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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks for the replies to starting M at 5 -- so now here's my next question:

It is painfully obvious that we can no longer keep my ds in PS -- The school seems to be doing everything they can to squash his desire and love for learning. I can give many examples, but one thing that is really grinding my rear at the moment is that the K teacher is now using a red pen to circle his writing mistakes
: I'd like to make a change to an M school ASAP if I can find one to take him at 5, and if it seems to be a good fit.

So here's the hitch -- We have our house on the market and plan to be moving to a different state. The housing market is slow now -- especially now that it's holiday time. We could be moving next couple of months, in the next 4 months -- or longer. It all depends on when we get an offer on our home - and that's completely out of our control. What would be some of the positives and negatives of getting him into one Montessori school and then needing to move?

I don't think that it would be too difficult of a transition for him in the sense that he keeps telling me that he wants to go to a "real" school (which I found out means a school where he can learn something) - So, he's prepared to make a switch - and I think if he can start a program that will allow him to learn, he'll be a much happier kid overall.

Please -- anything to consider - positive or negative would be very helpful. This whole school thing has been weighing very heavily on my mind.
 

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This is not a direct reply to your question, but you could consider homeschooling him until your move. It sounds like being at home with support and encouragement would be a better situation than where he is now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Homeschooling would definitley be a better option for ds than PS, but really, not the ideal option. My dd is very extroverted, social and physically active and I have a hard enough time keeping up with her needs. My ds likes to get into a flow state when he's concentrating, and I know that dd won't respect it. I can't vision a very easy time keeping up with both of their individual demanding needs. I might be able to do it for a couple of months, but I'd be a basket case beyond this point. I haven't tried it, so I might surprise myself. My dh is not very supportive of homeschooling, but he might be swayed if other alternatives are bleak. DH agrees that PS is not working out for ds.

I'm also a little afraid that if I start homeschooling, my ds would be resistant going back to any type of school environment given what he's currently going through. I hate to sound like I can't or won't do the best for my ds, but truly, I know my limitations and long term homeschooling wouldn't be good for any of us. I'm hoping that there's a better interim solution to our dilemna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've been giving this some serious thought -- and I think what I'm going to do with ds is take him out of his kindergarten enrichment in the PM (which is optional) and try to "homeschool" him in the afternoon while dd naps. I'd at least like to expose him to some elements of Montessori before we move and this seems like the best way to do it.

Does anyone have any suggestions for reference materials or books that would help me adopt Montessori methods and tools/equipment for a homeschool situation?
 

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Hi - It seems no one has responded, so I'll have a go at it.

This is totally just my opinion, but first of all, I wouldn't try homeschooling in Montessori if you will be putting him into a school at a later time. Montessori (particularly for his age and stage) teachers are trained for years in both how to present lessons, how to determine which lesson to give, how to know when to back off and how to present in a different way as to encourage the student. It's an extremely challenging position and role, and the materials are deceptively simple-looking. Plus, if you unintentionally show him certain ways to use the materials which are deeply at odds with traditional montessori, he may have a difficult time adjusting to the new classroom.

I would go the other way and investigate a true "unschooling" approach, which is similar in spirit to Montessori - i.e. following the child. Let him really explore his passions and interests, and I think you'll be surprised at how much he learns. Take both the kids (once she's up from her nap) to the local museums, on hikes, and to the zoo.
Two books I would suggest:
Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School by Grace Llewellyn
Coloring Outside the Lines by Roger Schank

I would investigate Montessori schools now for next year. Some can be very particular about accepting children, depending on whether they've been in M school before or not. Most would require application by early spring in order to be accepted, in my area at least. I would look for a school accredited by AMI or AMS.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the reply --I kept checking back - nothing! I was beginning to wonder!


You know, it makes complete sense to not do the Montessori materials because you're right! I don't know how to implement them correctly. Unschooling makes perfect sense and ds will love this. He always finds ways to learn. I just got the "Guerrilla Learning" book the other day, so I'm glad to know I was on the right path with this.

And thanks for the suggestion about looking into the M schools sooner than later. I'll have to figure out a way to do this since we'll be moving cross country.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LauraLoo View Post

And thanks for the suggestion about looking into the M schools sooner than later. I'll have to figure out a way to do this since we'll be moving cross country.
I would go online and look at the AMS and AMI websites and call for materials. The difficult thing is - you really can't tell until you observe a classroom how close a school is to the true spirit of Montessori. Perhaps you can make a visit in the spring.
 

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Your original posting sounds just like a dilemna I had with my 6 year old daughter. After 3 years in primary at Montessori, we always knew we would put her in the public school because "that's why we moved out of the city, NOT to pay for private school." WOW were we wrong! After 2 1/2 painful months in 1st grade, my daughter felt squashed, hated school and wasn't "learning" anything. I basically knew her first day at school that it wasn't going to work, but we were trying to make it fit. After Thanksgiving, we decided she could go back to Montesorri and her whole life changing. Her new junior elementary teacher said she had no transition whatsoever. She is happy and has a huge smile everyday. She asks great questions and loves learning and enjoys her reading "homework" and math drills. At the public school she was miserable with so much pointless homework. I too would cringe at all the pages sent home with big red marks, just because the tail of her "a" was a below a line!

My only regret....not moving my daughter out sooner. She made friends in a day and didn't want anything to do with the old school If you know your son wants "real" school, I bet he'd be really happy and thrive at a Montessori. I think their concept of time/school/changes is different than an adults, and to take each day of happiness into account will make all the difference in the world. Who knows where you'll be next year!

Here are some books I've read this year:

-Dumbing Us Down
-Montessori: The Science Behind the Genuis
(This one is great for understanding how the children learn in elementary)
-Genius Denied
-The Essential Montessori by Elizabeth Hainstock
 
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