Pre-School and Daycare

If your kid(s) go to Montessori

Can you tell me about it and why you decided to send them there? 

DS is a little bit of a difficult child so wherever we send him has to be willing to work with him and not give up on him if he has a bad day. From your experience do you think Montessori schools would be a good fit for a kid like that?  


We are seriously considering starting DS at a montessori here in the fall. We've heard great things about it. It's expensive, but I really think it will be a wonderful environment for him. If we send him we would plan to keep him there through 5th grade (they don't go higher than that) and we would send DD as well. 

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Re: If your kid(s) go to Montessori

  • Each school is going to be very different, so you'll have to do some homework about how "Montessori" they are (if that's important to you), and ask lots of questions about how they deal with kids like yours.  I send DD to Montessori and am actually training to be a Montessori teacher because I believe that kids will learn best when given independence, confidence and are taught to love learning.  That is what Montessori is all about.  The model in itself won't be the make-or-break for your son; it'll be how the school handles it.  My problems have come from DD's teacher being old and tired (sorry to be blunt, but I don't feel like sugar-coating right now).  He doesn't seem as interested in working with the 3 year olds, and expects the same maturity and behavior from the 3's as he does the 6's and that just isn't the case.  My daughter can't sit in circle time for 30 minutes.  A 30 minute circle time twice a day isn't a Montessori thing; it's a Mr. C thing.  Our problems have gotten better since I got the director involved.  You know what is going to be challenging to your child, but you will also be amazed by what he's capable of.  The admissions person at the school should be able to talk more about how they handle individual behavior problems.  DD's teacher was sending her out of circle "essentially time out" every day, but Maria Montessori wouldn't have condoned that.  
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  • We love the Montessori school. Like the pp said, they're all different. But for us, we love the structure and DS thrives there. Everything is predictible to him and he knows what is expected of him. Each teacher gets better and better. Our only hiccup was that he was getting bored in one class so I pushed with his teacher and director to move him up to the next class early and it turned out really well. But overall, the responsibility each child has for themselves and what's expected of them is the kind of environment we have at home so it is perfect and we reinforce it at home.
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  • It really depends on what the school is like and what your child is like.  A child with learning issues or attention issues is not going to like or do really well in a strict Montessori setting (that relys on child led learning).  My DS has attended a Montessori school for about 18 months now. He started at just over 2 and is now 3.5.  His school starts at birth and goes to age 5 (so once they are 6 they are expected to enroll have enrolled in kindergarten).  The infants and toddlers have their own rooms but all the other kids, from ages 2+ up to just under 6, are in the same classes.  There are about 50 kids split between three main teachers (with teacher's aids).  The school is open plan with options to close off rooms for quieter lessons.  The children are expected to sit in circle time several times a day, eat snacks and meals at tables together (without real help with eating or cleaning up), and choose their own "jobs" during work time.  They need to be able to get a mat, put it out, get a job, work at it, put the job away when they are done and clean up after themselves. 

    I love the independence it fosters, and the respect it shows for the child that adults assume he is capable of taking care of himself.

    My own kid does okay to well depending on the day and mood.  He is awesome at sitting and paying attention at circle time and rarely has issues there.  He is capable and concientious at meals (he eats and cleans up and rarely makes a big mess unlike some other of his classmates). He has learned songs, made a few friends, and really grown so much.  His biggest issue is that he gets in phases where he wanders aimlessly at work time, barely doing any actual work.  Other kids will be doing jobs, changing jobs, working alone and in pairs, and my kid is wandering around watching other kids work.  Not exactly what Maria Montessori had in mind.  It isn't that he isn't capable of doing things, we know he is.  But the next level of tasks are things that are hard for him and he isn't one to do hard things without pushing.  So he and his teachers are struggling to work it out.

    For other kids in his class, it is a daily struggle to follow directions and the same few kids are constantly in "time out" away from the group for things like not being able to sit still, not keeping hands to themselves, etc.  I don't love the way the teacher's handle it.  If it were happening with my kid, I'd take it as a sign and find a new school or setting.

    For a kid with unspecified behavior issues, I'd be hesitant to do a private Montessori school for that long.  A, they are under no obligation to help him if he needs more than they can provide.  Many private schools just don't take students who have behavior or learning issues.  And B. because it is child led, if your child really doesn't take to it and coasts from year to year for a long time, he could be really behind academically by 5th grade. 

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