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#28077 - 08/24/05 08:15 PM montessori versus other option
celesteanne Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 313
My 3 year old son is very HIGH energy, possible learning disability and a speech delay. I have been looking into so many programs. I originally thought about a montessori program but after researching the method more, I feel the class size is too large and I don't feel that he is able to concentrate for 3 hours on his own. He barely sits when we read a book.

I found through the YMCA an incredible daycare program, very educational, offers foreign language, math, reading, even swimming lessons twice a week all year around. I feel that at this age, a program that is structured like this with hour segmented activities might keep him interested and he would benefit from it more than the montessori. Did I mention, class size is only 15 students to a teacher and an aide. In the montessori program it is 25 students to 1 teacher and an aide.

His father is now fighting me over this. I just want the best situation for our 3 year old.

I am afraid of paying 9K for him to be dismissed within 3 weeks of a montessori program. Maybe next year I will feel more confident with his developement to consider that type of program, but right now, I want him to socialize, be creative, be educated of course but also have the attention I feel he needs for a good foundation.

We have been going to various classes together, they are an hour apiece and even by the end of class, he has lost interest, bored with the task at hand.

Mommies, stepmommies, daddies....I need your opinions!!!!!

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#28078 - 08/24/05 08:25 PM Re: montessori versus other option [Re: celesteanne]
Cinder2 Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 4361
Loc: Southern California
Dear CelesteAnne,

You might want to look into other Montessori schools. My children both went to one from age 2 to 5 and there was a 12 to 1 ratio. The 25 to 1 ratio didn't start until first grade at the school my kids went to.

One thing that might benefit your son is that in Montessori you don't have to do what all the other kids are doing. Each child is on a highly individualized education plan. Every morning my kids would get assigned their "work" from the teacher and go to "work" independently. Sometimes it was blocks, sometimes it was reading/writing, sometimes shapes, etc. etc. They had some group work every day, but not much and not for long periods of time. The teacher had a worksheet that she kept up for each child showing what they had mastered so she would know what they needed to work on. Granted, all of the three year olds were kind of on the same program, but the gifted could really work and learn as fast as they wanted to. Both of my kids could read by age 4 with absolutely no pressure on them from anyone. I know a lot of people think Montessori = high pressure, but I totally did not have that experience.

It sounds like you really want your son to have a well-rounded experience, with lots of extra stuff to learn and do. Our Montessori did not have a foreign language or swim lessons for the children, but I would assume that you could find one that did. They did have dance lessons and piano lessons that both of my kids took in the afternoons. It probably really depends on the director and the kind of clientele.

Good luck with your choice. It sounds like you're putting a lot of thought into this.

Cinder

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#28079 - 08/24/05 08:28 PM My opinion? [Re: celesteanne]
gr8Dad Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 31800
For CHRIST sake, the kid is freaking THREE YEARS OLD!! Let him be a CHILD. Let him PLAY in an UNSTRUCTURED environment. Soon enough the school system will force him into a mold and make him be a "student".
_________________________
Why give a "senior" discount, they have had plenty of time to raise the money...

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#28080 - 08/24/05 08:43 PM montessori ?'s [Re: gr8Dad]
celesteanne Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 313
Thank you for your input Cinder. I am concerned that he might not get the attention he might need due to the learning disability. I do not want him to get frusterated and withdrawn. He is extremely energentic and still throws violent tantrums that we (myself and pediatrician and behavorist) fell are due to his speech delay and inabilty to announciate, so it is very hard to understand him at times.
I have been researching the county schools in my neighborhood and I really feel the extra programs for speech and LD are superior than those found in the private elementary schools. The teachers are more educated and also are under strict codes in the public sector versus the private. Yes, I want him in private school come middle and high school, but our elementary schools are excellent.

My fear in a montessori is that he will work at his own pace and won't be prepared for what he will find in kindergarten. Do you think I am being a bit over protective? I am a stay home mom, we do educational things, his grandmother was a 2nd grade teacher, his aunts are teachers, he gets a lot of "playing school", but yet, his attention span is so short. I feel that I know him and his abilities.

Are the montessori programs good for LD students?

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#28081 - 08/24/05 08:45 PM Re: montessori ?'s [Re: celesteanne]
Miranda Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 20822
Loc: North of Mexico
I think it is a little premature to label him LD.

My friend's son did not speak until he was four. He has now started 7th grade and takes 8th grade math and science.
_________________________
13.1...because I am only half crazy!

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#28082 - 08/24/05 08:50 PM Re: montessori ?'s [Re: celesteanne]
Cinder2 Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 4361
Loc: Southern California
Montessoris definitely have a lot of activities and children are encouraged to do what they want to do. All of the stuff in the play room is educational in one way or another, so it doesn't really matter what they pick, it's still going to be good for them. My kids are on the gifted end of the spectrum, so I don't know exactly what your son would need. I think they would definitely be good for the short attention span. You don't want a preschool where he has to sit quietly and color with all the other kids. :)

You will probably get a lot more services for his speech if you stick with the public schools. I think they are federally mandated to start serving students at age 2? (not sure) A Montessori probably would not have the trained personnel to handle the therapy he needs.

We made the same decision on public vs private when we discovered that the private schools in our area could not handle the giftedness as well as the public schools could. They've been in public school ever since and I've been happy with that decision.

One thing you could consider would be to enroll him in Montessori three mornings a week and then go to the public school for the speech therapy he needs.

Cinder

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#28083 - 08/24/05 08:58 PM Re: montessori ?'s [Re: Cinder2]
celesteanne Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 313
thank you cinder again. I might reconsider that option.

As for the LD, it has been an issue for 3 generations so far in the men on his father's side. He is displaying textbook signs. I have been researching it because I knew NOTHING about LD's. I am just trying be cautious and so I can feel confident that I have given our son ever opportunity to evercome it and work with it.

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#28084 - 08/24/05 08:59 PM Re: montessori ?'s [Re: celesteanne]
celesteanne Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 313
wow...my spelling sucks....I was a bit hurried...I see my mistakes in that post...oops

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#28085 - 08/25/05 02:25 AM Re: montessori- pros and cons [Re: celesteanne]
lucky44 Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/16/05
Posts: 60
My son is hyperactive. We tried montessori. Montessori has many activities so the attention span isn't a fact. They go from one education activity to another. It's not an educational activity to them. They are playing. It hands on, visual, audio learning. The con side of montessori is the structure. Because he was hyper, his focus was all over. He needed the structure that this is what we do from this time to this and they were all doing it. If I had to do over again, at 3 it would be montessori. I think you said dad didn't like it. Ask dad to go, watch a class and talk to the would be teacher.All I can say is the kid is 3. You need to pick your battles. I suggest thinking long and real hard about fighting over what school for a 3 year old. Yes, I understand how important preschool education is. The child is going to need her parents, both parents pushing for her before she gets through school. If the parents fight from the beginning, the goal gets lost in translation.

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#28086 - 08/26/05 04:54 PM Re: montessori versus other option [Re: celesteanne]
Rebecca5 Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 11697
Loc: Down home.
He's 3, so his attention span should be about 3 minutes. Try to remember that when considering any learning disability or attention span problem...especially when some of the other 3 year olds are sitting nice and politely (that would be highly abnormal in our house). To be high energy and have a super short attention span is NORMAL for a 3 year old. Find him high energy things to do in an environment that requires rule following and enough attention to follow the directions.....gymnastics, martial arts, etc. Two days a week at the Y, coupled with one, maybe two other activities is plenty. The location means little....the teacher means everything. He'll need someone who appreciates his energy and wishes to channel it, not someone who wants to stifle or stop it.

He should be presented with every other possible opportunity to work off that energy in the least restrictive environment....riding his bike, swimming, roller blades....with no structure beyond "wear your helmet" and "look both ways." Limit any activity that doesn't require energy output....only one hour or less of TV (including computer or other video games), for example. Sitting politely is something you can work on during meal times, car rides or any other time that sitting not optional.

You can work in plenty of education during play....colors, numbers, letters, shapes, etc. Play is the most important learning he'll do before formal schooling. That's where kids learn turn-taking, sportsmanship, gross and fine motor skills, sharing...all the skills that will be essential (and many adults still fail at) as he grows older.

Reevaluate his strengths on an ongoing basis, but don't expect him to be like the quieter kids. It helps if you write things down...so you can see how much he has accomplished when measured against his own record. Every few months, compare his milestones with what's "normal" and see where you stand. If he falls more than 6 months behind "normal," speak to your pediatrician.

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