Please help - Trouble with preschool - **UPDATED** post #31 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 37 Old 03-21-2011, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been wanting to write this post for over a week, but I've just been too overwhelmed by all my feelings about it that I didn't know if I could make my ramblings make sense. To start, DS turned 3 in December and attends a full time Montessori school in the 3-6 class. He started this class in August when he was 2.8. He's always enjoyed school, made friends easily, and never really had any discipline issues to speak of.

 

Around that time he decided he wanted to learn to read and would get frustrated looking at books by himself because he couldn't read the words. By November he was building simple words like log, fan, can, dog, etc. but he still lacked the fine motor skills to write the words that he could build with wooden letters. At that time the teacher asked him to sound out a few words just to see what would happen, and he did it! It was fun to see him learning what he wanted to learn, at his own pace.

 

Since then though, things have gone down hill. He's doing great building words, and reading words, but he HATES to write. He just simply still has the fine motor skills of a 3 year old boy, combined with a personality that has never been one for coloring, tracing, etc. At restaurants, the crayons and paper kids menus always go unused. He has no use for it. I'm ok with this. I know that he just turned 3 and he has plenty of time to develop his little hand and finger muscles to learn to write. His degreed, certified Montessori teacher on the other hand, is of the belief that because he CAN do it now, he should. She and DS go head to head, her demanding that he write, him resisting and getting himself in trouble.

 

I don't know what to do. I hate the idea of school work being such a battle at such a young age. My goal for him right now is for him to have fun, respect his work, respect his friends' work, be polite, build relationships, and develop a love for learning. If he wants to learn to read a 3, that's gravy. If he'd rather learn to read at 5, that would be ok too. I asked his teacher to back off on the writing for now, and see if he doesn't go back to it on his own in a few months, but she thinks that would be "giving in" and that he would just learn that if he whines about anything enough he can get out of it. I feel like there has to be a better way to develop his fine motor skills than this.

 

She said he has gone as far as to wet his pants when he's doing his writing work so he can get out of doing it (bc he has to go to the bathroom to change clothes, and he can make that take forever if he wants). This was a HUGE red flag for me, and very upsetting. She said she just doesn't have a consequence that will get through to him on this issue to get him to do it.

 

Last week was Spring Break, and I hoped that it might be enough break that he would go back slightly more enthusiastic this week. No such luck. I have given him access to a Writing Without Tears school readiness workbook at home, and he has requested to do 7 or 8 pages out of that in the last week, which is real progress IMO. I just want him to feel successful, and these pages are just a few lines with a crayon on each page. It allows him to quickly complete the work, and see his success easily.

 

99% of what he has attempted in his life has come fairly easy to him. He's very coordinated, physically strong, athletic, a good talker, and a quick learner. If he feels like he might not do something well, even if it's something he's done 1000 times before, he will say he can't and will try to get out of doing it. I know that when it comes to the writing he has to work hard and doesn't want to "fail" at it.

 

So how do I handle this? While this is a Montessori school (AMS school) I am open to any ideas, Montessori or otherwise, that might help us with this situation. I'm sick to death of him coming home and telling me he got in trouble at school because he didn't do his work. (There are more details but I've already written a book. The gist of it is that he messes around when he's stalling on his own work and ends up getting in to trouble.)

 

Prior to this we were very happy with the school and his class. He has some great friendships in his class. He has recently been giving DH trouble in the morning on the way to school, presumably because he doesn't want to go. He has no problems in the after school class where he gets to play legos and playdoh (etc) for about an hour until I get there to pick him up. I plan to talk to the director ASAP, but I'd love some more input from other parents on what they would do before I talk to her. I'm so sad that this is happening to DS at such a young age.


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#2 of 37 Old 03-21-2011, 04:39 PM
 
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I'm so sorry that's happening to your son! From what you've described, it doesn't sound AT ALL in keeping with the montessori philosophy. I was in M. from K-5th grade, and one of the things I loved about it was that learning was something done at my own pace, where I could explore my own interests in a relatively pressure-free environment. Last fall I switched my son from a traditional Pre-K to a montessori because at the first school he was put under heavy pressure to do crafts that, like your son, were hard for him because of his fine motor skills.

 

If it were me I'd look into switching classes or schools. I know it's a lot to contemplate, but if the teacher is this far off the mark, it may be too difficult to get her to lay off.

 

However, if you want to try to stay, maybe you could try having a talk with her, possibly with the school director included. Many parents WANT teachers to push their kids in this way, and maybe if she receives the message that this is not what you want- and hears from the director that it's not the montessori way!- she'll reframe her thinking.

 

good luck!


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#3 of 37 Old 03-21-2011, 05:56 PM
 
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It sounds like the teacher has issues. She is in a power struggle with your DS (of her own making) and she is not going to lose, no matter the cost to your DS. Developmentally, three is young to be writing on a regular basis. I would talk to the director about it right away.


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#4 of 37 Old 03-21-2011, 06:19 PM
 
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so sorry for what is happening. My sons are in Montessori. My youngest is 7 and he is not pushed to write at all. I sometimes think he could use a push but it's not their way!  In casa most of the work...if not all did not involve a pen/paper. I can't believe a child of 3 yrs is being pushed like that. The teacher sounds awful and the opposite of M. Is there another casa class? There are 3 here. If so, I wouldn't even try to work with this teacher but just switch. Also, if it works like here he will have at least 2/3 more years with her. I love, love Montessori but if this teacher was my only option I would take him out until he reaches the age to be with another teacher and find another school until then.

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#5 of 37 Old 03-21-2011, 07:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pammysue View Post

It sounds like the teacher has issues. She is in a power struggle with your DS (of her own making) and she is not going to lose, no matter the cost to your DS. Developmentally, three is young to be writing on a regular basis. I would talk to the director about it right away.



Exactly. This needs to be stopped right away. 


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#6 of 37 Old 03-22-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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Oh!  Now I see why you posted on my thread...this sounds like a very similar power struggle!  You probably saw that my son's teachers were willing to change things up after everyone was so miserable for a few weeks.  If they hadn't, I'd have been talking to the owner directly and making other arrangements for his preschool as soon as could be arranged reasonably if things weren't better SOON.

 

You definitely are right in talking to the director asap.  The last thing you want is for your son to get turned off school before he's even 4 yrs old!  And power struggles with this teacher could lead down that path.  It's all fine and good for his teacher to want him to learn a skill, but she's got to remember that he's THREE!  He's still a baby!  We're teaching our babies skills that traditionally they wouldn't have even started for several years!  And if the child is self-motivated and wants to learn, there's no problem with that.  But if he's just not ready, there's no reason to push it. 

 

I definitely think your instincts are dead on.  When you have such an early reader, it's not wierd at all for the fine motor skills not to be developed enough to do writing.  Most three year olds are still scribbling! 

 

I know first hand how heart-breaking it is to see these struggles.  I am always torn between not wanting to be "that parent" that yanks DS from anything not going his way, and advocating for him when I see a problem.  In this case, the problem could definitely have long term implications on his willingness to learn...and it's such a pointless struggle.  There is no reason he needs to be pushed like that!!  Good luck mama and I hope you can get in touch with the director today!! 

 

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#7 of 37 Old 03-22-2011, 09:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View PostThis needs to be stopped right away.


I agree. I would not let my child go back to that teacher. "Degreed and "certified" don't mean anything if she is not implementing what she is "degreed and "certified" to do--I've seen several threads about teachers/schools whose educational philosophies that are all label, no substance.


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#8 of 37 Old 03-22-2011, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the input, everyone. I talked to the director today. Before I even had a chance to say my peace she suggested that maybe he needed to be moved to another class that was a better fit for him. She was so quick to offer it that I can't help but wonder if it was prompted by the teacher. :-/ I hope not. Anyway, we decided to let him "visit" a couple of different classes and just see if anything clicks. Incidentally, today he had a great day and proudly announced to me that he finished all his work and didn't get in trouble today. Hey, if he's happy I'm happy. But in case that doesn't last, at least the chance of a move to a different class is an option and on the table. I've asked the director to be in touch with me via email regarding how he does in the other classes. (There are 2 in particular that she is considering for him, mostly bc the teachers are on the other end of the spectrum. I think I prefer something middle of the road, so to speak, so we'll see.) Maybe I'm too picky. Eh. I guess I just want actual Montessori! Hello! :p On another note (and to brag a little) today at a stop sign he said, "/s/-/t/-/o/-/p/ STOP!" He amazes me. He deserves to feel successful every day.

 

Oh! I almost forgot to add how annoying I found it when the director kept trying to make me feel better by telling me how her son always just did barely enough to get by in school, but that since he's kind it's ok that he's not that smart and very immature. It's not all about how smart they are, after all. Obviously I realize that, (that was sort of the point I was trying to make to her) but I felt like she was saying DS isn't smart or something. Maybe I was just sensitive in that moment, but I wasn't really getting where she was going with that...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#9 of 37 Old 03-23-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittykat2481 View Post

Thanks for all the input, everyone. I talked to the director today. Before I even had a chance to say my peace she suggested that maybe he needed to be moved to another class that was a better fit for him. She was so quick to offer it that I can't help but wonder if it was prompted by the teacher. :-/ I hope not. Anyway, we decided to let him "visit" a couple of different classes and just see if anything clicks. Incidentally, today he had a great day and proudly announced to me that he finished all his work and didn't get in trouble today. Hey, if he's happy I'm happy. But in case that doesn't last, at least the chance of a move to a different class is an option and on the table. I've asked the director to be in touch with me via email regarding how he does in the other classes. (There are 2 in particular that she is considering for him, mostly bc the teachers are on the other end of the spectrum. I think I prefer something middle of the road, so to speak, so we'll see.) Maybe I'm too picky. Eh. I guess I just want actual Montessori! Hello! :p On another note (and to brag a little) today at a stop sign he said, "/s/-/t/-/o/-/p/ STOP!" He amazes me. He deserves to feel successful every day.

 

Oh! I almost forgot to add how annoying I found it when the director kept trying to make me feel better by telling me how her son always just did barely enough to get by in school, but that since he's kind it's ok that he's not that smart and very immature. It's not all about how smart they are, after all. Obviously I realize that, (that was sort of the point I was trying to make to her) but I felt like she was saying DS isn't smart or something. Maybe I was just sensitive in that moment, but I wasn't really getting where she was going with that...

 



To me, it seems like they are trying to make *your son* the problem, when it is 100% the teacher.  It is NEVER appropriate for an adult to get in a power struggle with a 3 year old CHILD over them not doing enough writing.  Moving classes may make it better for your son, but I would be concerned that:

1) They see no problem with forcing a child to do something that is not only against their inclination but developmentally unsound.

2) They are labeling your son (who sounds plently intelligent) as "not that smart and very immature."

3) That other children facing #1 & #2 as well.

 

Do you have any other Montessori options?  Any other options at all?  I just can't imagine a early childhood educator forcing a child into a situation where they choose to wet their pants (in her words) instead of doing the work and not even PAUSING to consider that maybe something they are doing is wrong.

 


 

 

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#10 of 37 Old 03-23-2011, 01:07 PM
 
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Your son has only just turned 3!  My goodness, he`s practically a baby!  And he`s READING!  How dare the director even mildly suggest he`s not bright and immature!  Does she not get the issue here?  It seems to me that this school is more about pushing kids to achieve no matter the cost.  That the director would simply think this is a matter of your son and his teacher not fitting would be a problem for me.  If someone made my 3 yr to feel such pressure he peed his pants I would be majorly ticked.  If you are going to keep sending him I would suggest very close monitoring of the situation and some pop in visits.  I`d also be sending the director a letter demanding why she thinks it is ok to treat toddlers this way. 


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#11 of 37 Old 03-23-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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Um....where are the works that build hand muscles for writing? I don't see where the teacher has given your ds clay, puzzles with knobs, clothespins, cloths to wring out, anything like that.

 

I'm also not seeing direct pre-writing activities like sandpaper letters, metal insets (which shouldn't be touched until a good pencil grip is possible)

 

Tell the teacher and director that what she is doing is neither Montessori nor acceptable. Heck, those legos and playdough he plays with after schoool have probably been doing more to help his writing than anything else.

 

Oh thank goodness he's getting away from that horrible woman. Go and ask his new, hopefully sensible, teacher what kind of works are good for developing fine motor skills to prepare for writing.

 

 

Grrrrr, I really wish there was a way for Montessori certification to get reviewed the way that colleges get re-accredited regularly.

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#12 of 37 Old 03-23-2011, 02:44 PM
 
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Sorry, I've got more of a Montessori methodology rant in me than I realized.

 

When a work is too hard for a child, oh, say for instance the kid doesn't  have the hand strength yet, you don't force them to beat their heads against a wall. You direct them to other works. Okay, sure if a kid is close to being able to do a work and really likes it, you could allow them to keep trying, but you'd still give them the prep work.

 

I think it was MattB who gave the example that a student was having trouble writing, he noticed that her pencil grip wasn't quite right, and he suggested that she do the knobbed cylinder work. A bit later she went back to the pencil and her grip was perfect.  Of course, this was with a student who had already developed a good pencil grip.

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#13 of 37 Old 03-23-2011, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

Um....where are the works that build hand muscles for writing? I don't see where the teacher has given your ds clay, puzzles with knobs, clothespins, cloths to wring out, anything like that.

 

I'm also not seeing direct pre-writing activities like sandpaper letters, metal insets (which shouldn't be touched until a good pencil grip is possible)

 

Tell the teacher and director that what she is doing is neither Montessori nor acceptable. Heck, those legos and playdough he plays with after schoool have probably been doing more to help his writing than anything else.

 

Oh thank goodness he's getting away from that horrible woman. Go and ask his new, hopefully sensible, teacher what kind of works are good for developing fine motor skills to prepare for writing.

 

 

Grrrrr, I really wish there was a way for Montessori certification to get reviewed the way that colleges get re-accredited regularly.

 

I agree with all of you. They had some sort of school-wide observation thing today so the teacher didn't push him to do anything he didn't want to. Of course they also didn't send him to another class. If there's no change by the end of the week, I guess I'll have to go back in guns blazing. I've thought about changing his school entirely, but I just hate to for him to have to go through another transition, plus for all I know the new place wouldn't be any better than his current class. There's just no easy move to make. It's complicated by the fact that I would LOVE to make pop in visits and observe through the classroom window, but I work as a nurse M-F 6:00-3:00 and it's impossible for me to get time off work. DH takes him to school at 8:30 and by the time I get there in the afternoon his regular teacher (and assistant) are looooong gone.

 

Strangely, the girl that works at the front desk sent me an email from her personal email today hinting that I should consider another Montessori school down the street. She said she wants the best for DS and that I should listen to my gut. HELLO! :-/

 

Oh, and in addition to the director hinting that DS is immature and "not that smart" she also tried to make the point that the Montessori work cycle is from 8:30-11ish so "he's really only being challenged for 2-3 hours a day." She said, "the teacher isn't frustrated" to which I responded "but DS is!" I don't care how the teacher feels.

 

Sapphire_Chan, I 100% agree with what you said! I suggested to the teacher than he needed to pinch clothes pins, do tonging, puzzles, etc for a while and come back to the writing. She shot me down. Apparently that would be giving in and all the other children would see it as being able to get out of their work. So much for individualized learning. My 3 year old must be held to the same standard as 6 year old kindergarteners.

 

I'm still very much upset and unsettled about this.
 

 


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#14 of 37 Old 03-23-2011, 05:06 PM
 
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Leave the school. And demand a refund because they claimed to be a Montessori school and did not follow Montessori methodology. They also claimed to be a school suitable for 3 year olds and did not provide a teacher who was familiar with the developmental abilities of 3 year olds. Those things aren't regulated by anyone, but there is such a thing as false advertising.

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#15 of 37 Old 03-23-2011, 05:57 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by kittykat2481 View Post

 

Strangely, the girl that works at the front desk sent me an email from her personal email today hinting that I should consider another Montessori school down the street. She said she wants the best for DS and that I should listen to my gut. HELLO! :-/

 


I think this is a HUGE sign that something isn't right and that you should heed her warning.  I know its difficult to transition schools but it sounds like this is only going to get worse.  Not only do you have a teacher who thinks its OK to force a 3 YO to perform to 6 YO standards, who won't "give in" during a power struggle with both you and your child, you also seem to have a director who doesn't follow through on her plan for fixing things.    WAY past time to change, IMHO. 

 

I changed preschools for my 3 YO DS, for lesser reasons than I see here.  Yes, it was hard on him for a bit and I was surprised at how attached to his friends he had become.  But after a month or so of wistfulness about missing his old school he bounced back and was so much happier at the new school.  And I was happier too.  It was worth it and I think should definitely consider it.

 

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#16 of 37 Old 03-23-2011, 07:19 PM
 
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I would not find this teacher to be workable. I would look for a different rteacher or school if need be. 

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#17 of 37 Old 03-23-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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Uugghhhh! Now that I read this, definitely leave the school. And don't let the school know about the personal email. I would hate for that lady to get in trouble. 
 

Quote:
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I agree with all of you. They had some sort of school-wide observation thing today so the teacher didn't push him to do anything he didn't want to. Of course they also didn't send him to another class. If there's no change by the end of the week, I guess I'll have to go back in guns blazing. I've thought about changing his school entirely, but I just hate to for him to have to go through another transition, plus for all I know the new place wouldn't be any better than his current class. There's just no easy move to make. It's complicated by the fact that I would LOVE to make pop in visits and observe through the classroom window, but I work as a nurse M-F 6:00-3:00 and it's impossible for me to get time off work. DH takes him to school at 8:30 and by the time I get there in the afternoon his regular teacher (and assistant) are looooong gone.

 

Strangely, the girl that works at the front desk sent me an email from her personal email today hinting that I should consider another Montessori school down the street. She said she wants the best for DS and that I should listen to my gut. HELLO! :-/

 

Oh, and in addition to the director hinting that DS is immature and "not that smart" she also tried to make the point that the Montessori work cycle is from 8:30-11ish so "he's really only being challenged for 2-3 hours a day." She said, "the teacher isn't frustrated" to which I responded "but DS is!" I don't care how the teacher feels.

 

Sapphire_Chan, I 100% agree with what you said! I suggested to the teacher than he needed to pinch clothes pins, do tonging, puzzles, etc for a while and come back to the writing. She shot me down. Apparently that would be giving in and all the other children would see it as being able to get out of their work. So much for individualized learning. My 3 year old must be held to the same standard as 6 year old kindergarteners.

 

I'm still very much upset and unsettled about this.
 

 



 

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#18 of 37 Old 03-24-2011, 12:05 PM
 
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I dont teach Montessori, but I do teach a 3-4 yr old classroom (kids start at age 3 and turn 4 often before the school year is up).

 

MAKING a child trace, do worksheets, etc is not developmentally appropriate. Nor is sustained attention for 2+ hours (for that age group).

 

My 3-4 yr olds are all across the map in fine motor skills and that it OK- I would not and do not expect them to all being at the same level, nor would I ever force a child to participate in an activity. I have a three very bright/advanced kiddos and 2 are ready for writing and one is not. That is developmentally fine. We do a lot of finger strenghtening activities--- threading beads, lacing, clothes pins, pegs, etc to encourage fine motor development. I adjust it to the abilities of the kiddo, BUT if on a particular day a child does not want to do what they 'could' do (such as cut out a shape or illustrate a picture when they are perfectly able to do so) then I would never make them or push them. I really like to do child-led learning. A child asks to learn to write his name, I have helped him learn how--- and at his request have him start to label his art. I would never MAKE a child do so even knowing that they can or try to make a child learn to write their name if they are resistant or not-ready.

 

 

Change schools-- in the long run it will be a much better thing to transition now and get it over with than stay at a school that does not seem to be a good school, much less a good fit for your DS.

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#19 of 37 Old 03-24-2011, 08:31 PM
 
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Aren't children supposed to be able to move at their own pace in a Montessori classroom?  Even in most play based classrooms children would be given access to materials for writing and exposure to teachers writing but they would not be forced to write.  I suggest pulling him from the center and looking for one where the teachers allow children to blossom in the areas that interest them, especially at his age.  If you aren't able to find a true Montessori classroom that meets your son's needs you might consider a Reggio Emilio school or a play based one (be careful to avoid ones that have kids doing worksheets because that is really not play based and it sounds like he needs a place where he has the choice to write but isn't required to do so).  Being able to choose your own interests is very important at this age (and at any age within certain limits created by society) because kids develop in different areas at different paces.  For many kids the early years are the only years they get to spend freely exploring their interests and that makes it even more important to ensure that they are in a setting where that is possible.

 

What you are discovering with this school is really not unusual for Montessori schools in our area.  There are many false Montessori programs in our area and even the one that takes interns from the Montessori teacher training program in our isn't anything like what the people on the Montessori board describe Montessori as.  Having training in something doesn't mean that a person believes in the methods they were trained in and unfortunately Montessori education has become a fad in many areas and schools that don't actually believe in Montessori philosophy are using the title, whatever teachers they can get, and a few of the materials to draw in students.  They may have a checklist for sifting through the fake schools in the Montessori forum.

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#20 of 37 Old 03-24-2011, 09:30 PM
 
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Change schools! I really agree with what Sapphire_Chan said.  He should be doing all the Montessori works that work on building up his little hand muscles, NOT being forced to write if he's not ready.  Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like you have a real Montessori school on your hands (and that teacher is so far off the mark it's scary).  Are there other Montessori schools locally?  If so I'd visit and be really upfront about your previous problems and ask how they handle writing skills, pushing children etc. 

 

Oh, and the Montessori forum itself has some great questions to ask to make sure that you're dealing with a real Montessori or not.  I can't remember the thread but ask there and I'm sure someone can help you. 


 

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#21 of 37 Old 03-25-2011, 09:14 AM
 
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What is going on there isn't Montessori at all.  I have Montessori training, too, through AMI and what that teacher is doing isn't in keeping with the philosophy at all.  A child who just turned three should be doing activities that build hand muscles at the point - a lot of the practical life stuff, possibly metal insets, although still early for a young 3 year old.  But, regardless of age, a child should never be made to do work.  There is a sensitive period for writing (meaning a time when it will come naturally for the child out of their own desire to do it - and they will just do it - no forcing needed!!) and each child will pass through that sensitive period at a slightly different time.  All Montessori teachers should know that 1) a young three year old isn't typically in the sensitive period for writing and 2) the adult needs to follow the lead on when the child shows that they are in that sensitive period - it's not lead (or forced) by the adult.  

 

So, I would first find out what kind of Montessori certification the teacher has.  There are a lot of certifying organizations with varying degrees of authenticity.  There are Montessori certifying courses that just go over how to use the materials, but don't get into the philosophy - and that makes a big difference.  I would look for AMI or AMS certified teachers.  Second, I would just consider that this teacher has either misinterpreted the philosophy or has control issues or whatever - but that what she is doing isn't authentic Montessori regardless of her training.  

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#22 of 37 Old 03-25-2011, 03:41 PM
 
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The really sad thing is he's now going to have trouble when he reaches the natural period for writing because of this horrific teacher.

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#23 of 37 Old 03-26-2011, 05:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kittykat2481 View Post

He deserves to feel successful every day.


I could not have said it better, OP. Your son, every child, deserves to feel successful every day. My heart breaks for your DS - a great way to suck the love of learning out of a child before they are even in "school". DD has always been in traditional schools and we would not have tolerated these behaviors (of both the teacher and the principal) there, either - they are far from being attuned with Montessori principles, or any good schooling/learning principles. I would be looking to move your son as quickly as possible. Little good will come from changing classrooms given the Director's attitude. Don't worry about the transition - it cannot be worse than what he is going through in that environment. Do careful research and ask as many questions as you think that you need to before commiting to another school - your DS deserves it!

 


Apparently doing it rong and ruining it for everyone, but I don't give a crap anymorebanana.gif

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#24 of 37 Old 03-26-2011, 03:05 PM
 
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Don't worry about the transition - it cannot be worse than what he is going through in that environment.


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"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#25 of 37 Old 03-26-2011, 05:58 PM
 
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I agree with all of you. They had some sort of school-wide observation thing today so the teacher didn't push him to do anything he didn't want to. Of course they also didn't send him to another class. If there's no change by the end of the week, I guess I'll have to go back in guns blazing. I've thought about changing his school entirely, but I just hate to for him to have to go through another transition, plus for all I know the new place wouldn't be any better than his current class. There's just no easy move to make. It's complicated by the fact that I would LOVE to make pop in visits and observe through the classroom window, but I work as a nurse M-F 6:00-3:00 and it's impossible for me to get time off work. DH takes him to school at 8:30 and by the time I get there in the afternoon his regular teacher (and assistant) are looooong gone.

 

Strangely, the girl that works at the front desk sent me an email from her personal email today hinting that I should consider another Montessori school down the street. She said she wants the best for DS and that I should listen to my gut. HELLO! :-/

 

Oh, and in addition to the director hinting that DS is immature and "not that smart" she also tried to make the point that the Montessori work cycle is from 8:30-11ish so "he's really only being challenged for 2-3 hours a day." She said, "the teacher isn't frustrated" to which I responded "but DS is!" I don't care how the teacher feels.

 

Sapphire_Chan, I 100% agree with what you said! I suggested to the teacher than he needed to pinch clothes pins, do tonging, puzzles, etc for a while and come back to the writing. She shot me down. Apparently that would be giving in and all the other children would see it as being able to get out of their work. So much for individualized learning. My 3 year old must be held to the same standard as 6 year old kindergarteners.

 

I'm still very much upset and unsettled about this.
 

 



As someone who has worked in childcare, both good and not so good places I can say RUN away from this place!!!! So many things you have said are just wrong. Very, very wrong! The fact that the girl from the office emailed you is huge IMO. She is risking her job to tell you to take your son out. Please listen to her. People do not to things like this without just cause.   Doing small motor work is what a young three should be doing! He is not "getting out" of anything. The fact that that is how she sees it says a lot about how she views children. Get your son out of there! Good luck to you and I hope you find a wonderful caring place for your son.  hug2.gif

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#26 of 37 Old 03-28-2011, 12:42 PM
 
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I agree. Something weird, bad, or otherwise negative is going on. Power struggle with teacher. Weird defensive response from administrator. Alarming email from receptionish and not all at a good Montessori response.

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#27 of 37 Old 03-29-2011, 01:26 AM
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i am a 17 year old in highschool now. but i had the VERY problem as your son. i was reading books to my mom like cat in the hat and the hungry little catipillar when i was 3. but i could NOT wright, i could spell, read and define most of the words, but not wright, my mom got me this ABC 123 laminant card, one of them ones you can trace the letters and numbers with a dry erase marker. i couldnt do it. i didnt start to wright until the first grade, but the way to do it is to make a game, everyone used to play "Do as i do" kind of like simon says. you make PART of the letter. once he gets that PART OF THE LETTER then work on the full letter. so like an A. YOU make an upside down V and have him on his own paper. do the same thing. then when he gets that down, you do the same thing then add the line in the middle. keep working on the finished letter for a while, then in his mind as he sees the A hell think about the upside down V and draw that then hell remember "mommy added the line in the middle, so i have top do that too" start with basic letters, A,B,C,D,E,F,H,I,K,L,O,P,Q,T,U,V,X,Z. notice that a few letters are missing. wait untill he gets the basic letters down first. i have a 3 year old nephew and this is how i work with him! he can spell up to 5 letter words such at motor, Tyler, Sacha, Brent, and stars, and one 8 letter word "MudTruck" its the same as reading. you break it down a little bit at a time! my 3 year old nephew is currently attending kindergarten classes. and for future purposes GET HIM IN A SPORT. Great way to gain not only alot of respect in school. but a grat motive in life and COLLEGE BENIFITS. unfortunantly i waited till my senior year this year to join a sport, but lucky for me i was really good at wrestling and made varsity and lettered in the same year, now i have colleges wanting me to come to their school and wrestle for them. and get him interested in coleges as soon as he gets into middle school. so he can set goals early and shoot for the moon!! i hope my advice help you as much as it helped me and my nephew!!

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#28 of 37 Old 03-29-2011, 05:02 PM
 
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I would pull my child out of that environment immediately.  I can't tell you how wildly inappropriate it all sounds.  I mean, it wouldn't be right even if a child was 6 or 7 to create such a power struggle over reading.  


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#29 of 37 Old 04-01-2011, 06:48 PM
 
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I've been in your shoes before so know that I'm sending you a big hug over the computer.

One thing that worked for us was to lay off the work that he didn't like. We found that pushing it harder make our son resist even more so it was a real lose-lose situation. It's unfortunate your son's teacher doesn't agree with that method.

As a compromise, of sorts, have you tried doing non-letter tracing sheets? These might help improve his fine motor skills and get him ready to write letters but, it would be fun and different from him -- and be totally unrelated to letters!!! Here's a link to some really cute free printable fine motor worksheets. Your son can trace a plane flying in a loop-de-loop or a bee flying in a zig zag line, etc. Would worksheets like this help put the "fun" back in developing his fine motor skills?

I hope this helps!
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#30 of 37 Old 04-02-2011, 07:20 AM
 
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While the suggestions of letter learning and motor skill developing are great, keep in mind that the program the teacher was trained in, Montessori, already has an extensive list of activities designed to develop fine motor skills and build hand strength--that the teacher is ignoring in favor of having a fight with a child.

 

OP, how is it going? Have you demanded a refund yet?

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