My daughter won't listen at preschool

Diana - posted on 10/02/2014 ( 15 moms have responded )

7

0

1

Hi moms! I need some advice on what to do... My daughter is 4 and has been in a Montessori preschool for the past month. She normally is an amazing child who listens and follows direction very well. We always prided on how great she was at sharing and never throwing tantrums. Anyways at preschool she won't listen to the teachers or sit still during circle time. They told me she is very disruptive and they other children can't learn because she tries to be the center of attention. For those of you who don't know about Montessori it is an independent learning programs. So social interaction is kind of a big no no you play with your own activities and sharing activities is not allowed. My child is incredibly social and loves to play with others so she gets into a lot of trouble for socializing. What can I do to get her to listen to the teacher and follow the rules of a classroom?
Thank you

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Sarah - posted on 10/03/2014

8,728

0

21

I think if you visit other preschools, you will see quite different settings at each one. Some will have all cooperative learning, some will focus on play based learning, others will be more academic and really work the skills or reading, writing and math. Go visit, talk to the teachers. I don't believe that at 4, your child is a "bad disruptive child". She just needs to be in a setting that is a little more flexible.

Chet - posted on 10/03/2014

2,093

0

587

When you're shopping for a new preschool you need to ask about how they handle distracted kids, kids not listening, children failing to follow instructions or rules, kids being silly, etc. If it were me, I would be looking for a preschool that uses as much positive redirection as possible. I would also want to observe the preschool to see the teachers actually using the positive strategies.

To give you an example, when children line up they often want to touch the child in front of them. Keeping hands to yourself in line is an issue teachers have to constantly deal with.

Some preschool teachers just have a rule that there is no touching other children in line. When a child touches the child in front of them they get a stern reminder, or a warning, or they get put on yellow light, or they lose a point, or they don't get a sticker or whatever.

Other teachers find ways to make the desired behaviour easier for kids. They line them up in a particular order. They give kids other things to do with their hands (hands on head, hands behind your back, hands on your shoulders). They have poems or rhymes for the kids to focus on. They make the desired behaviour part of a pretending game. They try to limit the amount of time kids have to stand around in a line.

You should also get an idea of what the preschool expects from children and figure out if that is reasonable for your daughter. Is circle time 15 minutes or 30 minutes? Is there a lot of opportunity for social interaction, or are activities pretty structured and focused? Are kids required to change activities often, or can they work on something for as long as they like? Are kids assigned to partners or groups, or can they work with who ever they like?

Sarah - posted on 10/03/2014

8,728

0

21

Ok, I am actually stunned. I have heard of Montessori, and knew a few families that sent kids there for preschool. They really truly advocate "No interaction, no sharing'? Really? That's sad. My kids loved preschool, they all only went one year and even that was 2.5 hours 2 days a week. (I felt like my 4 yo did not need a full time job) Most of the time was group activities. Yes, there was plenty of learning, worksheets and projects, that they did on their own. They all mastered the skills they needed for kindergarten in time.
Isn't it a private school? It can't be your only option for the entire elementary level.
And it is not your fault or hers....every kids learns differently. Your daughter is an only child, so school will be one the best places for her to develop her social skills of sharing, working together, compromising and taking turns.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/03/2014

13,255

21

2015

Honey, if she's not fitting well now, it may or may not improve. Surely Montessori isn't your ONLY choice for schooling in your area. I know that it's not the only choice here. Here, you have to request the Montessori classrooms/schools.

Perhaps you should check further with your district. Don't just assume that, because it's the 'neighborhood school' she's automatically stuck going there.

Either way, she's not fitting well, not benefiting from instruction there...something needs to be done, and it's not her fault that their teaching model doesn't fit her learning style.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/03/2014

13,255

21

2015

Montessori schools are not a good fit for everyone.

I, for one, would never have enrolled either of my children, as they were very social, and interactive, and I disagree with Montessori's method of 'no interaction/no sharing'

Perhaps it would be best for you to find a better fitting school for her needs. You didn't fail, I promise!

15 Comments

View replies by

Diana - posted on 10/03/2014

7

0

1

I don't think she's bad either but that what they told me and I felt like she was being picked on. Thank you for the advice I will definitely see if they'll allow me to observe the classes.

Diana - posted on 10/03/2014

7

0

1

Yea my daughter actually got in trouble because each child gets to pick a tray of toys and they call them activities. She and another child were playing together on one of the activities and my daughter got in trouble because she had to play with hers and if she wanted to play with the other one and she had to waited until they were both done and put away before she could pick it up and play with it. And yes it is a catholic school.
My new question then is what can I do to ensure she listens at her next preschool so this doesn't happen again. Where she is the bad disruptive child.

Diana - posted on 10/03/2014

7

0

1

No when kindergarten starts they have a choice whether to continue with Montessori or go the regular route. I'm definitely looking into other programs now there's a play and dance preschool that I'm hoping will work.

Diana - posted on 10/03/2014

7

0

1

The main reason is its down the block from my house and that would be the school she would attend for regular school so I wanted her to be comfortable because she has 8 more years there.

Sarah - posted on 10/03/2014

8,728

0

21

Diane, if your unhappy with the way they are teaching and your daughter is unhappy, why do you want to keep her there? I know that Montessori has a unique curriculum and teaching model, and that it works for lots of kids, but not all kids. As an only child, your daughter will benefit from play activities that help her share, interact and work cooperatively with other kids. She can explore independently at home, right? These early learning years should be fun as well as instructive.

Diana - posted on 10/03/2014

7

0

1

Thank you ladies. I totally understand that its not for all kids but it makes me feel like I've failed as a parent. They are a very strict Montessori program but I wish they would try and help her figure it out before just saying she's too disruptive and if it doesn't stop she'll have to sit in the principals office. I had even explained in the beginning she's never attended preschool before and this would be her first time in a classroom setting so unless you let her know who's boss she won't take you seriously. She is also an only child so when she sees other children all she wants to do is play. They tell me she is probably the smartest child in the class academically. But because they feel she's not mentally mature enough she shouldn't be there. But isn't it their job as teachers to help her understand the rules. They say there's other kids who aren't academically up to par but they can teach them better because they are shy and nervous they can control them better and my daughter is far from shy she would go home with anyone who had a child haha.

Chet - posted on 10/03/2014

2,093

0

587

Sarah, there is a body of good research on the benefits of Montessori programs. They do plenty of hands-on and explorative learning. There is lots of focus on mastering skills and achieving goals. Montessori doesn't fly in the face of what we know about child development. It's just that kids are different, and there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution for preschool.

Sarah - posted on 10/03/2014

3,879

14

1082

It is actually better for preschoolers to learn through play. If you look at research and how kids learn most 3 and 4 yr olds learn the most through play. So discouraging play is actually discouraging learning. I would suggest looking at preschool programs that do their learning through play. At 3 yrs old most learning is social learning....learning how to share, how to interact with others, how to play together, how to take turns, follow directions, follow in a line, etc. There is still academic learning, but that is more the focus in 4 yr old preschool. In 4 yr old preschool through their play they should be learning letters, numbers, colors, shapes, the sounds that letters make, and some may even be reading by this age.....but also remember if your child is not reading by this age that does not mean there is something wrong. Each child learns at their own rate and each child has their own areas of strengths. A child learns the most by doing and exploring. Many schools discourage the use of flash cards because they have found better ways for kids to learn. Having a child make the letter T with pudding is going to stick in their head better then having a stack of letters and going over and over them. Learning should be fun, especially at 3 and 4 yrs old. School should be a positive experience. At 3 and 4 yrs old most kids are wanting to play and not just sit on a carpet or at the table and listen to the teacher or do activities on their own. Sitting on the carpet and listening is still a valued skill and should still be taught, but it should be just a fraction of their learning.

Michelle - posted on 10/03/2014

3,619

8

3245

Chet said it so much better than I could. I was going to say that maybe you should look at another school as Montessori schools aren't for everyone.

Chet - posted on 10/03/2014

2,093

0

587

Montessori is not a good fit for all kids, especially programs that follow the Montessori philosophy very strictly. I would seriously consider looking for a preschool program that suits your daughter's personality better. When a child fits well with an environment following the rules comes much more easily. Also, when teachers don't feel they have to maintain a method they can be more flexible in adapting the program to the needs of the child.

I know that Montessori really sells the benefits of their method - but if your child struggles in that type of classroom they aren't experiencing the method, they're just railing against it.

One of our kids did six months at a Montessori preschool, and there were some kids who really didn't fit well there. Our daughter liked quiet, independent activities, but even she didn't love going there and preferred the more traditional preschool she attended afterwards. For her, she was better off in a preschool with fewer children and really loving, affectionate teachers.

Montessori really runs the spectrum though. Lots of preschools use aspects of Montessori, but don't follow the method as strictly. You may be able to find a preschool that is Montessori inspired, but more like a traditional preschool with lots of cooperative and creative play, lots of socializing, lower expectations in terms of sitting still and not distracting others, etc.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms