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Old 04-12-2012, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is 4 with a December birthday, currently in his second year of primary at his Montessori school. Next year he will complete Kindergarten in Montessori, even though by public school standards he will only be eligible for pre-K based on his age. The question is, what do we do with him the following year? Our options are to send him to the local public school and either keep him in the age-appropriate grade of Kindergarten, essentially repeating Kindergarten, or put him in first grade (accelerated one year based on his age). There is also a local charter school that looks interesting, with an IB program that we can apply to, but it's a lottery to get in. I think I would keep him in Kindergarten in this program, but I'm not sure. Additionally, we could stick with Montessori for elementary, but for financial reasons (among other reasons) I'm not sure that's going to be feasible, or the best fit.

 

What brings me to worry about this so much, is that while DS is more mature and academically advanced than his same-age peers, he seems to be struggling in his pre-school class. His teacher says that he does not complete the "challenging work" that she feels he should be doing. He can, he just chooses not to. When I asked for an example of challenging work, she listed several things that DS has been able to do for well over 2 years, like counting objects to 10 and word building with 3 letter words. My opinion is that he is just bored, but she will not give him more advanced work. At home he begs me to give him math problems to solve, adding and subtracting numbers to 20. He loves to do mazes and word-finds, and will do entire books of them in one sitting. I don't know his reading level, but I do know that he's through the second level of Bob books at school, can decode almost anything, and surprises me with the long list of sight words he knows. His biggest weakness is his fine motor skills, and while he can write, it isn't easy for him and he still doesn't hold a pencil properly. He hates writing and often times will play with his shoelaces for an hour to avoid doing any writing work at school. (Of course, when that writing work is tracing his name or writing his numbers to 20, it's no wonder he doesn't find it inspiring and doesn't want to try.) He can count money and is learning to tell time.

 

Socially, he fits in better with children 1-2 years older than him. His only same age friend is similarly gifted, and his other friends are 1-3 years older. His sense of humor developed at a very early age, as well as his language skills. His attention span is not an issue - his teacher says that if he's interested in something he can focus on it for the entire morning if he's not interrupted. His gross motor skills are extremely well developed - he's athletic and enjoys soccer and karate. He's also tall for his age and people usually assume he's much older than he is. He has no behavior problems at school, other than his teacher reporting that he will often just sit there and play with a piece of fuzz rather than complete the work she thinks he should be doing. He can go an entire day without completing any "challenging work" and she will not allow him to do other things of his choice (like Legos, practical life, or clay work) until he has completed his "challenging work". (This has been an ongoing problem with the teacher/school, and DH and I have considered taking him out. We just worry about moving him in his last year of preschool, only to move him again the next year.)

 

I worry that if I basically have him repeat kindergarten in public school (in 2 years) he will be even more bored than he is now, and more likely to get in trouble. On the other hand, being that his fine motor skills are not his strength and he seems to resist the structured work he's given now (such as it is), he may not be ready for 1st grade yet (again, not this coming year, but the one after). Still, I can't shake the feeling that he's bored out of his mind, and will do better in a more challenging environment. Surely someone else on here has been in a similar situation and can shed some light on their experience. The application period for the charter school is in December, and I would really like to have a plan in place by then.

 

Edited for spelling/typos.


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Old 04-13-2012, 09:09 AM
 
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Is it possible to pull him from Montessori next year and send him to a play-based preschool? My gifted boy did wonderfully in a completely play-based environment at that age. Sounds like the Montessori isn't the best match for him. How miserable to have to complete busy work to move on to something better. Then you could figure out the kindy year options.

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Old 04-13-2012, 10:58 AM
 
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Will his kinder be in the same classroom/with the same teacher as  his current program (I know a lot of Montessoris go 3-6)?  If so, I would consider pulling him sooner rather than later.  If it is a different teacher, can you get info about how they handle their classroom and if it will be a better fit?

 

Is early enrollment at your public school an option?  How about the charter school?


 

 

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Old 04-13-2012, 11:11 AM
 
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*Check the rules for early enrollment in the public schools.  They vary by state, but many have a procedure for evaluating a child turning 5 before the end of the calendar year.  The decision is generally left to the building principal, so it can be depend on local attitudes as well as enrollment numbers.  (My DS was recently grade skipped in an anti-skip district.  I strongly suspect it was facilitated by the fact that the receiving grade had 20 fewer kids than his present grade had.)

*If the Montessori school is accredited, then passing kindergarten at that school with promotion to first grade should transfer to the local public school.  Check the state requirements.

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Old 04-13-2012, 11:53 AM
 
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Would it help to look up your state's standards by grade? It may give you an idea of what kind of work he'd be doing in public school in Kindergarten and 1st grade, and, based on what you already know about his abilities, whether that would be a challenging environment for him or not. For instance, in Florida, I believe they are teaching them to add/subtract within 10, so if your child is doing that already...

 

I would probably apply for the charter school either way. You can always turn a spot down, you know?

 

My son (just turned 3) is also a Montessori child: in theory, I love it. But we've sometimes had similar concerns to yours. As his teacher put it, "he knows more than the other children in the class, but he doesn't work as hard as the other children in the class." And he apparently spends a lot of the time just sitting on the little sofa, much like you described yours sitting "there and play(ing) with a piece of fuzz rather than complet(ing) the work she thinks he should be doing." The reason this bothers me is that if a Montessori classroom is a "prepared environment," and the "prepared environment" has things like Legos, clay, etc., then the child should be allowed to work with those without judgment, in my humble opinion. I don't like the idea of their having to complete a certain amount of work before earning "permission" to do something else...by the way, I don't think this is a failure of Montessori necessarily, but rather that the teachers don't want us parents to think we're paying to send our children to school to just play with Legos :).

 

I visited another Montessori the other day where they had brought in Elementary math materials for a 4 or 5 year old because he was advanced. So certainly it can be done. Of course, I know what you mean about switching schools at this point. It's not easy, is it?

 

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Old 04-13-2012, 12:39 PM
 
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He has no behavior problems at school, other than his teacher reporting that he will often just sit there and play with a piece of fuzz rather than complete the work she thinks he should be doing. He can go an entire day without completing any "challenging work" and she will not allow him to do other things of his choice (like Legos, practical life, or clay work) until he has completed his "challenging work". 

 

Huh.  That seems wrong to me.  Wrong in terms of developmentally appropriate, and also in relation to instilling self-directed creativity.  It would be interesting to ask him what he was thinking about during that "down" time.

 

I would also suggest another setting.  We looked at many montesorris, and there are definitely differences among them as to how they implement.  Montessori would definitely not have worked for DS at all, who is a very divergent thinker.  

 

His fine motor sound on-track/advanced, although I know in montessori it probably looks different.  

 

My son was 4 starting kindergarten, 5 starting grade 1.  Do you have a high red shirt rate where you are?  If he's tall, this can also be a problem as there will be more expected of him (both of mine are very tall and very verbally precocious).  It's challenging when they're past the work, but then have unrealistic behavioural expectations placed on them.


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Old 04-13-2012, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. We definitely agree that the class/teacher is not the best fit for him, but we worry about moving him from a school he's gone to for 2 years, just to do one more year of preschool/kindergarten, and move him again the next year for elementary. It seems like a lot. I am very interested in the program at our church. It is mostly play-based with lots of art, music, and even once a week performing arts days.

 

I'm not certain about the rate of red-shirting where I live (in Texas) but it does seem like people are much more likely to hold them back a year than to accelerate. I think telescoping is a popular choice around here for advanced children. I definitely plan to apply for the charter school, but I need a solid back up plan.

 

thehighernest, I couldn't agree with you more about the prepared environment. I still believe 100% in Montessori as a method, but not always in its implementation. I just feel like if DS is stuck on a work, there must be a reason. I feel like his teacher is holding too tightly to her plan, and not taking the time to read my child.


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Old 04-14-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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It's hard!  Hard to watch.  Hard to know what to do.

 

I agree with the post above that suggests a play based preschool.  One book I read suggested keeping gifted kids in a play based environment as long as possible and then potentially skipping 1st grade if needed.  1st grade is filled with learning basic skills such as how to read, add and subtract that your child will have before he gets there. Of course - I don't know that schools go for that.

 

With my sons we have found that they are so far beyond the group that if a program is academic at all, it causes problems.  The work that the school thinks is "challenging" is still often very easy, very boring.  It is hard for people to really "get" our kids.

 

 

 

 

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Old 04-14-2012, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jmpierce2005 

 

View PostThe work that the school thinks is "challenging" is still often very easy, very boring.  It is hard for people to really "get" our kids.

 

 

 

 


This is it! They just don't get him, and then I get frustrated because it's so clear to me what the issues are. Why can't they just pay attention, know him, and work to meet his needs?

 


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Old 04-14-2012, 02:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kittykat2481 View Post


This is it! They just don't get him, and then I get frustrated because it's so clear to me what the issues are. Why can't they just pay attention, know him, and work to meet his needs?

 

 

Well, most Montessori schools and teachers are committed to a philosophy of education that doesn't deal well with divergent thinkers. As much as they believe in the high potential of children to learn,  they also believe in the importance of mastering specific types of learning (and showing them to be mastered) in a specific order. Although they're not hung up on the pace, they do believe in the importance of the sequence. My girls probably would have done reasonably well in Montessori classrooms. My son would have been a disaster. He is a divergent thinker who gets anxious when expected to "do things the correct way" and shuts down, refusing to try. He needs to understand the big picture before he understands the value of the details. He pulls things apart into a huge mess that only he understands, and then discovers how things work as he tinkers, adapts and rebuilds them. Having him build up gradually to a concept with step-wise learning simply frustrates him by preventing him from seeing the meaning and context of the learning. 

 

I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with the Montessori approach. But it is based on a philosophy of education that will not suit every child. Just like shoes and feet. Think of Montessori as a perfectly good shoe, but one that just doesn't fit your ds, who is a perfectly good foot.

 

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Old 04-14-2012, 03:02 PM
 
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We definitely agree that the class/teacher is not the best fit for him, but we worry about moving him from a school he's gone to for 2 years, just to do one more year of preschool/kindergarten, and move him again the next year for elementary.

I wouldn't let the fear of moving him stop you. I understand it'll be a switch, but it sounds like really it would be in his best interest. A year is a LONG time to a kid that age, so having a whole year at another school that's a better fit for him would be better for him than keeping him somewhere just because it's familiar. It seems like he could easily start really disliking school where he is. But I know these decisions are really tough.

 

The church one sounds promising. Does you son already know some of the kids/teachers there? Could he visit for a day?


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Old 04-16-2012, 02:21 AM
 
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If you search this forum for other threads on "Montessori", you will find a number of threads by parents who have run into problems with their (presumed) gifties in Montessori schools - usually because the teacher happened to be very inflexible in their interpretation of the Montessori method. I found a great thread for you:

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1331161/problems-in-school#post_16679823

Check our RiverTam's posts in that one - no-one ever said it so well!

 

Her and Miranda's points are precisely the academic reasons why I finally decided both against the local Montessori preschool and against the local Montessori elementary for our DS even though he loved the once-weekly preparatory program at the elementary he'd been to (there were others specific to those two schools and to our family which wouldn't apply to you) and decided to enrol DS in a Catholic elementary for next year which incorporates Montessori materials in a daily work period in a traditional classroom. They teach the state curriculum and make it clear that while they do give the children choices, they use the work period to differentiate and will direct struggling children to work on their weaknesses and advanced children to explore their strengths. Anathema to a "real" Montessori teacher, I know, but I like the clear expectations and feel that DS will do better with them.

My current philosophy, born out by some little experience (note that my DS is only a year older than yours, so take all I say with a grain of salt) is that it is the flexibility and open-mindedness of the teacher, rather than the philosophy or method of the school that makes a classroom a good fit for a gifted child, so right now I feel I'd rather work with a flexible traditional teacher than with an inflexible Montessori teacher. My experience with our local schools (anyone's mileage may vary! I know others have had great experiences!) was that Montessori tends to attract a certain kind of rigid personality who believes that using the Montessori method and materials as such is a guarantee that their classroom must be the perfect fit for every child and refuse to believe that the teacher's personality and specific way of implementation can make a huge difference. It is hard to go up against that kind of almost religious conviction.

 

This is all a work in progress and we will re-evaluate next year - I like that the Montessori elementary is always an option (they happen to struggle with low enrolment due to demographic reasons and we would always get a space, probably even mid-year, if we ran into great problems at his prospective Catholic school).

At DS' prospective school, we have been lucky so far in meeting with a principal who has shown flexibility in granting Early Entrance to DS in a very redshirting-happy area and hope we will be lucky with his classroom teacher for next year as well - we won't know before June or so. I'd love to be able to choose a teacher as opposed to just a school and a method, but sometimes you just have to hope. My specific hope for this school, which recruits traditionally-certified teachers out of the state system, is that the philosophy, which mixes those Montessori elements in with the state curriculum, must attract teachers who look for a school that allows them more flexibility than a traditional state school would but not Montessori-trained teachers who are very hung up on a traditional implementation.

 

In your case, it sounds like the teacher is, in all honesty, a terrible fit. I second all the posters who suggest switching him out of that classroom and find another school even it's just for the year. Someone has asked about Early entrance where you live - could you have him start Kindergarten in fall?


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Old 04-16-2012, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He is a divergent thinker who gets anxious when expected to "do things the correct way" and shuts down, refusing to try. He needs to understand the big picture before he understands the value of the details. He pulls things apart into a huge mess that only he understands, and then discovers how things work as he tinkers, adapts and rebuilds them. Having him build up gradually to a concept with step-wise learning simply frustrates him by preventing him from seeing the meaning and context of the learning. 

 

 

Miranda


Our sons are very similar. I could have written that statement myself.

 


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Old 04-16-2012, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Tigerle View Post

If you search this forum for other threads on "Montessori", you will find a number of threads by parents who have run into problems with their (presumed) gifties in Montessori schools - usually because the teacher happened to be very inflexible in their interpretation of the Montessori method. I found a great thread for you:

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1331161/problems-in-school#post_16679823

Check our RiverTam's posts in that one - no-one ever said it so well!

 

Her and Miranda's points are precisely the academic reasons why I finally decided both against the local Montessori preschool and against the local Montessori elementary for our DS even though he loved the once-weekly preparatory program at the elementary he'd been to (there were others specific to those two schools and to our family which wouldn't apply to you) and decided to enrol DS in a Catholic elementary for next year which incorporates Montessori materials in a daily work period in a traditional classroom. They teach the state curriculum and make it clear that while they do give the children choices, they use the work period to differentiate and will direct struggling children to work on their weaknesses and advanced children to explore their strengths. Anathema to a "real" Montessori teacher, I know, but I like the clear expectations and feel that DS will do better with them.

My current philosophy, born out by some little experience (note that my DS is only a year older than yours, so take all I say with a grain of salt) is that it is the flexibility and open-mindedness of the teacher, rather than the philosophy or method of the school that makes a classroom a good fit for a gifted child, so right now I feel I'd rather work with a flexible traditional teacher than with an inflexible Montessori teacher. My experience with our local schools (anyone's mileage may vary! I know others have had great experiences!) was that Montessori tends to attract a certain kind of rigid personality who believes that using the Montessori method and materials as such is a guarantee that their classroom must be the perfect fit for every child and refuse to believe that the teacher's personality and specific way of implementation can make a huge difference. It is hard to go up against that kind of almost religious conviction.

 

This is all a work in progress and we will re-evaluate next year - I like that the Montessori elementary is always an option (they happen to struggle with low enrolment due to demographic reasons and we would always get a space, probably even mid-year, if we ran into great problems at his prospective Catholic school).

At DS' prospective school, we have been lucky so far in meeting with a principal who has shown flexibility in granting Early Entrance to DS in a very redshirting-happy area and hope we will be lucky with his classroom teacher for next year as well - we won't know before June or so. I'd love to be able to choose a teacher as opposed to just a school and a method, but sometimes you just have to hope. My specific hope for this school, which recruits traditionally-certified teachers out of the state system, is that the philosophy, which mixes those Montessori elements in with the state curriculum, must attract teachers who look for a school that allows them more flexibility than a traditional state school would but not Montessori-trained teachers who are very hung up on a traditional implementation.

 

In your case, it sounds like the teacher is, in all honesty, a terrible fit. I second all the posters who suggest switching him out of that classroom and find another school even it's just for the year. Someone has asked about Early entrance where you live - could you have him start Kindergarten in fall?


I think this is why I believe so strongly in Montessori as a philosophy but not in its implementation, as I've seen it at least. I haven't mentioned that last year he was with a different teacher in the same school and we were having so many (of the same) issues, we had to change him to a different teacher. We were close to moving him to a different school, but the only other real option at the time would have been very financially taxing for us, and we eventually decided to try a different teacher. Plus, that way he would stay with many of his friends and it would be an easier adjustment for him. Unfortunately, this year's experience hasn't been much better than last year's. I couldn't agree more that the inflexibility of the teacher is the real issue here. The teacher is so unwilling to meet my son's needs that I find it pointless and frustrating to even talk with her about his supposed "issues" (i.e. He only wants to do "baby work" and is resistant to the "challenging work" that she suggests to him). This rigidity seems to be the culture of the school, and children are expected to conform to their expectations, rather than the teachers working to meet the needs of the individual child.

 

With regards to early entrance to Kindergarten, my understanding is that around here it's pretty much unheard of. Unfortunately since Kindergarten is not required by the state, they are not inclined to admit children who don't meet the age requirements. The only option is to complete Kindergarten in a private school and then begin first grade early. That brings up another issue though. The only way I can see for him to begin first grade early (which I think would be a great fit for him, considering his physical, social, and academic development and needs) is to stay at the Montessori school. If I move him to the church preschool, they're much less likely to allow him to do Kindergarten next year. Around here it is generally assumed that boys ALL mature slowly and would do better to wait an extra year, than to begin school early.

 

I feel somewhat stuck between a rock and a hard place.

 


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Old 04-17-2012, 12:14 AM
 
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I haven't mentioned that last year he was with a different teacher in the same school and we were having so many (of the same) issues, we had to change him to a different teacher. We were close to moving him to a different school, but the only other real option at the time would have been very financially taxing for us, and we eventually decided to try a different teacher. Plus, that way he would stay with many of his friends and it would be an easier adjustment for him. Unfortunately, this year's experience hasn't been much better than last year's. I couldn't agree more that the inflexibility of the teacher is the real issue here. The teacher is so unwilling to meet my son's needs that I find it pointless and frustrating to even talk with her about his supposed "issues" (i.e. He only wants to do "baby work" and is resistant to the "challenging work" that she suggests to him). This rigidity seems to be the culture of the school, and children are expected to conform to their expectations, rather than the teachers working to meet the needs of the individual child.

 

 


I was going to suggest exploring whether a switch into another teacher's class at the same school would help, but it sounds like it won't. I had similar thoughts - switching classes is a solution where he gets a different teacher with a different style but he stays in a familiar environment and close to his friends. Given that you have already tried it, I'd say that changing schools is probably the way to go. Even if you expect it will mean changing twice in the next couple of years. Unless he has significant adjustment issues to new places, it makes more sense to solve his immediate problems. If the new school is a better situation, he will settle in quickly (again, unless he has trouble with transitions). 

 

I know you've stated that you suspect he is bored and not challenged, but I'm not entirely clear on how unhappy he feels about the situation. Is he reluctant to go to school or is his self-image suffering? From the OP, it sounds like he is learning and progressing in math and reading, even if some of his gains are happening outside of school.  He may be using some of that time playing with fluff to daydream, think, analyze and integrate what he is learning. I understand that you would like him to get full benefit of attending the school, but I'm wondering how troubled he is feeling about his time spent at school.

 

I will say that it's not my experience that Montessori is a poor fit for divergent thinkers, my own 2 gifted children having thrived while attending a few different Montessori schools in different cities. I suspect that other factors are more significant than divergent thinking. After all, most, if not all, young children are divergent thinkers to a large extent. I couldn't find any research that demonstrates that divergent thinkers or visual learners struggle in Montessori or that a Montessori education negatively impacts divergent thinking, and what research I did find supports the converse. Indeed, critics have argued the exact opposite - that Montessori is too chaotic and doesn't do enough to promote conformity. Certainly, divergent thinkers including Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, who were active in bringing Montessori schools to  North America, favoured the method.  More recently, innovators including Will Wright (creator of The Sims), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google) have been quoted as directly attributing their creative successes to their early Montessori educations, where they were encouraged to experience the joy of discovery, to not follow rules and orders, to doing things differently and to learn on their own terms. I'm not questioning anyone else's experiences and certainly, I don't think every child will be content in a Montessori school. Some children will struggle in any school setting, regardless of teaching style or pedagogical method. From your description, it seems like the issue is the teacher's rigid style and failure to make a connection with your son and keep him engaged in the class. Unfortunately, that's a problem that gifted students frequently encounter at various schools as they and their parents try to negotiate accommodations for their advanced learning. 

 

A grade skip in the near future may be a short-term solution, but it's important to find a school that is willing to employ a variety of accommodations. As you visit the kindergarten, the charter IB school and any other schools you are considering, investigate whether they will be flexible about the curriculum and willing to adjust to keep him engaged in the classroom. Look for evidence of accommodations like enriched curricula, subject acceleration, cluster grouping, and independent study programs. In the meantime, if you believe that this school can't meet his needs, then a change is in order sooner rather than later. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Old 04-17-2012, 06:07 AM
 
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With regards to early entrance to Kindergarten, my understanding is that around here it's pretty much unheard of.


Have you checked into actual laws and district policies? Where I live, children cannot legally be admitted to K or first grade early. However, if a parent pays for private school for K and 1st, the public schools will TEST the child and consider allowing them enter 2nd grade early.

 

The reason for this is there was a history of kids completing K early but none the less being unable to succeed in first due to lack of fine motor skills and other skills related more to AGE than ability.

 

You might want to check how it work where you live so at least you are making a choice based on facts.

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 04-18-2012, 02:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kittykat2481 View Post

With regards to early entrance to Kindergarten, my understanding is that around here it's pretty much unheard of. Unfortunately since Kindergarten is not required by the state, they are not inclined to admit children who don't meet the age requirements. The only option is to complete Kindergarten in a private school and then begin first grade early. That brings up another issue though. The only way I can see for him to begin first grade early (which I think would be a great fit for him, considering his physical, social, and academic development and needs) is to stay at the Montessori school. If I move him to the church preschool, they're much less likely to allow him to do Kindergarten next year. Around here it is generally assumed that boys ALL mature slowly and would do better to wait an extra year, than to begin school early.

 

I feel somewhat stuck between a rock and a hard place.

 

I'm very sorry, that is a hard position to be in.

 

I know that the general opinion on this board with regard to gifted children's education is "do what works for this year" and worry about next year next year, because you never know how your child's needs evolve and what opportunities might open up you haven't heard about yet. I do understand that sometimes you may just have to stick things out in order to have things work out for the following years, having to contend with a very rigid educational system myself (I live in Europe and homeschooling for instance, always an option for you in the US even if for some it's a last resort, would be illegal).

 

It is probably a reasonable assumption that your child will need some kind of academic acceleration at some point during his elementary years. However, I would research very thoroughly if keeping your child in this Montessori for early K in order to be able to enter him early for 1st grade is truly the only way to bring this about. As Olly said:

 

Quote:

A grade skip in the near future may be a short-term solution, but it's important to find a school that is willing to employ a variety of accommodations. As you visit the kindergarten, the charter IB school and any other schools you are considering, investigate whether they will be flexible about the curriculum and willing to adjust to keep him engaged in the classroom. Look for evidence of accommodations like enriched curricula, subject acceleration, cluster grouping, and independent study programs. In the meantime, if you believe that this school can't meet his needs, then a change is in order sooner rather than later.  

The IB program for instance claims to be able to accommodate advanced learners due to the "enquiry based" curriculum (I supposed like with Montessori, it is all about the implementation...). The public school might be amenable to a grade skip after the first trimester of K, as soon as they have seen what he can do. Additionally, you have mentioned another Montessori school that is very financially taxing, but maybe you can swing it for a year knowing that he is going to start at a public or charter school after that. And so on. I would not try to make him stick things out at the current school unless your are absolutely positive that things are going to be much worse otherwise in the years to come.

 

That said...

 

Montessori, Schmontessori. IMO, making a four-year-old sit and play with fuzz or his shoelaces for the whole day, banning him from the lego table and the clay table because he refuses to finish writing out his numbers from 1 to 20 is bordering on abusive, and it is only the Montessori label that gives this teacher the justification to do so and the self-righteousness to still feel like her school is providing a better educational and developmentally appropriate environment than the play-based basement church school next door. It this happened in a public school, people would complain. I utterly fail to see what this has to do with being

 

Quote:
encouraged to experience the joy of discovery, to not follow rules and orders, to doing things differently and to learn on their own terms.

Getting hung up on what a Montessori education should be doing, or has professedly done for others, or has had to recommend itself over the educational tradition of 100 years ago can mean closing your eyes to what this school, under the guise and with the ideological justification of the Montessori label, is effectively doing, which is developmentally stifling your child.  

 

Sorry for the rant. I am just very disillusioned because I'd love to love Montesssori, but have a Montessori preschool with teachers just like this around the corner, and I do not believe that these are isolated developments, but a risk inherent in the method which can only be avoided by the very self-aware teachers it appears that Olly's children have had the good fortune to meet.

This is a danger inherent to any utopian approach - there are fallible people in between you and heaven...


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