Adjusting to Preschool - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 09-04-2011, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DS1 is having a really hard time adjusting to his new preschool and DH and I are really confused about what we should do. Last year he attended a play-based preschool 2 days a week in the 2 year old class. This year we switched to a Montessori school 5 days a week. He is almost 3.5 years old. It has been pretty bad. He had very few issues at his school last year but we think he might have learned some aggressive behaviors there because he started hitting/kicking/pushing his brother at home. He and his brother have sibling disputes on a regular basis but I figure that this is normal and we put them in time out for any abusive behaviors. So, he started this new preschool three weeks ago and he has bitten the teacher, thrown plates, and hit other children. I can't believe this is my child!!! The only thing I can think of is that he is overtired from the new schedule and environment, he will not nap anymore. He is also pretty sensitive so the change may be stressing him out. He has started saying that he doesn't like his new school, and has even said multiple times that he wants to go to the old school. He says he had fun at the old school. The last thing I want to do is stress out my 3 year old!! We were so excited about the Montessori method and environment and thought it would be a great fit for him. I am wondering if the strict Montessori "rules" aren't a good match for his personality. The teacher is giving me the impression that she has not had to deal with this kind of behavior before, and she has been there for 30 years. It's making me fear that something is wrong with him even though I logically don't think his behavior is outside of the norm. There have been great days there, and then there are horrible days. I have noticed that the days seem to get worse as the week goes on, which leads me to believe it is fatigue that is causing this. He has made some great leaps just since he started this school. He is much more independent. He is dressing himself, washing himself, using the adult potty, helping me cook, etc. He also comes home after a good day wanting to do things they did at school like planting flowers and he is cleaning up his messes.

 

So, we are seriously considering taking him out of this school and finding out if there is still space at his old school, or just keeping him home until we can find another situation. I am torn because I don't want to pull him out if it will get better soon, but I don't want to put him under any stress at this age. I just want him to be happy and have fun and if he learns at the same time that's great too.

 

Any input would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Audrey

 

 

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#2 of 5 Old 09-04-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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Montessori schools are not all created equal. How much they actually adopt the practices can vary dramatically. As lovely as the style looks on paper, it just isn't for all kids. The time commitment alone was enough to keep me from sending my kids for preschool. The ones in our area expect 5 full days a week. That's a whole lot of school for a 3-year-old. Certainly, if full-time care is an issue, I could see Montessori hours being attractive but if he has the option of being home more prior to kindergarten, I'd take it.

 

I taught preschool for several years and while it's normal for some kids to take a full month to really adapt, your DS is having an extreme reaction that I wouldn't take lightly. Biting a teacher at this age is very unusual and I can understand their concern. It could be he's just exhausted.... I'd see about trying a slower transition... having him only a attend a few days a week or part days adding more time over a few weeks. It could be this particular Montessori is not a good fit or it could be that NO Montessori is going to be a good fit. It could be that there is not a personality match between himself and the staff. 


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#3 of 5 Old 09-04-2011, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

Montessori schools are not all created equal. How much they actually adopt the practices can vary dramatically. As lovely as the style looks on paper, it just isn't for all kids. The time commitment alone was enough to keep me from sending my kids for preschool. The ones in our area expect 5 full days a week. That's a whole lot of school for a 3-year-old. Certainly, if full-time care is an issue, I could see Montessori hours being attractive but if he has the option of being home more prior to kindergarten, I'd take it.

 

I taught preschool for several years and while it's normal for some kids to take a full month to really adapt, your DS is having an extreme reaction that I wouldn't take lightly. Biting a teacher at this age is very unusual and I can understand their concern. It could be he's just exhausted.... I'd see about trying a slower transition... having him only a attend a few days a week or part days adding more time over a few weeks. It could be this particular Montessori is not a good fit or it could be that NO Montessori is going to be a good fit. It could be that there is not a personality match between himself and the staff. 


This school is AMI accredited, so they very strictly follow the Montessori method. They require him to go 5 mornings a week for 3 hours. I was hesitant about sending him every day, but I was so convinced Montessori was going to be so great that it would be OK, especially since he didn't have any issues being away from home last year.

 

It helps to hear from a preschool teacher that this is an extreme reaction. It helps me to know that this isn't a typical reaction.

 

 

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#4 of 5 Old 09-04-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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It helps to hear from a preschool teacher that this is an extreme reaction. It helps me to know that this isn't a typical reaction.

 

 



I want you to know I'm not placing the blame completely on your child or suggesting there is anything inherently wrong with him. I'd be really curious about the circumstances that caused him to bite the teacher as likely there were mistakes were made on both sides. The wrong environment can absolutely cause a normally well-behaved child to act out. 

 


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#5 of 5 Old 09-04-2011, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want you to know I'm not placing the blame completely on your child or suggesting there is anything inherently wrong with him. I'd be really curious about the circumstances that caused him to bite the teacher as likely there were mistakes were made on both sides. The wrong environment can absolutely cause a normally well-behaved child to act out. 

 



The teacher said that he got upset at a child because he/she held up his/her hand to signal that they were involved in an activity and did not want to me disturbed. He hit the child and the teacher grabbed his hands and told him that he shouldn't hit. He was trying to get away from her and she wouldn't let go so he bit her on the arm.

 

 

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