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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am on the hunt for some stable childcare for my ds, but we really want a learning environment, and not just daycare for him. I've always loved the way Montessori is done and I feel like it would be a good fit for him.

However, the only place we can afford right now charges for part time what the other childcare centers charge for full time. They charge $235 every two weeks for part time, either three full days or five half days. I feel like we can afford to set aside $115 each week and we'd definitely do the 3 full days, but it would mean that the other two days ds would be subject to a variety of caregivers. If I happen to be off, he'd be with me....if my bf is off, he'd be with him. If we both had to work, he would stay with my friend (who he loves) or maybe his grandma. So that's one issue. I'd say 75% of the time we'd be able to work our schedules so that one of us can be off on T/Th but there may be times he's have to go to grandma's or our friend's house. I don't know if that's too much instability and change for one 2 yo.

The other issue, the one I'm really worried about, is whether his personality will be too challenging for his teachers. I understand that it is a "true" montessori environment. It is a 2-3 year old class with 14 children, 1 teacher, and 1 assistant. I'm trying to picture how that would work if even one child became disruptive. My ds has an amazing ability to be disruptive.


He's very smart, and I have seen him show incredible focus and concentration when I give him Montessori-type tasks at home, like folding, pouring, cutting, etc. However, if he doesn't get his way, or he gets bored, or gets overstimulated, or frustrated, or anything else, he can become very destructive/disruptive. He also tests limits to the extreme i.e. you compliment him ion how nicely he is pouring, so he takes the whole bucket and dumps it on the floor, as if to say, "well, NOW what do you think?"

He is in the process of an evaluation through the city for his slightly below level problem solving skills, which may be related to his issues with articulation and not being understood (although he has an excellent vocabulary), but he's not intellectually delayed or anything, in fact he may actually be gifted. It's so confusing
I really feel like with the right amount of time and attention he would flourish in the calm, organized structured environment of a montessori classroom, but I'm really worried he'll go into the class and just.....destroy it. Yell if he doesn't get his way, throw himself on the floor if hes frsutreated, knock things over etc.

I hate to make my ds sound so.....awful....because he's really not, but I see from a teacher's perspective where he could be a real handful in a classroom setting like that. I know from experience what it's like to have a child like that and how it can change the dynamic of the entire class,a nd I just wonder how that would work with only 2 adults for 14 children. Yet I feel like he's better off there than in a typical daycare/preschool where he'd be constantly overstimulated with kids running around, a zillion plastic toys, teachers having to raise their voice a lot and so forth.

Do you think it's worth pursuing this place? Is he just not cut out for montessori?
 

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In all honesty, by what you described, I don't see how you could put him in much anything BESIDES a Montessori environment.

It sounds like he needs:

Quote:
However, if he doesn't get his way, or he gets bored,
a place where he has the ability to choose what he is doing, rather than being forced to go through what the teacher is doing. He also needs:

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or gets overstimulated, or frustrated, or anything else, he can become very destructive/disruptive.
a calm and structured environment, which Montessori provides.

He also needs:

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He is in the process of an evaluation through the city for his slightly below level problem solving skills,
a school that focuses on problem solving skills as a main part of the curriculum and is integrated into every day life, as opposed to lessons on certain things.

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I really feel like with the right amount of time and attention he would flourish in the calm, organized structured environment of a montessori classroom, but I'm really worried he'll go into the class and just.....destroy it. Yell if he doesn't get his way, throw himself on the floor if hes frsutreated, knock things over etc.
It does not seem like he would do that in a Montessori classroom. It seems more like he would do that in a normal classroom. Sounds more like he'd learn a lot more from the Montessori setting.
 

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My spirited, gifted DS1 was not "cut out" for Montessori. If your child gets overwhelmed by making choices, Montessori will be a challenge because the children are expected to choose their own work.

And, a lot depends on what sort of things frustrated him. In our case, DS1 has a weakness with fine motor skills. The sensorial approach of the Montessori work involves a lot of fine motor control. DS1 wasn't able to progress through the practical life materials due to the level of detail his teacher wanted him to master before showing him new work. And, in the academic areas, he understood the theoretical concept long before he could manipulate the materials carefully enough, so he was intellectually bored and frustrated constantly.
 

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Is there a price difference between the infant/toddler class and the primary class at the Montessori school? Because of the need for a higher teacher-student ratio, I could see them having to charge more for under-3s than for 3-6 year olds.

If so, I'd go with a play-based preschool* now and switch to the Montessori when he's 3. You can use this year to save up for that next year and to work on a scholarship application or reduced-fees application.

* and that could be any place that looks calm and organized, even if it's not Montessori. You'll need to do observing and shop around. (And a place that won't let you observe first goes off your list and saves you time.
)

FYI, the preschool at my local Y, from what I saw in a few visits at different times of day and different days of the week was quite reasonable. Kids were contentedly playing and there was a low hum of conversation, quite easy to talk to the teacher without straining to hear or having to speak louder than a library voice.

I just don't think that the learning he'd get at this point would be worth it to deal with the hassle of a different environment two days a week and the extra cost.
 

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When you speak with the Montessori instructors, describe some of these examples of your son's behaviour and ask how it would be handled in the classroom. When you observe the classroom, look for these behaviours and watch what they do with the children. Then compare with the answers and observations from the daycare options that are available.

Both my children were in Montessori schools from age 2 1/2. I was impressed at how well the Montessori method worked for a range of personality types. Honestly, some of what you describe sounds pretty typical for a 2 y.o. I'm fairly certain the directoress has seen it all before, and had to deal with it. The issue is how well - even with Montessori training, there are still some people who aren't patient, nurturing teachers. Once you speak with them and observe the class, you'll have a better idea if this is a good fit for your ds.

It will address one of your concerns, and you can then decide whether the benefits will outweigh the other issues of cost and the extra effort of finding care for the other days.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Is there a price difference between the infant/toddler class and the primary class at the Montessori school? Because of the need for a higher teacher-student ratio, I could see them having to charge more for under-3s than for 3-6 year olds.

If so, I'd go with a play-based preschool* now and switch to the Montessori when he's 3. You can use this year to save up for that next year and to work on a scholarship application or reduced-fees application.

* and that could be any place that looks calm and organized, even if it's not Montessori. You'll need to do observing and shop around. (And a place that won't let you observe first goes off your list and saves you time.
)

FYI, the preschool at my local Y, from what I saw in a few visits at different times of day and different days of the week was quite reasonable. Kids were contentedly playing and there was a low hum of conversation, quite easy to talk to the teacher without straining to hear or having to speak louder than a library voice.

I just don't think that the learning he'd get at this point would be worth it to deal with the hassle of a different environment two days a week and the extra cost.
No, actually it is the same ($5700/yr) for pre primary and children's house. It is slightly more expensive for the grade level (1-4) class. We wouldn't be paying $5700/yr though, we would put him in the part time for $450/month and then possibly enroll him in the pre-Head Start program for the summer, because the Montessori is closed for the summer and Head Start does field trips 4 days a week which I think he would love. Then in September if finances allow he would go back to Montessori, but as full time if we could afford it.

I would be ok with him going to the head start program now if he could get in, but he has to be 30 months which will not eb until June.
 

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Well, after reading the OP, I had it in my mind to formulate a response. But they I read MattBronsil's response and I'll just say "yeah, that."

My two spirited daughters absolutely thrive in the Montessori environment and are "model students" (LOL, imagine that!). DD1 is now 6 and has been attending this Montessori school since she was 2 and wouldn't think of putting her anywhere else!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post
No, actually it is the same ($5700/yr) for pre primary and children's house. It is slightly more expensive for the grade level (1-4) class. We wouldn't be paying $5700/yr though, we would put him in the part time for $450/month and then possibly enroll him in the pre-Head Start program for the summer, because the Montessori is closed for the summer and Head Start does field trips 4 days a week which I think he would love. Then in September if finances allow he would go back to Montessori, but as full time if we could afford it.

I would be ok with him going to the head start program now if he could get in, but he has to be 30 months which will not eb until June.
Too bad. Well, then, best of luck with your other day care situation. www.care.com will let you post for a care taker and look through available people in your area. I bet there's a mom or college student out there who'd love a bit of extra cash for watching him two days a week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well we went and looked at the Montessori school yesterday. I absolutely LOVED the setup as did my SO (and amazingly he said that it was worth the money!!!!!) but I'm still worried about how ds will fit in. The kids just looked so.....calm. They were all sitting still listening to a story on tape when we observed, and ds kept asking where the toys were lol.

I really wish he could have a trial day or something, but I know one day really wouldn't give a good idea of whether or not he will be a good fit. We are still deciding on whether to keep juggling childcare as it is until June, or keep looking, or go with this school.

I was REALLY impressed with the facility though. So clean, open, organized....it looks likea place where your mind would be able to focus and learn. And it was the quietest school I've ever encountered!

We also visited the Head Start facility which is in a building that looks like it needs to be condemned.......however the teachers there seem wonderful. We stayed there for over an hour talking about the program and letting ds join the class. He will definitely be going there for the summer program from June-August. The field trips sound like fun! And the director said that she liked us and would work with us on finances to make sure ds could attend all summer.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post
Well we went and looked at the Montessori school yesterday. I absolutely LOVED the setup as did my SO (and amazingly he said that it was worth the money!!!!!) but I'm still worried about how ds will fit in. The kids just looked so.....calm. They were all sitting still listening to a story on tape when we observed, and ds kept asking where the toys were lol.

I really wish he could have a trial day or something, but I know one day really wouldn't give a good idea of whether or not he will be a good fit.
It wouldn't, part of the Montessori process is being "normalized" to the classroom. All those calm kids? They'll be teaching your ds about concentrate and focus and that process will help them learn. Then next year he'll be teaching new kids by example and so on and so on.


And hey, as long as you don't sign a contract, if Montessori isn't a good fit for your ds, no harm done and he'll have a great time at Head Start which also sounds like a great place!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post
Well we went and looked at the Montessori school yesterday. I absolutely LOVED the setup as did my SO (and amazingly he said that it was worth the money!!!!!) but I'm still worried about how ds will fit in. The kids just looked so.....calm.
I always like responding by asking this question. "How do you think they got that way?"

Matt
 
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