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 765
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This post really sounds some alarms! He has to memorize the 13 original colonies!?! Sight word tests???

IMO, it's these kinds of experiences that contribute to misunderstandings about what M is all about....

Any academic learning should be based on the child's interests and never subjected to deadlines or group testing. Children in M often excel academically but it is precisely because of high expectations with low levels of pressure and work with the very interesting (manipulative) materials.

I couldn't expect any child to learn the name of a single state without lots of experience building the puzzle map of the U.S.; this follows a series of presentations beginning with the sandpaper globe, the painted globe, the world map, maps of each continent, and finally the map of the States. It's hard to believe he's covered all that ground already. The memorization of the names of the states involves a "3 period lesson" which is what the Guide should be presenting - not the parent and certainly not during home time unless of course, it is initiated by the child. Montessori felt very strongly that lessons should be presented by progressing from the whole to the parts: so we begin geography with "land" and "water", then the names of the contintents are presented before countries, and countries before states.

I personally feel that the more I learn about Unschooling, the more similarities I see between it and my (AMI) Montessori training.

My sweetie and I have a lovely little lady 07/02 and 3 cats
Lillianna is offline  
#6 of 11 Old 01-18-2007, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
MistyB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 893
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you for this. I consider myself to be decently informed about Montessori although I am not as much informed about what the norms are at 5-6-7 etc. My son as gone to 2 different school in different states. I have gone to several workshops regarding the method and what is going on in his classroom seemed a bit...traditional/forced academic and not Montessori. It has only been in the last 2 weeks that this test thing has been going on but I know there is a large push because most of the class will be transfering into public K next year. Most of the parents want the kids to be "ahead of the pack"...eh.

His teacher started sending home a handwriting notebook 2 months ago with handwriting skill sheets. She wanted him to do a sheet every night. I think that is a nono too...but then with something like handwriting, I didn't know if was actually better for him to practice his penmanship daily? He has improved greatly, but not really at his own intiative.

I know they have discussed the globe early in the year. He made a pin push atlas poster size map in September. They learn about new countries each month and learn how to count to 30 each month in a different language. The individual state stuff has been since the holiday break.
MistyB is offline  
#7 of 11 Old 01-19-2007, 12:19 AM
 
mightymoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Mass. Confusion
Posts: 10,940
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This doesn't sound at all like my daughter's school. Granted my daughter is still 3 and this is just her first year. They did give us a report card around December and I assume we'll get one at the end of the year, but its more like the teacher just sat down and considered how she was doing in all the various areas and gave her a 'not yet introduced / working on it / Mastered' sort of assessment.

I know our school gets a lot of similar pressure from some of the parents, because the teachers were concerned when in our conference I said that well her grandmother is a retired kindergarten teacher, so she has her own private tutor - they were worried I really meant tutor, I just meant whenever my mom plays with her or reads to her she points out things she knows will help her learn, like letter sounds, etc. But they said they do see kids who come to school and don't want to work on anything because they are pushed too hard at home (and school is where they can get away from it!)

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
mightymoo is offline  
#8 of 11 Old 01-19-2007, 02:58 AM
 
JWSJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 76
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
MistyB -

What you're describing doesn't sound like a Montessori school.

Sounds like a prep school.
JWSJ is offline  
#9 of 11 Old 01-19-2007, 03:02 AM
 
kaydee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Hither & Yon
Posts: 2,510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWSJ View Post
MistyB -

What you're describing doesn't sound like a Montessori school.

Sounds like a prep school.
:

Not at all like our AMS M school.
kaydee is offline  
#10 of 11 Old 01-19-2007, 05:54 PM
 
flyingspaghettimama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 4,671
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That does sound awful.

I think you may be onto something though - I know that at our schools, there were many parents who really pushed the teachers to get the kids "super-ready" for K or 1st, with the intention to help the kids skip a grade or enter one of the local gifted programs. They wanted to see paperwork. I frequently saw the poor teachers trying to show parents work that their child had done and justify the method. Some parents removed their children because they felt that it wasn't rigorous enough.

You can be a voice arguing the other way (I was!) - and perhaps talking to the director, suggesting a parent ed night on the methodology behind M and convincing those parents to CHILL!
flyingspaghettimama is offline  
#11 of 11 Old 01-20-2007, 01:23 AM
 
Ilaria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Currently living in Beijing, China
Posts: 2,595
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hmmm...the tests and homework sound a bit scary!!

(My kids have neither at their AMI school)

Ilaria mamma to Owen, Caroline & Patrick .... loving life as expats in Asia intactlact.gifnovaxnocirc.gifuc.jpgnamaste.gif
Ilaria is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off