Will my son's behavior be considered acceptable in a Montessori preschool?

Young boy on bike wearing a helmet, with arms crossed and a scowl on his face, at the playground.

How can I know if my four-year-old son's behavior is considered acceptable in a private Montessori school setting? (Being intrusive, poking, or not obeying, wanting to continue playing when it's time to line up. He's within normal limits of behavior but is on the active side.)

Some boys can take longer to master social skills. However, it will not be acceptable in a private school setting, Montessori or otherwise, after age five. (It is not uncommon for some boys to repeat Kindergarten because of their lagging social--and academic--skills.)

The most important thing is for you to be consistent at home with the rules of the school-to-be, and follow the boundaries and guidelines of the classroom he will be in. He may test them out at home (to see what he can get away with) because there may be inconsistencies. So ask his new teacher what the general rules are, so you can follow them at home, as well as at the park, at a friend's house, etc., and if he is not following those rules outside of the home, leave. Plain and simple.

I did this with my son who has special needs. But he got it after only a few times of leaving the park or a playdate!

My son is an only child who just turned three in the first week of September. This is only his third week of Montessori preschool and I have just received a follow-up email from his teacher on his progress at school: "His inability to take lessons, complete a task, and attend for any length of time is making it difficult for him to settle into the classroom and be a part of the group..." I truly believe that a child cannot be expected to fully conform to classroom rules or show consistency, needles to say mastery, of the skills presented as challenging areas. I would greatly appreciate your feedback on it.

Three weeks is about the norm for a school to work with a new child (even at age three) to see "how it works out" for that child (and the school). Some children are not ready for a Montessori preschool environment at age three, and some are more suited for a traditional, play-based preschool, or an in-home daycare.

It could be that your son is either not ready, yet, for a Montessori preschool, but will be in six months; or he is not meant to be in a Montessori environment at all.

What I suggest is cutting his day very, very short: drop him off at the beginning of class and pick him up at outside playtime/recess...so let's say you drop him off at 8:30 and pick him up at 10 or 10:30. And do this three times a week for a few months (we sometimes did this in our Montessori school). Then, when you and the school feel he is ready, either have him stay later or have him come five mornings a week. Ask the school if they would be willing to do that! (I had to do that with my son--and he eventually settled in fine.)

You can't hurry up his development, and neither can the teacher(s)...

Not every child indeed fits the "Montessori mold."

I think they are just being honest about the situation, as hard as it is to hear, and are even willing to meet with you--so when you do meet, ask them if they would be willing to have him come three mornings a week...and see how that goes.

And I would look at some other preschools, just in case it does not work out, or they so no. ~Lisa Nolan
Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

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