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<p>I am really stuck here on what to do. I have been told by several teachers that my five year old daughter is a "different" learner. That she thinks out of the box and is at a higher level than the other kids in her class. She has complained about school since prek and I am assuming she may be bored or feels too much pressure. She does not know more than the other students, just thinks different. Her teachers tell me she is unmotivated and we have issues with her getting in trouble for attention. I have not had her offically tested for giftedness but have been told by a physcologist to assume that she is because she has all the traits. That being said, I figured Montessori might be the best fit for her. My problem is, with her need for attention and the fact that she gets overstimulated in large environments I worry that she will not be able to focus since the Montessori classes are so large. Does anyone have a child that gets overstimulated that is attending Montessori? Anyone with a gifted child that is unmotivated? How did they do in this environment?</p>
 

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<p>Your daughter sounds a lot like my son.  He is very bright but has sensory issues.  I really wanted the Montessori to work out for him.  Really, really.  *I* loved it.  It was a lovely school, we got a full scholarship for it, great home-cooked meals, swimming pools and parks at it - everything was awesome.  Unfortunately, it just wasn't a good match for him and I ended up pulling him out.  He thrived in a more structured setting.</p>
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<p>Just our experience.</p>
 

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<p>The space inside the classroom per student is often much greater than in other school settings.  There are a number of other differences that include the lack of over stimulating "wall art" that is found in most classrooms. (Why do people think if you animate a tree or a sun the child will be more interested?) Also the children themselves are often calmer, more intent on working on their work and less likely to be over active and stimulating. </p>
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<p>I've guided a number of kids in 3 - 6, 6-9, and 9-12 environments who had sensory issues.  I've found that for the majority after about a 6 week transition they were able to be comfortable in that space.  There may be some social ramifications as different social expectations are placed on your child.  But, if the guide is compassionate, the class will be a place where grace will be shown as the child works through how Montessori students handle conflicts and how and when to interrupt people, etc.</p>
 

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EAVice and tiqa - good responses.<br><br>
Truly a situation of YMMV - "your mileage may vary".<br><br>
Please take my response in context of a person who is not familiar, except anecdotally with sensory issues. I have a 3 yo in Montessori and for us, it is "utopia" - so I do have a bias (within the context of our needs).<br><br>
homebodymom - go to your local Montessori school. Be candid about your child's strengths and challenges and your concerns and see what they say. If the directress is reluctant, consider that. If the directress - says, bring her here - we want her, consider, yet be mindful of examples that illustrate your observations of your daughter. I suspect, with the economy, many schools may accept children they are not equipped to handle.<br><br>
A few random thoughts - Montessori is very independent (to use an example, if your daughter was working on something, concentrating - it would <b>not</b> be acceptable for a child to interrupt her activities.<br><br>
If I were to visualize Montessori - I'd describe as several small environments, rather than a large environment. Excluding a few group activities, each child focuses on his/her own material.<br><br>
One encouraging anecdote - first week of school, I was observing on Day #5 - a lovely musician was playing the guitar and children were singing - for whatever reason (boredom, discomfort), my daughter chose to leave the circle and was allowed to attend to her activity of choice - there was no disruption, no reprimand, just a gentle reminder to find an activity.<br><br>
Last positive thing I can suggest - An established Montessori school will have an equal balance of 3/4/5 year olds. 5 teach for 4 who teach 3 - but, the overriding theme is respect for the individual. If you find the right teacher, they're not trying to acclimate 25-30 new kids, but most likely they are trying to adjust ~7-8 kids in a well-run environment.
 

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<p>I was gifted (am?). I had a part-time montessori-like class that I took alongside normal public school. It made all the difference for me, and that's part of why I'm planning Montessori for my own. That said, giftedness is a very specific thing—there are many kinds of learners, intelligences, and combinations thereof. Probably worth finding out for sure.</p>
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<p>If your Montessori classes are too large, perhaps there are alternate Montessori schools with more reasonable class sizes? We're in a city that's not large at all, and there are 3 within driving distance.</p>
 

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<p>My daughter thinks 'outside of the box' and has sensory issues.  Montessori has been great for 'thinking outside of the box' -  for both of my children - since the school values their uniqueness and encourages creativity.  However, we were a little hesitant to pull my daughter from a traditional classroom to a Montessori classroom because we felt she would do best in a structured environment.  Although the personal responsibility and freedom is sometimes a little difficult for her and she has some less productive days; this environment is enabling her to learn skills that will be useful throughout her life.  (e.g.  She may not have a structured job as an adult.)   Overall, even with some less productive days, I feel she is learning more.  Her frustration level is much less, she is enjoying the work, learning wonderful social skills, and gaining time management skills.</p>
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<p>The very large class size (38) and the movement inside the class can be a difficult distraction for both of my children.  However, they are finding ways to work around it - like finding a quiet corner to work. </p>
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<p><em>edited to add..my children are 7 and are in Lower EL - 2nd year</em></p>
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<p>I have a friend whose son went to a charter Montessori, with great results. He was an active and bright child, probably would have been diagnosed with ADHD at a regular school, but the staff at the Montessori really tried to suit his individual needs, for example letting him do schoolwork outside when he needed space. </p>
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<p>I'd say, talk to the school. Some are going to be more willing than others to help.</p>
 

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<p>I think the right Montessori class could be a very good fit for your daughter indeed. I think a lot depends on how flexible they are in their approach - though admittedly this can be difficult to gauge when visiting prospective schools. I strongly agree with the suggestion from PPs - to visit Montessori schools in your area and talk very openly about your daughter's unique strengths and potential difficulties. The teachers' responses and generally willingness to make accomodations for your daughter should be quite revealing.</p>
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<p>As for a few specific concerns - overstimulation in a large classroom. I'm sure it varies from school to school, but in a well-run Montessori school, this shouldn't be a problem. Promoting individual concentration is really central to the Montessori approach and a lot of importance is placed on creating a calm environment. Children in a Montessori setting are also actively taught to be not disturb other children who are engaged in work. This is very much the case at my son's preschool.</p>
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<p>As for the boredom issue - a good Montessori teacher will see it as his/her responsibility to find work that is interesting for your daughter and at an appropriate level. This is where it's really important to find a school/teacher who has a certain amount of flexibility in their approach and aren't hung up on rigid ideas of which work is suitable for a particular age.</p>
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<p>After my son was accepted to his preschool, I went in for a visit with my husband, who hadn't seen the preschool at this point. My son would have been 2 years 4 months, though wasn't with us. We got a full tour of the primary classroom and I remember when we got to the math section, the teacher who was showing us around said something along the lines of "It will be quite a while until your son will be using any of these materials. They're usually ready around the age of 4 or so." I couldn't manage to keep quiet - "Actually, DS seems to be quite keen on counting at the moment." The teacher replied "Yeah, but at this age, when he's counting, he's just reciting the words without understanding what they mean." Me: "Actually he can count out 5 or so objects so he seems to have some understanding of what the numbers mean." Teacher: "And moving onto the next section..." I remembering grumbling a little in the car on the way home "I hope they don't really make him wait until 4 to start in the maths area." My husband stayed really calm and said "I'm sure they get lots of proud parents exaggerating their kids abilities. It's much better to relax, give DS a chance to settle in and let them judge for themselves what he is capable of." Sure enough, maybe 2-3 months after he started, I was told when I picked my son up that he had worked with the number rods that day. DS had taken the lesson onboard and very enthusiastically stretched his arms out to show the lengths of the different rods. He's since moved onto advanced work in other areas too, and I very much feel like he's being challenged without being pushed - which is exactly what my husband and I want for our son.</p>
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<p>Cheers,</p>
<p>Caitlinn</p>
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