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<p>DD has been in Montessori preschool 5 days a week since 2y4m.  I have become very aware of her development as my younger son grows older (now 3 yo).  She doesn't like to play puzzle, I spy, maze, draw (started to draw only about 5 months ago), write, etc. She has been learning the alphabet in a relaxed pace (mostly in games and songs) since 2 yo, yet she will still forget some letters at times and may take longer to recognize other letters (compared to my son who learned the alphabet by 2). If she does something, she must be sure that she can handle.  Otherwise, she wouldn't even touch it.  She now does 4-digit addition and subtraction with the beads in school, but she will shy away from anything that is visually complicated.  She has been assessed with the possibility of having minor challenges in hand-eye spatial coordination, but it cannot be confirmed until she is a bit older.</p>
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<p>I don't think she has any issues in terms of intelligence.  In areas of her interests (mostly food related), her memory and logical reasoning is subperb.  Lately, I started using snack as a reward to get her into a habit to write and do some reading (she loves me to read, but I am trying to get her to learn Chinese characters - perhaps one every other day or one every 3 days.  Our Chinese character reading time is about 5 minutes a day).  It works as a great incentive, but nevertheless, I wonder  if there is a better way.  I love the thought that she can learn with passion, not with food!</p>
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<p>Sometimes I question myself: if she is not ready to write, to learn the characters, etc. should I go with the flow? Perhaps she will be interested when she is ready? But Montessori says there is a sensitive period using the pencil/pen, so even if she doesn't write anything meaningful, I should get her to draw something - as long as she is holding a pen/pencil and using it.  On the other hand, if I just let her develop at her own "pace," I am also worried that I will never see her having interests in what we consider as "academics." </p>
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<p>This is where Waldorf comes in.  When DD was 2, one of my Montessori instructors (I went to take a short course) felt that she was more suited to Waldorf.  My daughter loves imaginative and role play with lots of kids, drawing (now she is OK), food preparation, singing and dancing, etc.  She is not so keen about crafts - I suspect it is partially due to hand-eye coordination, so she finds it very difficult.  People who know her feels that she is more an "artsy" type of person vs. Montessori is often viewed as more scientific.</p>
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<p>In the city where we live, there was previously no Waldorf primary school, so it was never an option for me to consider Waldorf kindergarten.  Schools here are quite academically focused, so she would have a hard time blending into a regular primary school.  Montessori is not considered mainstrain education here also, but at least it has more academics.  In addition, there is one Montessori primary school in the city for us to consider.  The picture changes now because a Waldorf primary school will start in the next school year.</p>
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<p>The contrasts between my 2 kids are so strong that I cannot overlook the issue anymore.  My son could finish 60 pages of maze upon his own request in a bit more than an hour (this was last month, and he will turn 3 only at the end of December)!  He loves exploring and taking things apart with his hands, attentive to details (even the announcement in the subway), inquisitive about...almost everything he comes in contact with, etc.  I sent him to Montessori preschool since 1.5 yo and he is thriving.  Generally he always sits down and completes his work.  His concentration has been assessed as subperb by the teacher.   I feel that Waldorf will actually hold him back and make him very unhappy.  DD is the exact opposite. </p>
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<p>Can anybody share some thoughts?</p>
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<p>Have you spoken with her teachers this year about how they feel she and Montessori fit together?</p>
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<p>Your ds is advanced and shouldn't be used as a measure of how other children (including your dd) are doing. The only thing I'd consider in regards to your ds being more advanced in certain areas is whether your dd would feel better if she was in a different school than your ds.</p>
 

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<p>Just putting this in perspective. She is 4.5.</p>
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<p>technical  (that word goes somewhere else in the sentence below.)</p>
<p>Just putting this in perspective.  She is 4 1/2.  WWWWW.UGH!  FIX YOUR BOARD, MOTHERING.COM   (Sorry....I assumed they had these</p>
<p>issues worked out by now).</p>
 

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<p>I think Waldorf offers some hand-eye coordination activities if I remember right (knitting, flute, bread-making) but I have to say that if I had a child who was having that kind of issue I'd probably deliberately keep her in a good Montessori programme because there is so much understanding of how to build those particular abilities -- as long as she is happy and progressing there.</p>
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<p>I'm pretty hard-core though: I do believe in finding a school/class/programme that meshes well with what a child <em>needs</em>. However I don't always believe that early education should be solely about "playing to the strengths."  Kids are more likely to have tolerance for what older kids will see as "failure" at a younger age. So for example, my son is not enthusiastic about writing right now and I like that in Montessori he has some choice about it, and that there are loads of activities that he's mastered that he had no clue related to writing...but I am not looking for a school for him that de-emphasizes writing.  </p>
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<p>He may well totally skew towards math and that is truly fine, but at 5 years old I am not ready to call it a day.  Instead I'm looking for a school that is creative about engaging him in writing, and still has plenty of good times for him. :) </p>
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<p>I think that's the question I don't see in your post. She's not where your son is at in some things, but is she engaged and enthusiastic about what she's doing? If she's not into writing, has she progressed through the pre-writing activities? Do her guides have concerns or is it more that you're comparing the kids at home? If so, I wouldn't feel I needed to switch her. </p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MattBronsil</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284231/waldorf-or-montessori-for-4-5-yo#post_16101678"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Just putting this in perspective. She is 4.5.</p>
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If you click "source" above the reply box, you can go down below all the /div and actually get a new paragraph. Looking forward to seeing whatever you had hoped to write before it went all screwy on you.
 

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<p>I'll reply a little bit here with just a quick point, but I have to run (I have an improv show in a few hours).  I'll type more this weekend.</p>
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<p>I was going to say that it is not unusual to see a  4 1/2 year old that isn't into writing. </p>
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<p>Does she have interest in the metal insets at all?</p>
 

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<p>I think its great you are looking at options that will suit your child.  We raise children, not ideals.  I have a friend who's child is extreemly happy in Waldorf, my child wouldn't be happy there at all, but I think its a great school. </p>
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<p>Personally, I want my children to spend their childhoods in a way that makes them feel happy and good about themselves and their lives.  If that means they learn to read at 3 or at 8, that's irrelevent- what matters is that they become happy welll adjusted people.  All the academic stuff will happen eventually.  I don't agree at all with the montessori idea that things must happen early to happen at all, children develope best when they do it at their pace, no matter what that is.</p>
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<p>I'd go take a tour of the waldorf school and see if it is a good fit.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>OTMomma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284231/waldorf-or-montessori-for-4-5-yo#post_16109502"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I think its great you are looking at options that will suit your child.  We raise children, not ideals.  I have a friend who's child is extreemly happy in Waldorf, my child wouldn't be happy there at all, but I think its a great school. </p>
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<p>Personally, I want my children to spend their childhoods in a way that makes them feel happy and good about themselves and their lives.  If that means they learn to read at 3 or at 8, that's irrelevent- what matters is that they become happy welll adjusted people.  All the academic stuff will happen eventually.<strong>  I don't agree at all with the montessori idea that things must happen early to happen at all,</strong> children develope best when they do it at their pace, no matter what that is.</p>
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<p>I'd go take a tour of the waldorf school and see if it is a good fit.</p>
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That isn't a Montessori idea. It's more that they have activites that AREN'T writing, etc., that still develop the pre-writing skills.</p>
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<p>Sorry if I confused that issue.</p>
 
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