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We've already given our deposit for the upcoming school year to the synagogue preschool that both my sons are currently attending. Ds1 will be in pre-k in the fall, ds2 will be in a 2-3 yr old class. It's an OK school but I'm not in love w/it. So I was just looking around recently for where to send my ds for kindergarten and I visited a Montessori school a few weeks ago that takes children from 18 months to 6th grade. I really love the school and wish I'd known about when ds1 was just entering preschool @ 2 yrs old, not that dh would have agreed b/c he wanted to start them off in a Jewish environment to sort of set the foundation for knowing about holidays, traditions, etc since we don't do much at home re. that stuff.<br>
So I would really love to start ds1 @ the Montessori school the following academic year when he will be in K, but the school director said that will be an awkward time for him to start since the Kindergartners are grouped with the 3 yr olds and pre-k's so that he'll be the oldest in the class while missing out on being able to take a leadership role there, being the new kid, which she tells me is the whole advantage of this mixed age setting as far as being the older ones go, whereas if he starts <i>this</i> upcoming year as a pre-K student, he would be able to have a year to acclimate and then me "a leader" the following year. Is that necessarily true or do you think that was a strong-arm tactic on the part of the director to get me to enroll sooner?<br>
And then I was thinking of starting both my kids there when my oldest is in first grade so he'll be starting in a class as the youngest in a group of first through third graders, but then I feel like this might be unfair as most of the kids have been in a Montessori setting since they were preschool age and so he'll have to get used to the unstructured setting of the classroom. DH is having a hard time wrapping his head around how the kids receive instruction in this kind of setting too, and even after having gone on a tour of the school, I have no idea either, although I have to admit the kid's projects hanging on the wall are impressive.
 

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I bet he'll do fine.<br><br>
My now 7 yo started Montessori this school year for first grade (after going to a reg. pre-k and kindy) and has done great. I have a 5 and 3 yr old who will be starting Montessori in the fall (so both in a 3-6 class), and a 9 yr old who just finished 3rd grade in a 6-9 class. Yes, the kids who have been in Montessori longer have an advantage - and help the class dynamics - but I think most kids transition into Montessori well.<br><br>
It is unstructured in that the children can chose their work - but it is really structured in that each work is very specific and they are given detailed lessons before doing each new activity. It's not like they are just left to roam the class and do whatever they wish however they want with the materials, yk? My first grader had a weekly plan he collaborated with the teacher to work on goals - so he always does math, reading, writing, geography, science, etc. He's certainly not missing out on anything because of the setting and intructional method.
 

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My ds started M half way into the Primary year,and then moved up into lower el.. I think going right into lower el(grade 1) is fine,and probably BETTER since primary(k) is so different. He is doing fine but, lol ,misses the fun times of primary.I have heard of older kids going into M after public/home/private,and most do well too.<br><br>
Your child will be the guide in this.Just give enough time to see if this type of learning environment will work for him.
 

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My now 7 yo started Montessori this school year for first grade (after going to a reg. pre-k and kindy) and has done great.<br></div>
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This is pretty much our story. I wish that our oldest could have gone to Montessori sooner, but she has done fine. There was some transition at the beginning of the year learning a different way of doing things, but she has adjusted. Because very few kids are able to get in that late in the game, it was a little weird for her to be the new girl, but she does fine with that sort of thing.
 
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