Mothering Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're considering a Montessori school for ds who will be 2.5 in September. I am more open to Montessori than dh, but I too have reservations.<br><br>
When we visited the school with ds, he seemed to really like it and didn't want to leave when it was time. Dh stayed to talk with the guide/director after the visit (I had already visited with her another day). DH wasn't so comfortable with the very calm, quiet atmosphere. He felt it was "controlled". When he asked the guide about it, she was explaining the philosophy of order for preschoolers and told him how materials are presented. She gave an example of penny polishing. Now DH cannot imagine that penny polishing would have been interesting to him at any age and he asked what happens if a child is just not interested in an activity. She said she would make sure the child had understood the presentation/ try presenting in a different way, but that if the child remained uninterested, she would start to ask what was "wrong with the child". Does this make sense to you?<br><br>
This guide is very experienced - I think she has 20-30 years of experience - and she's had a lot of good explanations for things, including my question about matwork (see prior post). However she does seem slightly controlling in personality and there doesn't seem to be any outlet for truly free wild play. The Montessori where I used to work as an assistant had a large outdoor space where kids could be pretty wild as long as they didn't hurt anyone or destroy plants.<br><br>
On the plus side, she seems to do a good job of facilitating the children playing together, which I didn't see a lot of at the school where I used to work. She's also very kind and gentle, as is the assistant.<br><br>
Any input is appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
The directress' response to your husband's question was not what it should have been. If a teacher presents a material and the child is not interested or if the directress then realizes that it is beyond the child's current abilities, Maria Montessori herself said that the directress should gently say that they will try again another day and put the work away. She was very specific about NOT making the child feel bad or inadaquate in any way.<br>
Unfortunatley, as I have discovered through Mont. training and years of working at Mont. schools, many people who are drawn to Montessori are extrememly controlling personalities and their interpretation of Montessori follows suit.<br>
I would also warn you that there will be no "truly free wild play" in a Mont. classroom EVER but there should always be an outside or gym time where the children can play freely.<br>
Good luck choosingan appropriate preschool for your child.<br>
Siobhan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,578 Posts
I felt the same as your husband when I first saw a Montessori classroom. When I walked in the room, and sat quietly at a desk in the corner, I watched about 35 three to five year olds IN ONE ROOM and all I could hear was quiet conversation. There were smiles all around, and frowns all around of deep concentration. I saw children transferring cotton balls from one cup to another with tweezers. I saw kids taking their finger and drawing in the sand. I saw kids tasting sweet and sour things. I saw kids cutting bananas for snack. Everyone was on task. Everyone was working. And that is what M school is...it's work. And while I felt like things were controlled in the classroom, the kids were clearly, CLEARLY enjoying it.<br><br>
I came home a little disoriented. Everything I knew about children my son's age was either wrong, or these children were being manipulated into being good. As it turns out, everything I knew was wrong. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
And, while these kids are very quiet and measured with voice and action in the classroom, the playground is a totally different place. It's WILD out there! I'm talking crazed! I've even seen little girls who I know don't run crazy running crazy having fun! The kids organize themselves into raucous soccer games with scores like 35 to 47. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Basically, our Montessori school is amazing. My sons love, love, love it. Now, the quiet classroom doesn't look like an aberration to me, it looks normal, and now other "normal" preschools seem too loud for any work to get done. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Does there need to be an outdoor space for free wild play if he only goes half days? She is working on a small outdoor space, but for now they take walks in the neighborhood, which couldn't be that free or wild because it's an urban setting with lots of cars, and then end the session with "ten minutes" at the tot lot to "let off steam". But he would only be there 2hrs 45 min per day, so he can get wild play outside of the school.<br><br>
I'll have to ask dh about the penny polishing again to see if she also said that she would put the activity away for another day if the child were not interested.<br><br>
Thanks for the input.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top