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    #16117 - 05/16/08 04:33 PM Montessori
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1685
    I have posted that DD3 has an excellent Montessori experience.

    But I thought I would post some specifics so it gives some parents of younger children looking around some ideas of differences in Montessori.

    DD turned 3 in september. During the fall, they were working in the math area with her and she did the number board to 100, got into base 10, and then 100s, then 1000s. Adding, subtracting etc.

    As she progressed in reading, they worked the letter area on her spelling etc.

    They were supportive even though she was far beyond the classmates of 3-5 year olds.

    She sings songs reciting the states alphabetically, she counts syllables in words. Many little things I did not expect at 3 in preschool.

    I hope this post helps someone.

    Ren

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    #16118 - 05/16/08 04:54 PM Re: Montessori [Re: Wren]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1685
    Had to cut my post to put DD to bed.

    Also, this school introduces poetry, from English and Japanese poets, showing differences in styles.

    They talk about invertebrates and vertebrates and then go on walks to find examples.

    So, Montessori can be a great education for a young gifted child.

    Ren

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    #16119 - 05/16/08 05:20 PM Re: Montessori [Re: Wren]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    My big question is did they start her at the beginning of their standard progression, or did they assess what she already knew and start her there?

    The Montessori preschool we went to had the same sorts of learning opportunities available that you describe. In that regard, it was a great place.

    Our problem with the program was that DS couldn't use the 100s beads (let alone the 1000s beads!) until he had been "checked off" as having mastered the 10s beads. That meant that DS, who doesn't jump through the simple hoops like some kids will, was stuck at a very (VERY!) basic level in language arts because the teachers never realized they were boring the poor kid senseless. He was reading books, but he wouldn't ID letter sounds for them because it was too easy for him. So he was stuck for over half the year on letter sounds. sleep cry

    Opportunities don't matter if the kids aren't allowed access to them! Unfortunately, this is a common problem at many highly academic preschools, and Montessori is often (not always) among these. frown

    I am glad that you're not having this problem. It sounds like you've found a good pre-K program for your DD. smile
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16129 - 05/17/08 05:28 AM Re: Montessori [Re: Kriston]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1685
    She did start with the 10s beads but it was a good exercise. She just turned 3 and her fine motor skills needed work and she also tended to go fast.

    DD has the same problem of not wanting to deal with the easy stuff. It was noticeable when we did the intelligence screening and she just flipped through the book and would rather give wrong answers than deal with it, until she got to something that interested her.

    The tester talked to us about her work habits and she was already addicted to getting fast answers and this is a problem.

    With her reading, it is an isssue. We were on the bus and she was asking about when she presses the button for the stop and I showed her where it lights up. She says "Stop Request". But when she is using a simple reader sometimes she just relies on memorization and doesn't want to work on sounding out a new word.

    There are times the answers don't pop into her head and she has to use basic tools to figure it out. That is an issue for DD. So I don't mind her going through the steps. She doesn't like it, but I don't like doing sit ups either.

    Ren

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    #16133 - 05/17/08 07:47 AM Re: Montessori [Re: Wren]
    st pauli girl Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/29/08
    Posts: 1917
    (moved comment to new post)


    Edited by st pauli girl (05/17/08 08:59 AM)

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    #16134 - 05/17/08 08:03 AM Re: Montessori [Re: Wren]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Originally Posted By: Wren
    There are times the answers don't pop into her head and she has to use basic tools to figure it out. That is an issue for DD. So I don't mind her going through the steps. She doesn't like it, but I don't like doing sit ups either.


    Well, but that's not what I'm talking about. The school was requiring my then-4yo, who could read books alone, to go BACK to pre-reading exercises that he had mastered YEARS before.

    They did not do any pre-testing to see where he was or what he could do. They just assumed that all kids were not yet able to read and that all kids would jump through their hoops until they got to something that was hard for them. Those assumptions were both dead wrong about our DS. If it's too easy, it bores him or is insulting to him or something. Whatever it is, he won't do it. He did geometry and maps and science instead, but he spent NO time in the LA area of the school.

    So even though I told the school before we registered him that DS was reading books and had been for the better part of a year, they ignored me and kept assigning him those blasted "sound boxes"--a phonics builder exercise. That phonics was something he had mastered over half his life earlier--literally!--didn't matter to the school. And since the kids have free choice about what to do when, he just never made it over to the sound blocks.

    Now, I'm not talking about allowing kids to be lazy and not do things that require work. I'm talking about making a child effectively repeat a grade (or more) even before there are grades to repeat! If the school doesn't see where a child is and move the child through the program, then all the Japanese poetry and 1000s beads in the world don't matter because the child will never get to use them, even though he's ready for them!

    Perhaps if we had arrived at the Montessori program before DS could read, it would have been a better fit. And at least they did finally listen, after my DH insisted that they skip the sound boxes during the parent-teacher meeting. (Sexism didn't win them any points in my book either, though!) Once they skipped the sound boxes with DS, they *finally* saw how far ahead he was and moved him through the program appropriately.

    I just didn't think it should have taken them half the year to see it!

    I mean, geez! Hand the kid a book! If he can read it, he knows his letters! It's not hard!

    It sounds like you're not having the same problem we had, and that's great! But I always have to throw my cautionary tale out there because so many here have had the same sort of problem we had.

    Much more depends upon the individual school and teachers than it does on the teaching method, I think. Montessori can be fantastic, but only if the teachers understand that they're dealing with a child who won't follow the normal path and they are able to adapt to meet the child where s/he is.

    It sounds like your DD's school is doing that, and I'm glad. smile
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16137 - 05/17/08 08:32 AM Re: Montessori [Re: Kriston]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1685
    First, I think there is a big difference that DD was 2 and then turned 3 when she started the program, was beginning to read and do the math without "answers popping into her head".

    And I think it is important that you posted Kriston, thank you. Because I have heard it echoed that at 4, it is a different story. DD will have the same teachers next year and they will also have some European kids doing the kindergarten year. Though they are not reading yet, nor have interest. But they do have the tools. And her teacher is very gifted, intellectually and in her teaching methods.

    They did take note how fast she went through the basic math tools and her verbal skills compared to others, so right off the bat they noticed.

    Isn't like anything. It has to be the right place, the right teachers and the right time. Maybe next year I will frustrated.

    Ren

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    #16140 - 05/17/08 09:28 AM Re: Montessori [Re: Wren]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    ...Or maybe the teachers get your DD and it will be great again next year. Fingers crossed!

    The "getting" is 3/4 of the battle, I think, so I'd say you're in a pretty good spot.
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16141 - 05/17/08 10:05 AM Re: Montessori [Re: Kriston]
    crisc Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/12/07
    Posts: 485
    Loc: New England
    I can also echo Kriston with some of the same frustrations. My son (now 5) entered a Montessori school just before his 5th birthday (after a miserable preschool experience). We came with IQ test results in hand but they still made my son jump through hoops to really start to learn in the math area. On his orientation day he grabbed a sheet of addition problems from the shelf and filled in the correct answers immediately. From there the teachers showed him the correct way to use the manipulatives to get the answer. They told me that he needed to feel 4+5=9 in order to understand it. It's been a struggle over the past few months but they are now finally realizing that my son gets abstract math concepts. He is no longer required to use the manipulatives and he does get individualized math work.

    Language arts is another story. He is still making his way through the early readers, reading each one three times before he can move on. My son is not that far advanced in reading (comfortable at Magic Tree House level) but he does find these books very babyish and easy. They keep stressing to me that the phonics is very important, even to gifted children but I can't help think that this is probably a step he can skip. He gets more reading work in the classroom in the science area. Usually he reads the teacher level fact cards and does "research" on the varies topics to present to the class.

    Overall I would say I am content with his school situation for the moment. I am actually moving my almost 4 DD there for the fall. I think that Montessori has lots that can be beneficial to a gifted child but like every school situation it depends upon the teachers.

    _________________________
    Crisc

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    #16146 - 05/17/08 12:18 PM Re: Montessori [Re: crisc]
    Isa Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/28/07
    Posts: 347
    I had a very negative experience with Montessori.

    In DD's case it was a combination of the teacher - not particuarly intellingent herself and the fact that DD thinks 'global'. She needs to have the complete picture and then she fills in the details.
    For example, once I told her that the letters have a name and a sound and that each language have slightly different names and sounds, she became interested in learning them.

    So, in her case, it was not at all that she knew all the stuff, but rather the way the material is presented.

    They had last month the theme 'the environment' and they learn about separating the trash, they planted a tree and stuff like that. I went to a presentation where the teacher explained what they have learnt and done and you could see DD completely 'off'. She would have been MUCH more interested if there would have been explanations about climate, global warming, the role of plants and trees in our environment, etc.

    And for the Montessori materials the same. In her case, the presentations would have to be grouped and modified rather than simply allowing her the more advanced ones.

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    #16194 - 05/18/08 09:57 AM Re: Montessori [Re: Isa]
    LMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/14/07
    Posts: 902
    Add us to not so good experience with Montessori.

    My main concern is DS3. The poor kid had to keep counting from 1-10 forever because he wasn't able to write the numbers and they wouldn't move him to addition without him being able to write. All that while telling me "But none of the 3 year olds can write." Doh. No surprise the kid was bored to death and went on a few preschool strikes. They did teach him to write really well though and he can write nice numbers and letters now. Nevertheless their inability of distinguishing between fine motor skills and math skills is enough for me to feel extremely guilty about putting him there. Reading wasn't that different either, they "taught" him what he already knew.

    He is going back to a regular play based preschool. A preschool where the teacher got DS5 when he was there. The teacher was so thrilled that DS3 was reading and said she would let him read to the class. Wow, nothing like that ever happened in Montessori. I don't think they even know on which level he reads (the same is true for DS5).

    DS5 had a better experience since he was so clearly out of their 3-6 yr program that they did change lots of things for him. There is no excuse for having him do spelling books with "cat" and "hat" though. They did bump him up to 2nd grade books, but it's still not enough. They did better in math and taught him some new things. Right now the teacher has no idea where to take him and as far as I can tell she is not following any curriculum and jumping from one topic to another without him being ready for it and sometimes I feel the teacher is not ready herself. Don't ask. There are a few things we will have to fix once DS5 is hs next year.

    Socially it was a mismatch, especially for DS5.

    To sum it up. Montessori for DS5 was much better than public school would have been. Yeah, they were not clearly ready for a kid like him (they said so much), but they did try here and there. REgular K curriculum and full day would have killed him.

    DS3 would have been much better of in a regular play based preschool. I like to say that no academics is better than wrong academics and this is so the case. He would have been better off playing with kids, having fun than repeating nonsense tasks over and over. He got all the academics he needed at home anyway.

    _________________________
    LMom

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    #16217 - 05/18/08 06:09 PM Re: Montessori [Re: Wren]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: Wren
    The tester talked to us about her work habits and she was already addicted to getting fast answers and this is a problem.
    Ren


    Wow Ren!
    Bad news is that she's already having this issue at age 3!
    Good news is that you are alert and picked up on it!

    I really believe that a lot of my DS11's attitudes towards his giftedness got strongly planted in his daycare around age 2 or 3, and that it affects his personality to this very day. But then I talk myself out of it, since it was so long ago, and because it sound so impossible to me. Thanks for reminding me that it is very possible!

    Smiles,
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #16238 - 05/19/08 09:10 AM Re: Montessori [Re: Isa]
    Belle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/15/08
    Posts: 435
    I was very interested to see this discussion because we are also involved in the not so positive experience of Montessori. My DS5 has been in his current Montessori Preschool for over 3 years and is supposed to be staying for their K program next year (he will be the only K student in the room). He has sensory disorder and change is very difficult for him..he feels comfortable in his room and knows his teacher but we are pretty convinced that they are "playing at" Montessori and are no where even remotely a true Montessori. The sad part is that his school is one of the better options that we have to choose from and we are NOT happy with it. I love the whole idea of a TRUE Montessori and if we were able to find this, I believe it would fit my son to a T. I think that is why so many people are having mixed reviews with Montessori. A true Montessori that goes along with exactly what Maria Montessori had intended, I think is an amazing setting for any child....but a school that is just "playing at" being a Montessori school misses the mark time and time again and children are unhappy or are not allowed to move ahead when they are ready. From the research I have read, a true Montessori trained teacher who believes in the approach is supposed to know her children and when she sees one ready to go on, she is supposed to allow them to just keep moving at their pace.
    My son's teacher has the messed up belief that she does not allow any of her students to use certain parts/activities of the classroom until they turn 5 - doesn't matter about their ability level or even if they have shown her they are ready to do a new activity - she does not allow them until they turn 5 - RIDICULOUS - so totally against the Montessori approach...and the sad thing is that many of these items/activities were specifically geared by Maria Montessori to be used by 4 year olds at the optimum time to introduce them to that item...so here is my son who is 5 and still has yet to have 4 year old activities given to him. We have been fighting nonstop all year and have even shared the psychologist's report with her. My son is bored to tears to the point that he has sat with me at home online and picked out Montessori lessons for me to buy online so that we have been doing them at home. He is in love with the Bead Cabinet and begged to get lessons on it since he was 4 years old....he finally turned 5 in Jan and we begged her almost daily for 2 months before she finally gave him his first lesson on it....and then she told me with a shocked look on her face just how amazed she was at how she didn't even have to give him a lesson, that he already knew exactly what to do. The thing that really makes me mad is that with his bead cabinet lessons - he is working on the bead squared lessons - knowing that 7 7's is 49. But she makes them take a roll of adding paper (like you find in an adding machine) and after the kids have done the activity and laid out their bead chains on the rug and labeled them with the number labels, she makes them take the colored pencils that matches the bead color and the child has to hand draw every single bead on the paper...so that means drawing 47 small colored in circles on the paper and then labeling all the numbers 7, 14, 21...with my son's sensory disorder he has trouble with fine motor skills and handwriting...he is getting pretty intense OT and PT for this but he gets frustrated with lots and lots of drawing/writing....so here is a child who was SO excited about finally getting to do the bead chain lessons and he can tell you word for word every number, where it goes and can recreate the lesson 10x's over and completely understands the whole concept...but he is being made to write out a million teeny, tiny colored dots...so he did the 10's, 9's, 8's, 7's and got fed up and frustrated and has stopped doing any bead chain lessons and you can tell he is SO disappointed. There are a ton of different ways around checking if a child understands the concept other than making him hand write out a zillion colored dots.

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    #16240 - 05/19/08 09:23 AM Re: Montessori [Re: Belle]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Yup. I really think it all comes down to the teacher. If they get it and get the child, it all works out great. A good teacher can make a bad educational situation work wonderfully. But a crummy teacher will inevitably screw up even a near-ideal situation for a GT child (or any child!).

    Our teachers were Montessori trained, but training doesn't mean they understand what they're seeing in an HG+ child. That's not necessarily part of their training.

    I think, too, Montessori's focus on the concrete is a potential stumbling block for HG+ kids who move very quickly to the abstract (or even start there!). It can work great for some kids, but not for all. No guarantees.

    Sometimes the "best program in town" is geared to MG kids, and they just aren't flexible enough to work with HG+ kids. (I think this was part of the problem with our particular Montessori program. They didn't really understand LOGs or recognize boredom when they saw it. Any kid who didn't jump through hoops didn't know how to do the task. They didn't even know that there could be another cause for refusing to perform.)

    The moral of the story: there's no one-size-fits-all ideal. What sounds good on paper may simply fail in practice. Every child and every pre-K program is different, and you just have to take each child as an individual and see what fits. <shrug>

    I wish it were easier!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16244 - 05/19/08 10:14 AM Re: Montessori [Re: Kriston]
    elh0706 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/08/07
    Posts: 353
    Loc: PA
    Wren, I envy you your situation. From your posts across the boards, it seems like you have the access and opportunity to really meet the needs of your daughter in a truly wonderful way.

    Our situation is not quite as rosy and our experience with Montessori actually entered the realm of child abuse according to my son's Psychiatrist. In our case, the teacher/owner of the school took AWAY all the challenging work that DS was completing error free because his handwriting did not meet her expectations and he he began making errors on simple math computation. As a side note, DS did not make the same simple math errors before she refused to allow him to progress in the more challenging math work. (he was working 2 workbooks ahead in the challenge problems than his drill work) At that point she moved him back more in the curriculm telling him that he was actually a very stupid child and his behavior went downhill fast. As his behavior slid, she took away all privaleges including recess and did not allow any of the other children to interact with him in any way (shunning). We did get him out of that environment once we finally figured out what was going on.

    To be brief this past year has been a rebuilding year and DS has made amazing progress in a school environment that while still not ideal has become his cheering section. He has rediscoverd his love of learning and I credit his teacher with really getting him and making the difference.

    I have to agree with Kriston's moral of the story and also wish that it were easier smile


    Edited by elh0706 (05/19/08 10:15 AM)

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    #16245 - 05/19/08 10:24 AM Re: Montessori [Re: elh0706]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    That's awful, elh! I'm so sorry!

    Thank goodness you saw what was happening and got your son out of there.

    Do you think the teacher was just THAT clueless, or do you think she was acting maliciously? At that level of mistreatment--shunning, punitive measures, etc.--it almost seems like it would have to be malicious.

    Ugh!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #16246 - 05/19/08 10:51 AM Re: Montessori [Re: Kriston]
    aline Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/07
    Posts: 155
    Loc: Southwest
    What an horrendous story!!! Good for you for getting your child out of there!

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    #16247 - 05/19/08 11:09 AM Re: Montessori [Re: aline]
    elh0706 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/08/07
    Posts: 353
    Loc: PA
    It was malicious but more in the this child just won't do what I want him to do way. The teacher/owner was a do as I say style teacher and DS is so not a do as I say child. DH and I also didn't punish DS based on her recommendations, We made our own decisions based on our beliefs and discussions with DS. So we may have contributed to the downward spiral by not showing complete support of the teacher. I posted what I truly believe to be an extreme experience with the Montessori system as a warning. If your child is interested in pleasing a teacher or can get intrinic pleasure from progressing through the routine, I think Montessori can be a very positive experience for gifted children. For those of us with rebels, it might not be a great fit smile In fact, in the public school, DS just received a Student of the Month award for his classroom. It was a tremendous boost to his self esteem and I think put a nail in the coffin of the I'm a bad kid belief that he has had.

    I won't ever forget what she did, and I learned alot form the experience. Thankfully, our son has recovered well and finally after a year has a glint back in his eyes smile

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    #16248 - 05/19/08 11:13 AM Re: Montessori [Re: aline]
    crisc Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/12/07
    Posts: 485
    Loc: New England
    That is such an awful story. I'm glad you were able to realize it and get him out of there before more damage could be done.

    Positive notes: This morning my son's teacher told me that she was in the middle of purchasing a new reading curriculum for my son for next year (his K year) since she knew he was far more advanced than the current 1st-2nd grade materials she had. Woo-hoo!
    _________________________
    Crisc

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    #16249 - 05/19/08 11:31 AM Re: Montessori [Re: crisc]
    aline Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/07
    Posts: 155
    Loc: Southwest
    crisc, that's great! Sounds like she gets him.

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    #16250 - 05/19/08 11:44 AM Re: Montessori [Re: aline]
    elh0706 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/08/07
    Posts: 353
    Loc: PA
    Good news,Crisc smile

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    #16263 - 05/19/08 04:32 PM Re: Montessori [Re: elh0706]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1685
    What a horror story. Yes, if the teacher doesn't get it, it doesn't matter how good the program is or the quality of the materials.

    But we did hire a consultant who told us who the good teachers were for gifted. Now I have to strategize for K through next fall as I fill out applications upon applications.

    Ren

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    #16278 - 05/20/08 01:45 AM Re: Montessori [Re: Wren]
    LMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/14/07
    Posts: 902
    Originally Posted By: Wren

    But we did hire a consultant who told us who the good teachers were for gifted. Now I have to strategize for K through next fall as I fill out applications upon applications.

    Ren


    Ren, I think this is very specific to NYC. I sincerely doubt there are consultants in 99% towns/cities in this country. NYC for sure offers lots of different options and lots of opportunities for gifted children unlike most of the other places where one is limited to a few schools.
    _________________________
    LMom

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    #16279 - 05/20/08 03:06 AM Re: Montessori [Re: LMom]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1685
    I agree that having consultants to advise you on the quality of a preschool may be specific to NYC, but there are posts about some wonderful schools out there.

    People post about HG high schools that their kids attend. It sounds terrific though I do not know where that is. Toronto has an incredible school that starts in 6th grade but just one school and the G&T is spotty before that. Hence, why we moved back to NYC (and DH was not ready to move to Canada yet).

    But, like I have posted about my AGATE participation, the K process is a nightmare in NYC despite 200 K spots for gifted children each year, in accelerated programs. They are using OLSAT and HG+ don't always do well on OLSAT. They do not take anything else, they do not look at IEPs, it is strictly scores.

    Options are good when you have the options. Though better than no options.

    And, returning to topic, if we lost out head teacher, who will probably move on soon (she is slowly finishing a doctorate and wondering next steps) then the program would be much different.

    Like any posts here, sometimes you get the right teacher, sometimes you don't despite a good program. No teacher trained in Montessori should keep a child on a task they have mastered. That is not Montessori. And that is not how DD's class is run and her head teacher could be a Montessori cult member, she loves the Montessori method.

    Ren

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    #16337 - 05/20/08 08:41 PM Re: Montessori [Re: Wren]
    snowgirl Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/24/08
    Posts: 361
    I don't have time to say much right now but just wanted to emphasize how important the particular school, and individual teacher, are with regard to how adaptable the montessori environment is to a particular GT kid. We've been very lucky so far (knock on wood!!) in terms of teachers - three of my kids are in montessori at the moment, only one of whom has been tested (ironically, that's the teacher I expect to have the most trouble with down the road; DD7 is so "good" in class that I'm not sure how things sit with works she wants to try vs. works she is allowed to try). Both my DS5s have teachers that happen to be perfectly suited to their personalities - one is more 2E, and his teacher is thrilled to be able to show the other kids that in spite of his other difficulties, he does more advanced math works, etc. and most importantly, when he struggled with simple works she let him try a more complex work and he could do it. She's very open minded. And my other DS5's teacher figured out that he is underachieving for his ability, in spite of the fact that she thought he met her requirements for starting K last fall, and she is working at fixing that (especially next year in K); a component of her plan involves the fact that there are apparently other bright boys in the class, including at least one who is very bright (not that I have any way of knowing how bright, but they are all working above grade level, and she is aware that if the class was entirely mediocre, DS5's perfectionism issues would have him sink down to a mediocre level).

    Plus, two of my kids are visual-spatial learners, and the montessori materials, as well as the manner of receiving lessons, is far superior to a more traditional classroom for their current situations.

    When DD7 was tested about a year ago, the professional advice we recieved was that full-time gifted programming was the way to go, montessori was a close second, and a pull-out program a far distant third. They also advised us to reconsider the educational situation on an annual basis. And we'll continue to do that.

    All right, I'm at the end of my rope here, gotta run; hope at least some of this is coherent...
    smile

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    #16338 - 05/20/08 09:46 PM Re: Montessori [Re: snowgirl]
    Isa Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/28/07
    Posts: 347
    I just wanted to add a personal reflexion:

    everybody seems to think that a 'real' (i.e. certificate) Montessori is better than a school labelled Montessori but not certificated. Very often when I say that in our case it is not working I get the question/suggestion that this is because maybe it is not true Montessori.

    I do not think this is the case at all, it is more down to the teacher. A teacher who understands the kid and his/her needs is the key, not if the lessons are given to a certain prescription.

    And by the way, I am reading the book that Maria Montessori wrote herself and up to now there is not a singel provision for HG+ children. It is assumed that children will follow their own pace, but with the same step-step by step way of learning. She insistes a lot that step 1 MUST be finished and mastered before doing step 2 because stpe 2 uses step 1 as foundation.
    I am not finished with it so maybe I am wrong, but up to now this is what I found.

    I still think that for most of the children this is one of the best methods of teaching.

    The problem is that ours are not 'most' children....

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    #17280 - 06/01/08 01:52 PM Re: Montessori [Re: Isa]
    shiloh Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 05/30/08
    Posts: 3
    I attended a Montessori school from 3rd thru 8th grade as a child. The relaxed non-competitive learning atmosphere was really great in most respects.

    I did spurt far ahead in many areas because the curriculum was individually tailored so each child determined their own pace.

    Unfortunately, I had no idea where I was in respect to the ability level of other students from other schools. When I tested into a really competitive high school, students from more traditional schools knew from the start how to pace themsleves, how to decode what was important for non-indivualized testing, and how to clump together for academic viability.

    I might have been a senior before I grasped class rank. It felt an awful lot like lining up for a 800m race every morning.

    The best thing about Montessori (in my experience)is that there is no upper limit for a child. If you're going to use the Montessori method be aware that your child might have to attempt a traditional school setting at some point so you'll have to prepare.

    There is just a big difference from group education and custom education.

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    #17281 - 06/01/08 02:50 PM Re: Montessori [Re: shiloh]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Originally Posted By: shiloh
    The best thing about Montessori (in my experience)is that there is no upper limit for a child.


    ...unless the teacher sets one. In many pre-K situations, this is (sadly) a pretty common problem.

    I think with a greater age range than 3-6yos or whatever, a teacher-imposed ceiling is less likely to exist. Certainly the Montessori method suggests that ceilings shouldn't be set for kids, as each should achieve at his/her own pace.
    _________________________
    Kriston

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