I have 2 choices for my son for next year (he turns 4 this summer)
1. Homeschool him - join the local homeschool group which is great, but it would be unreliable as far as giving ds regular interaction with other kids, something I feel he needs (he is around adults 24/7 right now)
2. Put him in Montessori, 5 days a week, from 11:15-2:30 every day. Its FREE (which is nice), its a really nice program, they spend over an hour in an outdoor environment every day, small mixed age class, (3-6yr olds), diverse kids, nice teachers, the school is really nice looking with lots of great learning materials. I could also volunteer at the school.
I LOVE the Montessori concept, and did it myself as a child, I know he would really enjoy it and I do like the teachers.
- I'd have to drop off, pick up, and pack lunch every day. I share a car so this could be a pain.
-They eat lunch right when they get there, which I think is silly, he may as well eat at home! He has lots of food allergies so would have to eat seperate from the other kids anyway. He also doesn't normally eat at that time, so I'd have to adjust him (challenge with his allergies)
- He is also allergic to things like cleaning supplies, carpets, paint on the wall, play doh, food colorings.... lots of things that in a school environment might not be avoidable.
- He might have to drop out of gymnastics to accomidate the schedual, which he loves so that would stink! The timing means he could still go to his science class, but story time we would have to skip or leave early to get to school on time, or go to school late on those days (which would only be cutting into lunch time anyway)
- he basically wouldnt be able to do any playdates with our local natural mom's group, the timing of the school is right in the middle of when most playdates happen (usually start at 10:30ish and go for 2-3 hours, and are 10-30min away from us)
- we like to travel, and I'd have to pull him from school to do this
- we don't vax so I have to lie and claim "religious" for exemptions and deal with all that paperwork, going to the heath dept, etc.
- I REALLY want to homeschool him! My family thinks he should go to school because its great and its free. Next year, I cant affford Montessori (its not free for 5yr olds), so I'd have to pull him out to homeschool or put him in public school. So either way this would only be for a year. Next year I dont know if homeschooling will be an option, sense I am a single mom and we live with my parents who may be moving overseas soon, so I dont know what our future will be (if I knew for sure I could homeschool him for KG, that would make me go for this years Montessori more, but I dont know yet!)
- he is super super smart, gifted for sure, so I guess Montessori could be really good or really bad for gifted kids from what I've read.
- I'm going to school working on my teaching degree, I dont know if I could coordinate my schedual with his, if not, then thats more time I'd be away from him sense my mom would have to watch him while Im in class (which is what we do now, I have class 2 evenings a week). I work part time, and can bring ds with me sometimes but he doesnt like to go, so again more time with him away from me. I already feel like he is away from me too much as it is!
I only have until thursday to decide! Help!!!
Ok, my first thought was to send him to the Montessori school. Then I read that he had severe allergies so I was going to suggest homeschooling him. Then I read you're a single mom and plan on eventually working full-time since it sounds like your parents might move (let me know if I got that right?) so my final suggestion would be to put him in the school and here's why:
- his allergies are a real concern but it sounds like he'll have to be in school anyways eventually so if he starts now then you'll at least have some time to adjust to how this works in a school environment (and it sounds like you have more free time to deal with the school since you're not full time at the moment)
- I'd talk to the school and ask if he could eat at home first and then maybe just bring a snack when the other kids are eating? It sounds like it could be very complicated to have him eat there.
- Have you asked the school how accommodating they will be with his allergies? Montessori or Waldorf schools are probably your best bet since they try to use more natural supplies but even there I'm sure you'd run into some of his allergens. How severe are his allergies and is the school aware of them?
- I wouldn't worry too much about the outside activities/playgroup. Montessori will provide him with a great place to play and interact with new friends.
- The traveling and vax things are annoyance but not anything that would really make we turn down a free Montessori school
- As for the giftedness you'd have to see how well the school itself does Montessori. There are some great threads on here about that and questions to ask.
- I get wanting to homeschool him but it doesn't sound like it would be a sustainable option for you in the long run? We'd also love to homeschool DD but I really do want to work too and homeschooling is illegal here anyway. It's a tough choice but if you find the right match for a school it can still be a very rewarding experience.
- Volunteering at his school might look good on your job resume
I went to a montessori and although it was all right, I have found the waldorf method more to my liking. It's best to visit a Waldorf campus to get an idea and go from there. Ultimately decided to use the Waldorf method at home.
Mama to DD(4) & DS
Not from what i've found, there are a lot of forums with photos on mothering about waldorf style playrooms and such, I just had to search through google.
As for me,
I just threw away about 80 percent of her plastic toys, the ones i kept had more sentimental value to me and are mostly rubber balls, she loves sports. When it comes to her toys, less is best, considering she naturally takes a preference towards certain toys and takes her time with each activity she does, prob for 30 to 45 minutes each, it's fairly simple for me to create certain stations around our home, which is currently an apartment rental.
Right now I am in the middle of the transition, so far I have cleaned out our living room and am using the dining room as the sitting area. I have already gotten her a wooden kitchen and side table from ikea, both wood and a wooden chair. So she has a "cooking" area, and a wooden puzzle area. She also has an instrument area, as she loves music, and we got her a drumset for the holidays, which is a little un waldorfy, but thats the instrument she likes. As for me I have taken on knitting and am working on a beanie for her.
I've set goals for the next couple months, but the decorating should be done next week and I will be ordering some toys for her at the end of the month. I'm adding a coloring "station" for her and organizing the puzzles a but. I plan to get a larger table that matches the side table to help blend all the furniture in our home and two square high rise rugs that look like grass, that I completely fell in love with. It's best to follow your child lead in the transition because as much as i would love to use the waldorf peach and yellow on our walls, the color green really resignates with her, and when it comes to the home, it's best if you use your child for inspiration.
Today we a lazuring a wall or two together, I am taking photos and keeping track of our "make over" and plan to post an article some where once we are complete :)
Mama to DD(4) & DS
As for education, there are many websites that offer lesson guides, such as thelittleacorn.
I myself am choosing to join a waldorf moms group and attend festivals on a waldorf campus, which is 20 minutes away. My babe just turned two, so I visited a campus and got an idea of their nursery/ preschool curriculum, and now am following the example. The "educational" aspect doesn't begin until 1st grade.
Mama to DD(4) & DS
I would try the montessori program, for sure. It may be worth all the juggling. Ours is for sure! If it doesn't work you can always stop out, but if you don't try it you never know...
I say give it a try and if you don't like it pull him.It sounds like he will be in a school setting once your in school.If your parents will watch him they will push for this. I would try various settings and let him go where he is safe and happy.
I get my AA in a couple weeks, and will have my 4yr degree in maybe a a year to 18months. I think once I get my teaching degree, I'll try to get a job at a school I want ds to go to, so I could work at the school he attends. But for kindergarden, I'll still be in school (but I'm doing it mostly online), but the issue is more of weather or not my parents will be living in the U.S., if they arent, then I'll no longer have a place to live (their house) so I'll have to have a job, pay rent, etc, so I won't be able to homeschool him in that situation (because I'll have to work, but not yet have my degree)