Montessori 5 days/week! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 01-21-2003, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I made a visit to a Montessori school near us during their open house. My DH and I were very impressed and excited at the idea of our daughter attending next fall.

The only issue we have is that it is 5 days/week for 2 hours and 45 minutes. My DD will be 3 1/2 years old by the time school starts but I've had some people tell me that this is just too much at this age. I think she would have fun but I am also a little hesitant.

Any thoughts??

Thanks, Rachel
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#2 of 14 Old 01-21-2003, 09:24 PM
 
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i went to montessori 5 days a week, ALL DAY. i loved it. i was thrilled to be there. i started at about 3 and a half and went for 2 years. it was the greatest school experience i have ever had.
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#3 of 14 Old 01-21-2003, 09:28 PM
 
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our 4 yo is in his second year of montessori and he LOVES it.

he's there from 9-12 5 mornings.
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#4 of 14 Old 01-22-2003, 01:12 AM
 
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I was concerned about this at first, too. Dd will be 4 1/2 when she starts in the fall and has never been in daycare/school situations at all. The idea seems to be that consistent routine is better for young kids. They know what to expect each weekday and that supposedly decreases anxiety for them. They don't have to wonder each morning if it's a school day or an at-home day. I like to think my kid is different and would be able to handle it, but I suspect they're probably right.

I know that Montessori is big on having a controlled, consistent environment and I guess that having some kids come every other day would upset the balance of the classroom. That's just my own theory that popped into my head as I was typing, so feel free to take it or leave it!
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#5 of 14 Old 01-22-2003, 11:05 AM
 
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You could try it and if it seems to be too much for your child (after giving an initial adjustment period, maybe you could pick her up a little early a few days a week. Two and ahalf hours is not unusual for age 3.5. Five days is a little more unusual, but I agree that the consistency can be very helpful for children at that age.

 
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#6 of 14 Old 01-22-2003, 07:05 PM
 
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We're in this awesome Montessori school, and our 2.5 yo just started last week in their two-three yo program from 8:30-2:30 (I started back at school full time) and I am amazed with how well he's doing. I mean, I figured he'd like it, but he absolutely loves it.
Just wanted to share our successful experience, if you have any questions, feel free to ask. Good luck deciding!
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#7 of 14 Old 01-22-2003, 09:24 PM
 
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I know many, many children who've stayed at home until that age and then gone to five days a week. If the program is good and the child is enjoying it, take advantage of it. Under three hours is still a very short time- perfect for that age, I think.
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#8 of 14 Old 01-23-2003, 12:06 AM
 
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My daughter was not quite four when she went off to a five day nursery school program. It wasn't Montessori, but it was similar. One thing I did notice is that the five day school was all that she could do. She didn't have the energy or interest to go to gymnastics or dance or music lessons. Also, for the first few months, she came home every Friday afternoon and fell asleep at 4:00 and stayed asleep until her regular waking time on Saturday. She loved the school and we loved it, too, but it was a bit disconcerting to be quite so governed by one program. If you want to do lots of other things, you might find it hard...
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#9 of 14 Old 01-23-2003, 05:01 PM
 
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I too have the same hesitation. I am interesed in having my ds (2 yrs8 months) go to the Montesorri here - he could start now (I am going back to school) in their 2-3 program 3 mornings a week from 8:45 - 11:30. But come fall he would be required to go the 5 mornings a week. He has never been cared for by anyone but myself and his VERY involved grandparents. I just am not sure what to do......we do other things with other kids and moms, but I have always been there. I have an apt for a tour next Friday, so I can see how he reacts. I have to say that I went to Montesorri as a child and those are some of my best memories - and my ds is definatly one for structure (in a weird sense!)

Grace - photographer, wife and mom to 4 great kids (Ethan 5.00, Ainsley 4.02, Owen 12.04, and Ellis Ann 10.07) :
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#10 of 14 Old 01-23-2003, 09:46 PM
 
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That's true about the exhaustion- my daughter started either falling asleep on the way home or napping a good hour in the afternoon, but by mid-year she had adjusted more. Her preschool had a *lot* of serious outdoor time and digging in the dirt, etc, so it was no wonder she was wiped out. I think small children really enjoy the community atmosphere of a good preschool, too.
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#11 of 14 Old 01-27-2003, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really appreciate everyone's comments and I have a lot of the same concerns that some of you other mom's have. Especially the other activities that we may want to join outside of Montessori. I wanted to have my dd go to the afternoon class so that I would still have our mornings to do errands, playgroups, library, etc...but now I am wondering if, like you said LizD, she will be so tired after school that I will have trouble with her getting enough rest or just being a BEAR because she is too tired, KWIM?

But I really think she would enjoy being there and like Groundhog said knowing what to expect everyday is a very important factor.
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#12 of 14 Old 01-28-2003, 01:10 PM
 
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2girlsmom, my children would be exhausted if we tried to do errands and playgroups each morning and school every afternoon at that age. I'd say that choosing one morning for an organized activity and one morning for errands would be the absolute maximum for our family.

Another thing to consider is illness. Many children entering nursery school for the first time get a lot of colds, flu, etc. That makes a lot of interruption in their other activities, which can be frustrating for both you and the child, especially if you've invested a lot of money in the activity.

My personal opinion is that if you want to enroll your child in a five-afternoon preschool program, you should forgo the other activities, except for very casual playdates and other unstructured events, like library visits.
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#13 of 14 Old 02-07-2003, 02:05 PM
 
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My daughter started a Montessori program for 3 days a week just before her second birthday. This program lasted all day (8:30 -2:30) with an afternoon nap time. By the end of her second year (when she was about 3 1/2) she was asking all the time to go to school everyday. So this year, just before she turned 4, she started going all day. While I definitely can tell a difference in her energy level now that she's going 5 days, she still seems to have the energy to do many activities of her own choosing after school. We don't have her enrolled in any other organized activities at the moment though.

Since your program is only 2 hours, 45 minutes, I think a 3 1/2 year old would probably enjoy it every day. Also, I noticed when my daughter started going to school every day, her sleep schedule seemed to even out. Previously, she would sleep in on mornings when there was no school, and her bed time was more erratic. Now, she goes to bed more willingly and, I think, sleeps better than she did when her schedule wasn't as regular.

Good luck with your decision!

Melissa
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#14 of 14 Old 02-22-2003, 10:56 PM
 
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I, too, looked at a Montessori, but decided against it. I think that part of my concern was that I didn't really like the lady who ran it, so that may have colored my opinion. However, they also had a policy that parents were not allowed in the classroom. When you went to p/u your child, they would bring them out to you. You had to wait in the front. It was also a 5 day a week thing or nothing.

I think that this all went along with what someone said earlier about consistency for the kids, but I didn't like the idea that they were trying to take over the parenting of my child & keeping me from "disrupting" their environment.
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