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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All,
My dd is 5 years old and has completed the first 2 years in a Catholic Montessori school following AMI standards. She has definitely learnt a lot in terms of cursive writting, reading by age 4 and amazing math functions. However her personality is really emerging now and I have come to realize with the teacher that she really needs that push to choose & finish her work that she already has had a lesson on. She has a slight perfectionist trait in her so she needs a lot of motivation as she concentrates on the end goal by comparing what her friends are doing and says it is so difficult so I don't want to attempt doing it. She is truly a free & happy soul and loves to play & copy friends... A very playful & outgoing child who is really testing her boundaries quite a bit....She really has a lot of potential but it takes a bit of an effort in our part to make her realize that and she is a very emotionally sensitive child. It appears to me that her main goal is socialization at school given that she is an only child. This Montessori school is not very near our community so she will not have the same friends in public elementary school. We had definitely planned to switch her in 1st grade but now I am thinking if that would be the right decision given her personality or should we just switch her in Kindergarten (this Academic year). Will it be harder for her to transition to sitting at a table, moving into encore rotations,etc especially comparing herself with other kids who have come from Kindergarten elementary who have their routines down? Parenting is challenging at times but the educational decisions are the hardest!! Thanks for all your inputs.
 

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I'm an elementary public school teacher and A LOT of what you mentioned (sitting and working quietly, socialization, etc..) are skills that are focused on in PreK and Kinder. Some students who enter Kinder have never been in a formalized school setting so the introduction of procedures is essential. By 1st grade, children are expected to know most of these rules, so they aren't reinforced as much.

Your DD has been in school for 2 years already so I wouldn't think the transition would be as difficult for her. She will be required to sit for longer periods and will have to ask to use the restroom and such, but most kids assimilate pretty quickly! I think she'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for your input. Wouls it be worth it to keep her in the private Montessori for the 3rd year? It is about 20 minutes drive each way and the public school is right behind our house. My concern is, will she be deprived of the 3rd year benefits of leadership, etc? If she is goinf to be using the public school system all her life, I'm having a hard time justifying to have her start 1 year later instead of in Kindergarten. It's so hard because we love the Montessori and the teacher is great!
 

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I think it would be worth it, though not necessary if it's not right for your family. From what I understand, that 3rd year is valuable in that it's the end of the 0-6 plane of development (the absorbent mind). Usually by 6.5 they're onto the next plane of development, so from the Montessori perspective it would make sense to wait to transition until after the 3rd year. But will your daughter be ok if you transition her now? I'm sure she'd be fine! It sounds like the commute is an important factor, so maybe that's more important. I think it just depends on how much you buy into the Montessori theory. Good luck & keep us updated!


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Hi All,
My dd is 5 years old and has completed the first 2 years in a Catholic Montessori school following AMI standards. She has definitely learnt a lot in terms of cursive writting, reading by age 4 and amazing math functions. However her personality is really emerging now and I have come to realize with the teacher that she really needs that push to choose & finish her work that she already has had a lesson on. She has a slight perfectionist trait in her so she needs a lot of motivation as she concentrates on the end goal by comparing what her friends are doing and says it is so difficult so I don't want to attempt doing it. She is truly a free & happy soul and loves to play & copy friends... A very playful & outgoing child who is really testing her boundaries quite a bit....She really has a lot of potential but it takes a bit of an effort in our part to make her realize that and she is a very emotionally sensitive child. It appears to me that her main goal is socialization at school given that she is an only child. This Montessori school is not very near our community so she will not have the same friends in public elementary school. We had definitely planned to switch her in 1st grade but now I am thinking if that would be the right decision given her personality or should we just switch her in Kindergarten (this Academic year). Will it be harder for her to transition to sitting at a table, moving into encore rotations,etc especially comparing herself with other kids who have come from Kindergarten elementary who have their routines down? Parenting is challenging at times but the educational decisions are the hardest!! Thanks for all your inputs.
That all depends on her and the teacher. From what you said, she seems to be developing quite nicely into a wonderful person, capable person. As long as she feels she has some control over the transition (obviously if the final decision is up to you you should make this clear), she should do fine. Studies suggest that Montessori children in general transition nicely into public school and quickly exceed their peers in social and academic measures. She will likely be a good role model to the other children in her class if the teacher lets her.
 

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Thanks so much for your input. Wouls it be worth it to keep her in the private Montessori for the 3rd year? It is about 20 minutes drive each way and the public school is right behind our house. My concern is, will she be deprived of the 3rd year benefits of leadership, etc? If she is goinf to be using the public school system all her life, I'm having a hard time justifying to have her start 1 year later instead of in Kindergarten. It's so hard because we love the Montessori and the teacher is great!
For her sake and the sake of the community of children there, the 3rd year is crucially important. It's the capstone for everything she has been working towards in the previous two years: focus, concentration, obedience, leadership, academics, grace and courtesy, etc. etc.

To use the hyperbole that Montessori is sometimes known for, if you had a choice to be in a state of famine now or in a year, which would you choose? Again, hyperbole, but hopefully the point comes through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Wow, the hyperbole gives me a whole new perspective!! Dh & Inhave been leaning towards public Kindergarten because my 5 year old is actually seeing the elementary school being constructed right behind our house. Her reasons of wanting to go to Kindergarten are:
1) its a big school with multiple floors
2) I can hang out and work with same age kids
3) same age girls will want to do the same stuff as me allthought I'll miss the 3 year olds in my monteasori.
4) I don't have to be driving so far every morning.
Now she is quite a mature child for a 5 year old and our only child too. I keep worrying about how it might be harder for her to learn the new rules in 1st grade when all her peers would be on board. She is quite strong-willed and for example- she can ready well and is ahead of her grade-level but when I/montessori teacher get her to sit down to read, she says its boring co she'd rather play! She is a very playful child with a free soul so I feel like aome play incorporated in her learning might help her in terms of motivation.
With reapect to the kins of teacher we get in the KG will be a roll of dice and we're going to need to take that chance either in KG or 1st grade.
It surely is yhe the hardest decision right now! Thanks you all for taking the time to brainstorm this with me.
 

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Any transition to public school will be difficult. I say delay it as long as possible.

I went to a Montessori school up to 3rd grade. The transition to 4th was incredibly difficult. And I went to a fantastic public school designed for gifted children. But the structure is so different and the public school methods just force everyone onto the same tract. I lost passion in many subjects.

As a result I have a strong bias against all public school. I know how much better schools can be. I'm keeping my son in Montessori until at least 6th grade.
 

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You may want to watch this:


Btw my son is the same age as your daughter and reads well too but sometimes complains that he'd rather do something else. I've found a way to help him practice reading at home. I ask him to read to one of our pets. It works!

He reads in Spanish too - all because of his Montessori school. And his math is great too. Some parents don't notice quite how well their children do in Montessori.
 

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Hi!
I have a pedagogical degree and I studied in Italy.
The Monterssori method it's a good method, but have flaw: it's old! It needs a drastic modernization.
Overall the value of public schools is inaguagliabile.
 

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@Lara Smith, what do you mean that Montessori is "old"? How is that a flaw in this case? Also, what did you mean to say is the value of public school? (I can't decipher that last word in your post.) If you truly want to discuss this further you may also want to start a new thread.
 

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My guess it that Montessori schools that are "hard core" and only follow the instructions of the original model with no adaptations to the modern world do come out as old fashioned and not as well adapted to today's reality. The ideas behind this type of schooling are based on older knowledge. This does not mean it is bad, I personally like Montessori education but if it is done the way that the model is always more important than the child or the needs of the world and the parents it is not a very fun way of learning. I have heard of children being constantly cold or wet because the school refuses to help the child get dressed properly even when the child asks for it or children who are bored because they feel that the rules of what to do is too rigid and inventive play with materials is not allowed. These last things are concerns people I know people have had with Montessori schools where there has been absolutely no flexibility what so ever and where the parents have taken their children out of this setting. I am not saying that a concept school like this should not be able to follow a concept but with zero flexibility it becomes very exclusive to the children where this is a perfect or near perfect fit.
 

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@elliha, the two scenarios that you describe (children being denied help with dressing & being bored because of rigid rules) seem to me to be more indicative of a poor school or teacher rather than the fact that Montessori is an "old" or unchanging educational method. In fact, those two scenarios seem to be very UN-Montessori. In a good Montessori school, the child has freedom to explore interesting subjects to the full extent of their capabilities. And there should always be help available for the smallest students who have not yet mastered the tasks of practical life. Experiential learning via the Montessori method is not stodgy or out-dated--As long as schools & teachers have updated books & language/science materials, the method itself can work just as well, if not better than, traditional schooling. I think one thing that more "modern" methods have completely failed at is teaching children to care about learning & their environment. Stoking the flame, as discussed in the video @marsupial-mom posted is where Montessori really shines for me & my family.


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@elliha, the two scenarios that you describe (children being denied help with dressing & being bored because of rigid rules) seem to me to be more indicative of a poor school or teacher rather than the fact that Montessori is an "old" or unchanging educational method. In fact, those two scenarios seem to be very UN-Montessori. In a good Montessori school, the child has freedom to explore interesting subjects to the full extent of their capabilities. And there should always be help available for the smallest students who have not yet mastered the tasks of practical life. Experiential learning via the Montessori method is not stodgy or out-dated--As long as schools & teachers have updated books & language/science materials, the method itself can work just as well, if not better than, traditional schooling. I think one thing that more "modern" methods have completely failed at is teaching children to care about learning & their environment. Stoking the flame, as discussed in the video @marsupial-mom posted is where Montessori really shines for me & my family.


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I am not against the method but I am against the ones that want it exactly like it was done back when Maria Montessori herself did it. It needs to be adapted to the modern world and then it is very good. I don't know what modern methods you mean but for example Reggio Emilia is in my view a far superior approach with much more flexibility and ease when it comes to adaptation to the local community or individual child. Montessori's descriptions of how children learn are outdated, we do know that children learn in a much more dynamic and less schematic way than she describes. It does allow for less individuality as development is believed to be predictable which it is to a point but not fully.

Using materials the right way is part of Montessori, a child that does something else with it is viewed as using them improperly and in a learning process, it is not seen as a correct use from the child's perspective which it might be. It can also work a little against free play as an activity in itself which I feel is wrong for younger children who do learn very much through free play.
 

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Those are good points @elliha! I looked into Reggio Emilia but there are no schools near us. I agree about the "inflexibility" & lack of play but my worries about this have been allayed after spending over 3 years at my son's current school. They have art & gym & outdoor free play. At my son's school they view "aimlessness" & some "misuse" of materials as part of the natural ebb & flow of the children's energy. But I'd be happy if there were more free play!

I have to disagree regarding the way Montessori describes the way children learn is outdated. The planes of development are very broad. The learning environment is dynamic & flexible. Though clearly not as flexible as Reggio Emilia or Sudbury. While it may not be the right environment all children I do find the emphasis on haptics important. But I suppose it's probably that it's just structured enough without being inflexible that makes it work for my family.


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We just went through a similar transition. My son had been in a Montessori preschool and just transitioned to a public K. He's done wonderfully. I was concerned about him adjusting to a more structured environment, having less choice about what to do, and interacting with a much bigger group of kids, but none of that has been a problem. We just had an afterschool playdate with his friends and teacher from the Montessori preschool, and he was happy to see the old school again and very happy to see his friends and teacher, but he also told them eagerly all the things he likes about his new school. I think the Montessori setting, and his wonderful teacher, provided him with a wonderful, nurturing start, and he was ready for the transition. In our case there were other factors, such as needing to start the public school in K if we were going to get into the dual language program at this school, but generally it has been an easy and positive transition for him. It is now the end of September? What did you decide?
 
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