So we have narrowed down our selection of which school to send our first born son (age 4.5) to...but we are really having a hard time deciding which one! I have tried to talk to other parents but I keep finding that each person's experience is so, well, personal, and I am finding it hard to generalize to my child (though 90% of what I have heard of both these schools is positive). I was hoping I could get you smart mamas to help me decide or share your thoughts.
Just a bit about my son - I don't have any concerns with him in a traditional public school - he has very little anxiety, sits well, good attention, independent, friendly, very curious, calm and happy personality. Teachers seem to love him. He is currently in a montessori preschool and they have said he is doing really well (esp in "math"). He can be a bit sensitive and quick to find his tears but I see this as a good thing. :)
OK here are our two choices.
1. A very small, independent, holistic school that is more child-directed, with a heavy focus on social and emotional skills. Lots of flexibility and outside play. Teacher is very calm and mindful. Start each morning with a bit of yoga and meditation etc... Not too much structure or strong academic push, though follows the province's curriculum with a lot of flexibility. Class size is small (about 14 kids in K/Gr.1 split). I think the make up of the school is a mix between parents who are drawn to it's philosophy, and parents who have concerns with child not a good fit for public schooling. No school on Fridays. Costs some money but not going to break the bank. I think we would send him here for maybe 2-3 years only, then move to local english school - the higher grades really thin out.
2. We got a coveted spot in our local French Immersion school - supposed to be great. Children are totally immersed in french until grade 3 and then start to take a few english classes. Part of public school system which means larger classes, less resources, but parents kind of self-select to go there so a lot of parent support. I know this can be a challenge for some kids but I think sometimes you don't know until you try it. Free of course.
Both seem to be a great opportunity, but in very different ways. Both equidistant from our house (five min drive).
There seems to be so many knowledgable people on this forum, would love any thoughts!