Is Montessori nursery suitable for a lively, energetic child?

(11 Posts)
podmumlet Thu 19-Sep-13 14:43:12

I have a very lively 2.5 year old and have two nurseries in mind (one of which is a montessori). I really, really like the Montessori ethics, but I am concerned that my DS will find it too restrictive as he too is very boisterous. While he can focus on an activity drawing/play dough) it inevitable ends in him swooping everything off the table onto the floor and barrelling off to run around pushing a buggy/shopping trolley/pushtoy.

I suspect that this may/would be frowned upon. Would it be better tolerated in a non-Montessori nursery as general free-play?

That said, I reeeeally like the child-led nature of play at Montessori. I am unclear how that isn't the case in non-Montessori. How does a non-Montessori school differ?

Really would welcome any comments and experiences!

YoniHuman Fri 20-Sep-13 01:59:41

Each nursery is different but my son's Montessori preschool was great. He was no shrinking violet and really thrived on the learning through play method. He had a short attention span if it was something he wasn't into but he wasn't pressured to take part until he wanted and the class like environment and Circle time etc really helped him to be prepared for school. They also did a lot of physical activities with them such as drama and nature walks. (It was next door to a park). Have you visited the Montessori and spoken with the staff yet? They should be approachable and happy to answer your questions. I loved the welcoming atmosphere at my DS preschool. Good luck.

YoniHuman Fri 20-Sep-13 02:02:10

Sorry for the double post confused

soundevenfruity Fri 20-Sep-13 02:23:07

Montessori is supposed to be a quiet and purposeful environment but then it is not supposed to last all day. I went to the Notting hill Montessori just to get an idea what it is supposed to be as they are attached to Montessori institute and do training. I loved it but since realised that what you get elsewhere is a slightly to a very much diluted version. My DC nursery is open from 8am to 6pm so it simply can't do Montessori all day long. They have Montessori in the morning and it's not hugely quiet or orderly but it provides a good instruction in sitting and concentrating on your task. It's self directed to a large extent but staff are supposed to make sure that a child diversifies and also finishes what they started. I would personally go on your gut feeling about staff rather than type of nursery. Also in our area Montessori nurseries are situated mainly in church halls and such and do not provide lunch so children have to take their lunch box which was a big no-no for me.

flowersinavase Fri 20-Sep-13 09:43:55

DD has just started at a Montessori here in the USA and I just don't recognise these comments about needing to be 'quiet' and 'calm'. Not once in the more involved and stressful than UCAS application process were such concepts mentioned to me. She's very energetic and noisy and has fitted right in!! A nursery will never be quiet and calm, other than after its members have gone home for the day!!

nancerama Fri 20-Sep-13 10:00:03

I think it's impossible to say without spending time at the nursery in question. Different settings apply the Montessori methods in very different ways. It's worth bearing in mind that the EYFS that all pre schools follow draws a lot on Montessori methods, so your DS will get some of the methodology wherever he is.

I had my heart set on our local Montessori for my very busy DS. He struggles to concentrate with some tasks and I thought it would really help him focus. However, when I visited, I found the setting just too small. Although they only had 16 children at a time, the room was tiny and there was very limited outdoor space. I was worried my DS would feel overwhelmed and penned in.

Visit every pre school in your local area - even the ones you don't think much of on paper. When you find the right place, you'll just know.

cleadale Fri 20-Sep-13 12:11:20

My lively, energetic, inquisitive and talkative(!) DS attended two nurseries, one a Montessori (mornings only) and the other a day nursery. The day nursery was fabulous for him with enthusiastic and committed carers, plenty of things to do and enough physical play for him to let off steam when necessary, and there were plenty of quiet sessions for reading, playing etc. My only reservation was that perhaps it was a bit too structured and there weren't enough opportunities for the children to choose their own activities.

We switched to a Montessori nursery when I changed my work pattern and no longer needed all-day care. It couldn't have been more different: the carers were much older and quieter, more into reading and calm play, and less into physical activities. The ethos sounded fabulous but it just wasn't the right environment for my DS. It seemed to suit quieter, bookish, arty children rather than the more physical, experimental, mathsy children. His behaviour was labelled as difficult (really, he's not!) and he lost much of his natural confidence. We would have moved him if we could but there were no alternatives locally at the time.

I totally agree with nancerama, try to visit all the nurseries in your area, talk to the parents and don't be bamboozled with talk of different teaching methods. The best nursery is the one which suits you and your child.

difficultpickle Sat 21-Sep-13 13:42:16

Ds was a very lively 2.5 yr old when he started at our local Montessori. Energetic doesnt' really describe how he is, more a case of on the go all the time non stop. He loved the nursery and they loved him. His nursery manager cried when he left and when he had problems settling in to reception at his school she came to support him. His school described him (then a young 4 yr old) as stubborn. His nursery teacher said she loved that he was stubborn as when he was older this would be viewed as being single-minded and a good thing!

They had a way of getting the absolute best out of him which made for a lovely start to his schooling and which has rarely been repeated since.

NoComet Tue 24-Sep-13 01:19:03

I think they are all different. DD2 did one day a week at a Montessori nursery, but I never noticed anything different to per school, except it was larger, better resourced and it had lots of young and lovely staff.

DD loved it and went back to the holiday club for years.

BlackMogul Tue 24-Sep-13 01:40:00

The Montessori nursery I looked at years ago was definitely odd! It just felt that no child was behaving like a child. It seemed quiet and, frankly, boring. Having said that, I think all nurseries are different and I would not look at one "brand" as being better than another. I do think you want a child prepared for school though and no nursery will be too pleased with a child swiping everything off the table! They will want children to play in an appropriate way and not spoil what others are doing. Just go with a play based nursery that suits his needs. Often a nursery will not expect them to concentrate on a task for long if free play is more appropriate. The expectation of concentration goes up as the child gets older.

allyfe Wed 25-Sep-13 13:45:31

It really depends on the Montessori nursery! My very boisterous 2y 10m old just started at a Montessori pre-school. Generally, the aim of the environment is to be a calm and focused place. My daughter was there and loved it. But, the children are also allowed to free-flow inside and out, so they can run around outside, do digging etc. and they have a full-time sports coach who does all manner of sports with them. Consequently, my energetic, sometimes too aggressive boisterous little boy adores the place. He learns to sit quietly, and do his activities where appropriate and can play cricket, hockey and little rugby ball games or dig in the garden when he has energy to burn.

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