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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>I just want to start by saying that I really believe in the ideas behind the montessori method even though I am not nearly as well-versed as you all are.</p>
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<p>however I am wondering lately if maybe ds just is the wrong personality type for Montessori and indeed for school at all.</p>
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<p>His teacher seems to be less enchanted with him each time we pick him up from school. At the beginning of the year everyone thought he was super cute, charming, friendly, etc. The first two weeks or so he was good as gold, focused, etc.</p>
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<p>After that things started to go downhill. There was some confusion about him not being allowed to do certain lessons or works but i got that sorted out and it wasn't quite how ds had tried to explain it to me. However, right now because of his behavior, he is required to stay in the practical life area with this one particular teacher unless he is specifically called over to another are to work one on one with the teacher. Now I'm not ocmplaining about this at all; I appreciate that they are working with my child rather than writing him off as a bad kid (which he's not.)</p>
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<p>But, I'm not seeing any improvement in his behavior after 3 months of school. According to teacher reports he runs around the room, is friendly to the point of distracting/annoying others (jumping up in the teacher's lap when she is working wtih someone else,stepping on other kids' mats etc). I observed him for about 5 minutes one day when we forgot his lunch and I had ot drop it off around 11 AM and he didn't do anything of substance while I was there. I saw the other kids working on lessons, engaged, and he was not engaged at all. He was running back and forth between a teacher who was giving a tour (from what it looked like) and another teacher, and a child who was working on a mat on the floor. They have a shelf with books and a couple chairs and I saw the teacher encourage him to go over there, and he pulled the chair out, stood up on it until he was told to get down, and then got down and continues to wander around the room. He looked unfocused and disorganized.</p>
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<p>Again I'm not blaming the teachers who have a whole classroom full of children to deal with, and I realize that Montessori is supposed to be self-directed but I don't feel that he is getting out of it all that he could/should be. I know he is learning as he tidbits of thigns will come out here and there at home (for example, through group time he learned the months of the year in order, something I had not even begun to cover with him) and I like that they incorporate Spanish into their day (although it's not immersion or anything) but I wonder sometimes if he would be better off in a paly based environemt.</p>
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<p>It's just that the only play based preschools around here have mostly plastic, junky type toys, have very little real learning (more cookie cutter letter of the week stuff) and always seem chaotic. If he can't handle the relative calm of montessori I imagine he would go berserk in any other facility. And he loves school. I'm just not sure how much they love him.</p>
 

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<p>Does he happen to have any type of special needs or is it purely behavioral?  Have you talked to the teachers yet to see if they had any ideas of what's going on and how they can get him engaged?  It sounds like they're trying to get a handle on it by having him do one-on-one stuff with the teachers, but I think if I were you, I'd ask to have a conference with the teachers to get a better idea of what's going on.  He might be really engaged, but the few minutes you saw him he was in between works or something.</p>
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<p>Like everything else, Montessori isn't for every child.  But, every Montessori environment is different too.  Maybe he needs to be someplace else, or maybe the teachers have some ideas about how to make this work for him.  I'd definitely ask for a conference to see what they'd suggest...</p>
 

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<p>He's not even three, right?  It doesn't sound like a good fit for your son.  My dd1 and I toured a Montessori school when she was four.  It wasn't right for her at all (in fact for years she referred to it as "the bad school" and we were there for only an hour or so).  But my friend's four year old son LOVED it and thrived there for two years.  All kids are different.  What works for one might not work for another.</p>
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<p>I'd try a play-based preschool - have you considered co-op?  Super reasonable price, you pay with your time.  All three of mine loved co-op.  When I had little ones, another mom and I would work opposite days and trade childcare.  We drove an hour round trip twice a week because I loved co-op so much and there wasn't one in my town - though there is now! </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<p>unfortunately if this school does not work out my SO will not consider another tuition based school until next school year. He feels that the issues are with ds and not the school (I kind of feel this way too, which is why I'm wondering if switching will even make any difference.) There is a Head Start program that ds could possibly get into in December but the Head Start programs here are not the type of environment I'd want for ds. Even if the teachers were more no-nonsense there and managed to cut back on behavior issues, it would not be a positive experience for ds, I'm almost sure.</p>
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<p>I've thought about taking him to get evaluated or something (one of his issues is that he puts things in his mouth and chews the wheels or little parts off all his toys) but because he is bright and articulate and passes all the milestones I don't know that I could get anything done through medicaid, and I can't afford to go through someone privately.</p>
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<p>This whole preschool thing came about based on the recommendation after his EI evaluation through the city. They felt that he would benefit frmo time away from me and a more structured environment.  at first I thought it was working. But now I see that he has just brought these same behaviors from home to school.</p>
 

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<p>I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Head Start.  I have a friend who sent her first kid to HS when she was a grad student.  She loved it so much she was crushed when she learned they couldn't send their other kid to the same program because their income went up.  We have a sweet Reggio school here that's free for HS families but $$$ for everyone else. </p>
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<p>It sounds like Montessori might not be a good fit, if that's all that's going on and he's not doing any work.  I would also be reluctant to pay for Montessori if I qualified for Head Start.  Do yourself the favor and at least look at the schools.  They can be really awesome.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<p>Oh I have. I have examined them at great length. trust me if I could get a good quality program for him for free I would not be paying! lol I grew up in this area and I have worked in many of the child care programs in the area so I'm familiar with what there is to offer around here. :/</p>
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<p>Also i'm not sure what you mean about a reggio school being free for HS/. Here HEad Start is an actual facility that you bring your child to. Subsidized child care is another option that allows you to take a voucher to any of a number of preschols and daycares. We are at least 3 months out on the waiting list for that option.</p>
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<p>I wouldn't say he isn't doing any work, but I'm concerned that he isn't getting what he should be out of the program. I just don't know where to go with this. I'm actually behind on tuition so i'm kind of embarrassed to request a conference but maybe I need to bite the bullet and do it anyway.</p>
 

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<p>Have you met with the teachers to talk about your concerns?  It sounds like the teachers haven't given up on your DS, and that's great.  I help out at my DS's school and I definitely see one or two kids in the 2-3 year old range (and even one of the 4 year olds) with similar behaviors in the classroom.  I'm sure the teachers have dealt with this before, and probably know that some kids need more than 3 months to adapt to the classroom expectations.  Before you pull your DS out, see what the teachers have to say about this.  A few of the kids who were "wild" in the classroom last year at our school are now wonderfully focused in the classroom a year later.  Sometimes it just takes time.</p>
 

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<p><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>waiting2bemommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279900/behavior-problems-at-montessori#post_16051637"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Oh I have. I have examined them at great length. trust me if I could get a good quality program for him for free I would not be paying! lol I grew up in this area and I have worked in many of the child care programs in the area so I'm familiar with what there is to offer around here. :/</p>
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<p>Also i'm not sure what you mean about a reggio school being free for HS/. Here HEad Start is an actual facility that you bring your child to. Subsidized child care is another option that allows you to take a voucher to any of a number of preschols and daycares. We are at least 3 months out on the waiting list for that option.</p>
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<p>I wouldn't say he isn't doing any work, but I'm concerned that he isn't getting what he should be out of the program. I just don't know where to go with this. I'm actually behind on tuition so i'm kind of embarrassed to request a conference but maybe I need to bite the bullet and do it anyway.</p>
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It must vary a lot by area because here there are a number or regular preschools that have a head start component.  Basically, they're free for HS families and everyone else pays regular amounts.  The Reggio school is affiliated with a college.  It's free for HS families, cheaper for students, a little cheaper for faculty and staff and then the same as my kid's Montessori for everyone else.  There are also regular HS places, but there is a lot of choice for low income families.  It's awesome because it makes the regular expensive preschools much more diverse and that's good for everyone, IMO.  Are there any play based places with a sliding scale?   </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<p>wow. that is awesome. No, it's not like that here. The HS places here are in buildings that look like they should be condemned. I don't fault the teachers one bit because they are making the most with what they have (and I have worked as a preschool teacher myself in such conditions) but i don't want my child there. If I was in a different place in life i would put him there, be a volunteer and a constant presence in the classroom and advocate for a better program, but I can't take that on right now. I am honestly looking to drop him off at 8 and not think about him til pickup at 1. I know that's bad, but it's the truth. I have a lot on my plate right now.</p>
 

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<p>What might help is a rug work.  Something that he has to come up to the teacher and ask something next or show them how to do something.  I had a child similar to that.  I gave him the 45 bead layout (which your son is probably not ready for...just using an example).  He would ask what to do next, go do it, then have to keep coming back to ask what is next. </p>
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<p>He needed to move, so I kept him moving.  That just has to be productive.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MattBronsil</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279900/behavior-problems-at-montessori#post_16053426"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>What might help is a rug work.  Something that he has to come up to the teacher and ask something next or show them how to do something.  I had a child similar to that.  I gave him the 45 bead layout (which your son is probably not ready for...just using an example).  He would ask what to do next, go do it, then have to keep coming back to ask what is next. </p>
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<p>He needed to move, so I kept him moving.  That just has to be productive.</p>
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hmmmm. I will ask the teacher about that. ds thrives on attention, so that might work. He would probably love the constant stream of feedback.</p>
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<p> just out of curiosity, what is the typical montessori approach to discipline? like for example the day ds balled up his sandwich and threw it into the next room, then refused to pick it up and ran outside to play.  or his constant statements to me and the teachers "I want to be bad. You don't like me. nobody likes me. Am I making you mad?" he does this at home CONSTANTLY so I know that the reports are not exaggerated. The one teacher tells me "he's just a boy and boys are like that.' while the other teacher seems to be a tad frustrated (although I appreciate her honesty)</p>
 

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<p>Yay for outsourcing programming to college students.</p>
<br><p> IIIII (Ah...there's my cursor)  I hope it gets fixed soon.  That's the last sentence in the paragraph below, which is supposed to be below the quote I did in quotation marks since the quote function doesn't really work well.<span><img alt="orngtongue.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif"></span></p>
<p>""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"""""""""""""     Sorry.  Not yelling at you.  Yelling at the forum. Its new software is  driving me nuts.  I might take a break from this forum for a while until they get it sorted out. I can't do this anymore.  My apologies.  I want to reply, but can't right now.  Just spent 15 minutes trying to quote and reply to another message with no luck.IO</p>
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<p>"like for example the day ds balled up his sandwich and threw it into the next room, then refused to pick it up and ran outside to play. </p>
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<p>or his constant statements to me and the teachers "I want to be bad. You don't like me. nobody likes me. Am I making you mad?"</p>
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<p>" just out of curiosity, what is the typical montessori approach to discipline? like for example the day ds balled up his sandwich and threw it into the next room, then refused to pick it up and ran outside to play.  or his constant statements to me and the teachers "I want to be bad. You don't like me. nobody likes me. Am I making you mad?" he does this at home CONSTANTLY so I know that the reports are not exaggerated. The one teacher tells me "he's just a boy and boys are like that.' while the other teacher seems to be a tad frustrated (although I appreciate her honesty)"<br><br>
This seems to work better on my BlackBerry, but is a lot less convenient.  (Edit: Blackberry types well, but won't submit.  This is copied  and pasted from an email.  My apologies if I don't write back again.  I just can't stand  the new downgraded web site)</p>
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The consequence for the sandwich thing: the sandwich stays there. He stays with me until he picks it up.<br><br>
The other question about what he says, a simple reply of, "You're wonderful and I love you. Just some things are not ok for the classroom. Don't worry. You will learn those things as you are here longer." Then I'd leave it at that and not engage further. That would be my first step to see where it goes.<br><br>
It takes a while, but loss of freedom is what children dislike most in Montessori. When a child misbehaves, Montessori wrote a lot about having the child sit at a place and bringing them the work until they could use the freedom responsibly.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
<p>thanks for your response! I agree that this new format is annoying. It seems like MDC has been a lot slower moving since the "upgrade."</p>
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<p>Anyway, I am going to try your response tomorrow when he starts in with his "you don't like me/I'm bad" spiel. I think he might be a bit of a sensory seeker although the behavior seems to ebb and flow...as soon as I think I have him figured out, the annoying behavior stops and I think I must have been mistaken. Then he starts it up again.</p>
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<p>It sounds like that is what the teacher is doing....having him sit in one place until he learns to use his freedom responsibly.</p>
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<p>Tomorrow before school I am going to have him move around a bit, maybe play basketball, before he goes to school. I am wondering if maybe moving his muscles and really getting some tension out before school starts will help him settle down in the classroom. Also, today I introduced the idea to him of hitting a pillow when he "feels wild", and he took to it and starting beating the pillow up and he seemed noticeably happier and more in control when he stopped. (as an added bonus he stopped racing up and down the hallway slamming his body into doors.) Just musing here.....I know my kiddo is really wonderful at heart, and I don't want his behaviors to keep him from reaching his potential.</p>
 

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<p>Hi,</p>
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<p>Did not read everything, but i have some suggestions. I worked in a montessori kindergarten and there is a program and strict rules. Teachers do try their very best that all kind of unnecesseray behaviour is stopped. I love Montessory method, cause of the toys, the knowledge the kids get. Its is extraordinary that they can write, read, calculated at the age of 5. I do not mean just the basics. But on the other hand it is easy forgotten that kids are just kids. They are 3,4,5 years old. They are not 20 or 30 years old. I totaly agree in the classroom when you have around 15 kids or more, they need to be ocupied. Montessory method occupes individualy, which is great for some time, meaning around 2 to 3 hours, lets say. The other time should be spent differently. With fun, games, laughter..not just teaching and excepting more information. Jing and Jang.</p>
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<p>Waldorf method does a lot on imagination. They have toys without faces, so each toy in kids eyes can be a diffrenet thing. In one play the toy represents the king, in another a cat... Kids i have met are more open, their are thinking a lot, expressing. Montessory teaches facts, numbers, letters. Its a great tool to get working habits and you learn a lot about all kinds of things. Waldorf is more about interacting with each other, playing.</p>
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<p>Kids play. They learn threw play, interact. The best combination is to have both methods in the kindergarten. "we study, but we also play". When we play, we run left, right, everywhere...we play catch me... itd.....</p>
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<p>When working in montessory, i saw that when kids are out, they do not how to play.</p>
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<p>In a public kindergarten, kids are too much kids..meaning there is not learning space for them, they scream and do what they want to do...if the teacher is old she uses the "military approach", so she does not have to work a lot. </p>
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<p>i think best for your kid would be to stay in the kindergarten where he is. he is a small child and needs to move a lot. which is totaly normal. i have not met any childs who would not need to move every day. I suggest if you have the possibility to get him out of the kindergarten earlier than usualy and take them to a fun spot. bouncy castel, playground...have an idea...suggest to him...lets go play with the fun ball...make a happy time you and your son. at the end of the day, nothing means more than spending quality time with your kids.</p>
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<p>and after some time you will see the result. if you will see it gets better- jing jang theory-and the school will keep on telling you from time to time, that he does that and that, you should just say :i am happy he is a child, not a robot. he can make as many mestakes as he wants to, cause he is a child. i do not want a perfect human being, just want a happy child.</p>
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<p>hope, this helps... </p>
 

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<p>You mentioned that you think he may be a sensory seeker and you mentioned that he puts things in his mouth and chews on them, etc.  I would look into getting that checked out more.  My DS has a number of sensory issues, and they do impact his behavior, ability to settle and seem concentrated, etc.  He just turned 6, and it is much better than when he was 3 and 4.  I strongly believe that part of the change was due to the wonderful Montessori school he attended last year when he was 5.  From what you have described about your son's school, I would say that maybe that particular school isn't working for your son, but another Montessori school very well could work out well.  I think it would take a teacher with a lot of experience and a solid Montessori background, and then they should be able to get him more integrated into the class.  At DS's Montessori, if a child was really struggling, one of the teachers would shadow that child.  It really didn't take too long before the child was able to settle into the program.  I also did some of my student teaching (I have Montessori certification) with an amazing woman who would work with really difficult kids (not just sandwich throwers!) and integrate them into her classroom.  So, I think it has more to do with an individual teacher/school than it does with the philosophy as a whole not working for a particular kiddo.  </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
<p>We went to the pediatrician yesterday and received three referrals: one to a developmental ped, one to the ENT, and one for OT.</p>
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<p>I am thinking about trying counseling again since I believe he is suffering from anxiety (which I am really to blame for, I have been having a very rough time with PPD and am far from the ideal parent. I'm too explosive and sometimes too punitive with him, also recently I have descended into spanking a few times.) I am in counseling but I think he might benefit from a safe place to express himself. I think he knows that I value him and love him, but he may be anxious because of the intense range of emotions and the arguing and dissonance in our household right now.</p>
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<p>The ENT saw him today and wants his adenoids out. The hope is that improved breathing will help him sleep better and be more rested, leading to better behavior. We won't be able to get in with the dev ped or the OT until January and I've been too overwhelmed to pursue finding the right counselor/play therapist but I know I need to get on it. sigh. I miss the days when i all I had to worry about was breastfeeding and diaper changes.....</p>
 
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