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Discussion Starter #1
Ds has attended M for early childhood. Although he's definitely had his moments, M has been a very good fit for him - he's very bright, very spirited, needs the kind of focus it allows, and doesn't like to "show" what he knows. Unfortunately, it's $7000 per year. We did not get accepted into the public M. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I am duly unimpressed with our neighborhood school for a variety of reasons. At the moment the only compromise I can find for him is to do a less expensive private school. It's a nice middle of the line school that wouldn't be an horrendous strain on our budget. BUT...I worry about the "traditional" expectations and academic rigor.<br><br>
How do children with a background of so much independent learning and some freedom of movement adjust to an atmosphere where they are required to do the same thing as the rest of their classmates on their teachers' schedule and sit still in their chairs all day? Or do I have a slightly exaggerated view of traditional education (been a while since I've been in a 1st grade classroom)? I figured at an older age he'd be fine with the adjustment, but I really worry about these formative years... Would it be better just to shell out four times the money for the Montessori? Any input or btdt advice?
 

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From what I've heard from various friends, most kids transition into traditional public school successfully. It may take a while, but they do figure out the new system and are fine. A couple of families I know tried public school for a year, but found that their child lost their enthusiasm for learning, so ended up switching back to Montessori. Some families I know had to move their kids to public school starting at 4th grade because their program only went up to 3rd grade. These families have reported that their kids made the transition without too many problems and that their kids kept their ability to think for themselves and not be swayed by the opinions of their peers. I have heard, though, that the easiest time to transition is at a time when everyone is transitioning together (at kindergarten or middle school).<br><br>
There was a woman who came to our Montessori school in the spring (she was involved in the accreditation process), and she gave a brief talk one evening. One of the the things she said she noticed about kids who have moved to the traditional public school system is that they learned how to do the least amount of work possible to get by.<br><br>
Montessori originally intended for her approach to education to be available to all people, regardless of their socioeconomic situation. It's a shame that the majority of Montessori schools in this country are private--and usually quite expensive.<br><br>
In any case, I wish you luck as you make a difficult decision!
 

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By the way, here's an article that may help you as you try to figure out what to do--it's entitled "Montessori Elementary is Different: What Children Study, What Children Do":<br><br><a href="http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4097/is_200304/ai_n9235386/?tag=content;col1" target="_blank">http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...g=content;col1</a>
 

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The kids at our M school move on to other schools at the 9th grade level.For the most part they seem to be doing well.Some do private,public,or homeschooling.Kids younger leave all the time,but we never hear from them after they leave the school.Just follow your childs cues and change the setting when needed.<br><br>
I would try the private,or see if there is some sort of financial aide through the M to cover some of the cost to continue there.Ours is around 5k and we borrow from family to cover the cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for those replies. I talked to the private school and it just doesn't sound right. They have set their curriculum above state standards, which sounds good but makes me feel like it pushes the kids hard to perform. Plus, the principal said that her staff as a whole need to work on differentiating instruction to different kinds of learners. Mine is very much a hands-on learner. I know most traditional schools have the same issue, but I can't really see paying money for a lack of differentiation.<br><br>
Anyway, for now we have decided to do another year of kindergarten at the expensive Montessori (don't know how we'll make it work) and stay on the waiting list for the public Montessori. I don't know how it will work because I have him on the 1st grade waiting list in the public schools to avoid yet another transition next year (in the case that he would be admitted this year). He's a borderline birthday, so either grade is okay, but I hope it doesn't cause a problem if he starts the year in kindy and potentially transfers to 1st grade. At his current school, they don't have room left in lower el., though. Plus, he will be in the same classroom with familiar routines, so that should help him settle in easily at the first of the year.<br><br>
I agree that it's a shame that M is not available to everyone, as Maria Montessori intended it to be. I was calculating tuition and expenses the other day, though, and realized that they would use most of it to cover teacher pay, school upkeep, and materials. Unfortunately, they do not offer tuition assistance.
 

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Well, I guess I don't have to worry about those decisions anymore. I got a call from the public school district saying they have a space in the Montessori! I am thrilled it all worked out...although I would have been more thrilled without all the ambiguity and drama. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Rose-Roget</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15453359"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, I guess I don't have to worry about those decisions anymore. I got a call from the public school district saying they have a space in the Montessori! I am thrilled it all worked out...although I would have been more thrilled without all the ambiguity and drama. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">:j oy<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"> You said it, Matt! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">
 
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