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Changing from Montessori preschool

My son attended Montessori Family School for two years and then entered kindergarten at Cragmont School. At first he complained that there wasn't enough choice, but his kindergarten teacher had a "choice time" once a day so he soon got used to it. His first grade teacher also has "choice time" once a day, so maybe that concept has made its way into Berkeley public schools. Fran (2/00)
From: Fran (11/98)

My son was in the same situation for this fall. He has done quite well switching to his public school. I think his circle experience has given him more self control then he would have had otherwise. The experience of learning new concepts (reading, writing) along with 7 or 8 other kindergarteners has probably made his language skills advancement more rapid than if he had been doing language works by himself. (This was his teacher's observation.)

The thing our son had the hardest time getting used to was lack of choices in the public school classroom. Fortunately, his teacher has had some Montessori experience and offers "choice time" at the end of each day.

Of course there are the obvious big differences that are probably common when you compare private to public schools.

You also asked about after-school programs. My son is at JCC, which has vans to take kids to and from Albany schools. I've found the kids there to be quite comparable to the kids at his Montessori school. The staff has a similar philosophy about discipline, too. My son likes the program a lot.

We also considered keeping our daughter in Montessori for the kindergarden year, but didn't. All of her age peers were moving and we thought it would be too hard on her to be the oldest by so far than the other kids. We also got into our first choice school. I think it helps that she was making the transition to elementary school with a group of other children all making it at the same time. By first grade, I thought it might be harder to be a new kid with a bunch of other kids who are already used to elementary school.
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