Was Suggested by Another Mom to Cross Post Here. What are my Schooling Options - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-09-2008, 01:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Some Background:
My husband has ADHD and I have ADD. My husband was diagnosed and medicated when he was in elementary school, and eventually stopped taking his meds. I wasn't diagnosed until I was in college. School was a struggle for both of us. For me when I was in college, diagnosed and learned was to study/learn that were effective for me I did well. At 23 months, my son is already showing signs of hyperactivity, however, I have also been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, and my DR thinks my son may have it too(it's hereditary-runs in my family), and said most hyper children, ADD and ADHD have sleeping problems that go undiagnosed. So when my son gets a little older we will be looking into that since he already shows symtoms.(I had already expressed to my son's DR. that there may be problems(he snores like an adult and makes strange noises.)
Now with all of that said, because of our negative experience in school my husband and I have "unconventional" beliefs in what a school should be.
1. I think a child's elementary years should be spent exploring and playing(one in the same to me)
2. I don't think standardized testing truly indicates what a child has learned/knows
3. I don't think children should be cooped up in a classroom for 6 hours a day.
4. I think art, and music are just as important as academics.
5. I don't think children should have to spend 6 hours of schoolwork, then be sent home with more school work.
6. I think children should spend time with quality interactions with adult and children

I have a lot of things I don't like about about public(and some private) schools, but I also don't know what is out there, what my options are.

We are considering homeschool, but i'm just not sure I want to tackle that "full time" Is there such a thing as "part time" homeschooling/part time traditional schooling?


What are my options? I have a couple more years, but I would like to have a plan.
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:50 AM
 
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You're asking in a Montessori forum, so the best thing I can do is help you understand what Montessori Elementary is like. Take a look at this video, then I can discuss any specific questions you might have:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGFYVRSWokg

It's at least an interesting 15 minute video.
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MattBronsil View Post
You're asking in a Montessori forum, so the best thing I can do is help you understand what Montessori Elementary is like. Take a look at this video, then I can discuss any specific questions you might have:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGFYVRSWokg

It's at least an interesting 15 minute video.
Matt is right...this is a wonderful video.

Glad you posted here! I think you will get really great feedback from some of the Mont teachers in this forum. From what you described on the other thread, it totally screams Montessori to me. You should read through some of the posts here and see if it sounds like something you'd like to investigate further.

An incredibly thankful SAH Mommy to 3 fiendishly enchanting girls 11/04,10/05, & 12/06. 
 
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akilamonique View Post
Some Background:
My husband has ADHD and I have ADD. My husband was diagnosed and medicated when he was in elementary school, and eventually stopped taking his meds. I wasn't diagnosed until I was in college. School was a struggle for both of us. For me when I was in college, diagnosed and learned was to study/learn that were effective for me I did well. At 23 months, my son is already showing signs of hyperactivity, however, I have also been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, and my DR thinks my son may have it too(it's hereditary-runs in my family), and said most hyper children, ADD and ADHD have sleeping problems that go undiagnosed. So when my son gets a little older we will be looking into that since he already shows symtoms.(I had already expressed to my son's DR. that there may be problems(he snores like an adult and makes strange noises.)
A more in-depth answer to your question. There is an article I wrote several years ago called "Lest We Forget" about Montessori for students with ADD/ADHD. It was written more from a 3-6 age perspective, but many of the ideas apply directly to elementary as well.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...10/ai_n9314415

It looks at a 1994 conference document that offers suggestions on helping students with learning disabilities. I took what I saw were key points and responded to them in terms of how Montessori deals with these things in the classroom naturally.

Quote:
1. I think a child's elementary years should be spent exploring and playing(one in the same to me)
That's exactly how I described my schooling from the time I was born until I went on to "Traditional" school. Until I left Montessori, I never followed a science textbook (or a history textbook, for that matter). I did expirements. I researched why ____ happens in nature (whatever I found was an interesting question).

Science, at the time, was truly the scientific process. I don't remember exactly how the work went, but I remember there being a huge list of science expirement cards we would go through in the 9-12 classroom. We would read the description of what it involved. We would then make up a hypothesis of what will happen, why we thought it would happen that way, test it out, and draw up our conclusion based on what we saw.

The only thing that kept us driven was the fact that we were interested in it. We were naturally interested in them because they were cool expirements. We were even more interested in them because we saw others doing them and, being cool expirements, we wanted to get through them ourselves. No need for the teacher to keep saying, "Do science now." We did it naturally, as with the rest of the curriculum.

The curriculum is also very linked together. I got stuck in a rut when I was about 10 years old, constantly writing about Techumseh in my history notebook. So my teacher asked me to do a big project on it. In that, I researched more than just Techumseh's life. I began to understand more what lead up to his life and more about Ohio's history. I learned more about the importance today. I quickly came out of the "rut" I was in.

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2. I don't think standardized testing truly indicates what a child has learned/knows
And let me take this a step further. I don't think children necessarily have to prove what they know to us. I think it hurts their education if we keep testing them.

Quote:
3. I don't think children should be cooped up in a classroom for 6 hours a day.
I enjoyed going to school. Granted, not every single day. And I was excited about snow days and Summer Vacation. But I never felt "cooped up."

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4. I think art, and music are just as important as academics.
Every school has different programs for art and music. The nice thing in Montessori is they are introduced to so many different ways to gather and present information. So even if the school does not have an art class, your child will be interested in decorating their work and celebrating it.

Quote:
5. I don't think children should have to spend 6 hours of schoolwork, then be sent home with more school work.
I had some homework in the elementary years, but it wasn't much compared to what most people had. It was also very open and free, from what I recall. I had a writing journal and I would have to write a little bit in it over the course of however long. I don't remember exact numbers or time I should have spent on it. I just remember that I was allowed to write about whatever I wanted.

It's so interesting because I don't even know whether that homework was a requirement or not. I remember wanting to do it. I enjoyed writing (as you can tell), so it was something I looked forward to.

Quote:
6. I think children should spend time with quality interactions with adult and children
I agree. I don't think they should be sitting quietly and listening to a teacher talk.

The Montessori model for 3-6 and Elementary both revolve around a 2.5 - 3 hour work cycle, where the children choose their own works. There are times for group and individual lessons (not set times, necessarily. Often, it is when the teacher sees an opportunity). The elementary classroom has a large focus on preparing information and sharing with your classmates. This enables the students to get a good sense of what everyone's interests are, different ways to do projects, and different ideas than they ever thought before. It's not a matter of getting through school because everyone presents the same thing that the teacher told them before. It's a matter of learning because everyone is doing something they're interested in and seeing how that applies to your learning.

Matt
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:07 PM
 
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Wow Matt, another very informative post! Thanks!

An incredibly thankful SAH Mommy to 3 fiendishly enchanting girls 11/04,10/05, & 12/06. 
 
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:38 PM
 
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I think Montessori would be a very good choice for both you and your son. It meets your 6 beliefs and would allow him the freedom to develop his own feelings of responsibility as a member of a community. By that I mean, instead of being told to sit down and be quiet by an adult trying to control a group of children, he would be in a classroom where the children mentor and guide, mostly by example. He would be given the opportunity to develop his will, to see immediately the positives and negatives of his choices. And without the embarrassment of having an adult come down on him, or singling him out. I say this only as someone who knows an adult who went through that type of experience as a child in a traditional school. It scarred him. He wishes he had gone to a Montessori school as a child, he says it would have given him a completely different opinion of school, learning, and himself.
I hope you have the opportunity to observe at one.
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so glad I posted here! That was an excellent video!!! I bookmarked it for my husband to watch later!
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