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  #1  
Old 10-13-2006, 05:23 PM
DesperateMom DesperateMom is offline
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South Carolina
Mom of Montessori student needs advice....

My son is in the Montessori program at his school. I am at a loss about how to handle the input from his teachers. I am not sure about what type or how is handle in this type of program and have some questions concerning that as well as something called "The Shadowing Program" and if it is really helpful or may enable certain students behavior.

Just a little background information on the situation. I am a single mother and my son is 4 1/2 years old. He has never been involved in a pre school or any type of program before. He is currently reading at a 2nd grade level (and they believe it may possibly be higher). They are telling me that he needs help with his fine motor skills and his gross motor skills and that his math skills need to be focused on. I have been involved in 2 parent-teacher conferences since August 9th. They have suggested that I take him to a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician (waiting list is a year long). They also wanted me to check into Occupational Therapy for his motor skills. I have done that. Plus even though I really do not have the money to do it I am checking into guitar lessons(fine motor skills) and Karate (gross motor skills). He has an appointment with an OT next week. I have been extremely supportive shadowing him in class on 3 different occasions ( I work and cannot be there every week). I have chaperoned a field trip (asked off work to go). I have done all that they have asked me and then some and do not know what else I can do.

He has not displayed any behavior that was any different from the rest of his classmates or that would not be considered normal child behavior while I have shadowed him. I actually feel that I am a HUGE distraction to the other children being there (5 kids or more will crowd around us while I am there). I did observe him in class behind a two-way mirror and he had no idea I was there-behavior was fine. They say that he is extremely disruptive and will not be quiet or sit still, will not complete lessons, and doesn't follow directions. He does not display this type of behavior with me or his babysitter. I am not saying that he never misbehaves-he does, but he doesn't want to disappoint anyone so I don't know why he is so different in a school environment. He is always aiming to please with us and is very aware of what feelings are (ie, sad,mad, happy).
This is a child that pretty much potty-trained himself by reading children's potty books while sitting on the toilet.

If anyone has any input--PLEASE respond.....
Thank you soooo much for taking the time to read my post and Please help if you can I AM DESPERATE!!!!!

DesperateMom

 
  #2  
Old 10-13-2006, 05:45 PM
DesperateMom DesperateMom is offline
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South Carolina
Sorry-I just realized ya'll may not know what my questions are in the first paragraph-it is concerning discipline.

Again thanks for any help you may be able to offer-

DesperateMom
  #3  
Old 10-13-2006, 06:06 PM
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cutNglue cutNglue is offline
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Personally at age 4 1/2 their gross motor skills are still pretty akward. What specific activities have they mentioned that they consider to show him as being behind in those areas? Ie, does he have trouble using child scissors? etc. As far as misbehavior goes, they need more documented ideas of what that means because the child is 4!! They act up at that age and that's normal. There are certain types of misbehaviors that do need to be watched but I'm still not sure what your son is doing that would fall under this category. Get them to give you specific MULTIPLE incidents. Don't go spending money on all these classes until you understand the issue. Talking to an OT wouldn't hurt but he too will want some more specific ideas I'm sure.
  #4  
Old 10-16-2006, 10:34 AM
DesperateMom DesperateMom is offline
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South Carolina
Thank you for responding-DefinatelySmart.

A report that they gave me at one of the parent-teacher conferences stated:

Motor Development:

Practices self help skils-snapping, zipping, buttoning- Needs Improvement.

Runs, jumps, hops- Progressing(Needs Support)

Controls scissors-Progressing(Needs support)

Bounces large ball and catches it- Progressing(Needs Support)

Their comments stated that: He does not have good gross or fine motor skills but does try to do his best. They also say he should be drawing and writing his name.

In response to runs, jumps, and hops-(does it all the time with me and sitter-I do not see any odd movements). To bounces and catches ball- he has a bit of trouble bouncing, but can catch, but of course not everytime. He does have trouble holding his pencil correctly.(My opinion on that is that he is having trouble determining which hand to use because he often uses both(ambedextris-I think)).

Concerning his behavior:
They say he does not complete lessons
Will not stand still or be quiet in line or in circle
Constantly making noises.
Just disruptive.
Will not follow directions (on occasion he will)

In response to that:
I know he is loud and pretty much has a sound effect for everything-but I work with him on using his inside voice at home. I am really unsure how they approach it. Their solution I feel is to pass him off on a shadow and they are insistant that I come about twice a week to be with him. He is in a five day program that is from 7:50am-11:30am. I feel that they have given up on him and because of his intelligence I think he feels that way too. He appears to be a little upset when school is mentioned to him but on some days he is raring to go.

This is all extremely stressful and I don't want to pull him out of the program but I think that they would love for me to do that and I think that some of the things they are saying he lacks that,that is their job to help him with that. I have been more than willing to do all I can,this is my child and of course I want to help him the best I can but they should be able to fill in the blanks with things that they are suppose to be experts in.

Again Thank You and I look forward to hearing from you again,
DesperateMom
  #5  
Old 10-16-2006, 01:02 PM
SpeechTeach SpeechTeach is offline
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Louisiana
It simply seems that the teachers are trying to tell you that your son has some areas that have room for improvement. As a mother I know that one of the most difficult things to hear is that our child is average. Your son has obviously spent time developing his reading fluency skills. He is probably very capable of learning the motor skills that he is still lacking. Objectively observe all the other children's cutting skills, balancing skills...This will help you see the differences and remember he will develop these skill as he is physically able. As for behavior listen to the teachers and discuss the reports with your son. He seems to have a good sense of who he is. It is possible that since this is his first out of home experience that he is not completely aware of the reasons all these new expectations are being placed on him. He has never had to concern himself with classroom harmony and other childrens learning needs...Good Luck and stay open to all suggestions it will be worth the effort to help him acclimate to the Montessori setting.
  #6  
Old 10-16-2006, 03:47 PM
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cutNglue cutNglue is offline
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Kindergarten Teacher
Without reading all of it, the first so many lines the impression I got was not that he wasn't any good, but that he has not yet mastered those skills. It may not be that he is necessarily behind in those skills but that those are what the classroom wants him to focus on learning upcoming. It kinda read like an assessment. It shows what he has mastered, what he hasn't mastered, and maybe even what he hasn't started on. Normally in public school there is a standardized list of similar skills and the students AREN'T expected to have all the stuff mastered in the beginning but DO want them to have them mostly or completely mastered by the end of the year. I may be completely wrong in their tone and motivation of the progress report. I'm just lending another perspective.

When you get into the "what I am concern with" area, that's when it is more about their personal observations and what they DO want some support from home OR they are making you aware of it so it doesn't come up in the left field later. I'm sure they are working on these issues/areas and mostly want you to help support it, or at the very least be aware of it. It hurts more when a parent doesn't know anything about their child's progress then at the end of the year they get blindsided with all this information they wished they had known.

Personally I think you are doing excellent by caring, doing what is suggested, questioning, and continuing to love, support and nurture your son. Keep the communication open, recognize weaknesses and work on it. That's all you can do. He will be fine. He has a mom who cares enough to participate.

BTW, you are RIGHT. It is their job to help him with most of those things, but it is also their job to INFORM you that they are seeing it, working on it, and ask if you can participate (as a team).

Also, my OWN child I feel is brilliant in many ways (near photographic memory that even his teacher sees) but he also drags on and doesn't complete his lessons, sometimes gets too talkative, etc. I have to help coach him (along with his teacher) to get him to refocus. He is 7, so it is a little easier to reason with him by now, but my point is children go through stages constantly, even the bright ones. We guide them and encourage them to move forward and to practice a wide variety of skills (not just the ones they are brilliant in).
 

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