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    #16117 05/16/08 03:33 PM
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    Wren Offline OP
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    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

    Wren #16118 05/16/08 03:54 PM
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    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

    Wren #16119 05/16/08 04:20 PM
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    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
    Kriston #16129 05/17/08 04:28 AM
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    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

    Wren #16133 05/17/08 06:47 AM
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    (moved comment to new post)

    Last edited by st pauli girl; 05/17/08 07:59 AM.
    Wren #16134 05/17/08 07:03 AM
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    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
    Kriston #16137 05/17/08 07:32 AM
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    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

    Wren #16140 05/17/08 08:28 AM
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    ...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
    Kriston #16141 05/17/08 09:05 AM
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    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
    crisc #16146 05/17/08 11:18 AM
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    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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