How do you know your child is better off? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Learning at School > How do you know your child is better off?
beanma's Avatar beanma 11:42 AM 03-30-2011

I think Montessori is great for some kids, but I would really caution on absolutely deciding on it while your little guy is just 1. I mean, I'm all for you trying out a Montessori preschool, etc, and seeing how that goes, but I'd caution against deciding that the firm path for your child will be Montessori thru grade 8 or something. It might be the perfect fit, but I've known folks who although as parents they were pleased with the Montessori school their child was attending it didn't meet their child's needs. The "work at your own pace" thing can be great for some kids and really not great for others. This is absolutely nothing against Montessori, btw. It's just like I was saying about my kids' project-based school. It works great for them, but not so great for some kids who have left for more structured environments.

 

Listen to your child and to your intuition (and to your wallet).



CatsCradle's Avatar CatsCradle 01:45 PM 03-30-2011

I agree with Beanma that Montessori can be great if it is the right fit for your child.  My DD is in her third and final year at Montessori, and while we thought it was an excellent approach in her preschool years, it is time for her to move into a different learning environment.  As she matures we need to be flexible in the approach. 


lindberg99's Avatar lindberg99 12:09 PM 04-01-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

I agree with Beanma that Montessori can be great if it is the right fit for your child.  My DD is in her third and final year at Montessori, and while we thought it was an excellent approach in her preschool years, it is time for her to move into a different learning environment.  As she matures we need to be flexible in the approach. 



Can I ask why you think that? I really don't know much about Montessori but have several friends who are very happy with the elem school. I've been debating about moving my youngest (current 1st grader) there for next year for a variety of reasons. I haven't looked into it much so would be interested to hear opinions.


CatsCradle's Avatar CatsCradle 12:38 PM 04-01-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by lindberg99 View Post





Can I ask why you think that? I really don't know much about Montessori but have several friends who are very happy with the elem school. I've been debating about moving my youngest (current 1st grader) there for next year for a variety of reasons. I haven't looked into it much so would be interested to hear opinions.


It is just the nature of the specific school and not Montessori specifically.  The school goes through 8th grade level but on average the school only has, at most, 4 kids in the elementary to middle school level age group.  The four or so kids are great kids and I understand that they are all close and work well together.  We are more interested, however, in presenting DD with a little more diversity (cultural, ideas, whatever) and I think that her new school will present her with a wider spectrum of people.  And, while we have had great experiences at this particular Montessori, they do tend to recycle projects and events year after year and we think it is time to move on.  Don't get me wrong, we have loved it, but like I said in my previous post, we have tried to remain flexible about the process and feel it is the right time to move her into something else.  We also travel an hour by subway and bus in both directions to get to and from school, and the new school is in our neighborhood.  Travelling like this in the winter months has been a little stressful and de-stressing DD's day is one of the factors.  So again, the decision has been very subjective. 
 

 


nina_yyc's Avatar nina_yyc 10:06 AM 04-09-2011

Well I don't know if my child is better off because we haven't really started yet, but just wanted to offer a couple thoughts.  We've just been through the kindergarten selection process for September.

 

When DD was 2 or so I was exactly where you are...thinking OMG there are so.many. choices and a lot of people just seem like they're married to a particular philosophy and all other philosophies are terrible.  And then there's the idea of a good 'fit' with school admin and teachers, which you're not going to be able to tell that until practically the day of.

 

With a toddler it isn't really apparent what your child's abilities and learning styles will be.  With my four year old, some things have become pretty clear!  I've noticed over the past couple of years that she is extremely interested in letters, numbers and reading and has nearly taught herself to read from TV and video games - which are limited to 30 min/day and she doesn't always watch the educational stuff.  I also notice she isn't especially visual, isn't as interested or creative with drawing as some kids, but is very musical and sings on tune.  She's done really well with structured activities like swimming lessons and dance.  She is social and extraverted and won't get lost in the crowd no matter what crowd it is.  That's a lot of information to work with that you just don't have when the child is that young!  I realize you need to start some things, like Montessori, very young, but that gives you plenty of time to test it out and see if YOU think your child is better off before you commit to a kindergarten.  Even after kindergarten, if it doesn't work out, you can always decide to change it up then.

 

That said - it's a very, very good idea to do your research early and get on the waiting lists well in advance.  For certain private schools in town you need to be signed up practically from birth.  You can always pull your name off if you change your mind as your child gets older.


FarmerBeth's Avatar FarmerBeth 02:02 PM 04-09-2011

The choice of school types can be about a lot more than simply which school "works better" (Our kids started with a small alternative private, home schooled and are now in public school).  For example, especially living in a rural community, we also considered which type of school was fostering more of a sense of community.  How much time spent commuting to school can influence a lot about how you feel about a school, as can whether costs of education are leaving you feeling financially stressed.  There's also the matter of how much and what sort of parental involvement is involved.  Homeschooling obviously requires a different kind of involvement, but some private schools do, too.  Then beyond these issues there's differences between schools of the same type. A large, busy city school would not have suited either of my sons (daughter probably would have been fine either way) but we have a small school and class sizes where we live, and lots of active, hands-on programming, so public school is working for us.  Most importantly, the teachers make a huge difference.  We had nightmarishly poor relations with my eldest's grade three teacher before moving where we are now (in a public school at the time) no matter what efforts we took, then he thrived under a different teacher in the public school out here.  There's way too many variables for this to be a cut and dry kind of thing!


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