I'm always impressed by people with babies who are asking such thoughtful and serious questions about their child's education!
I don't know much about Montessori, but am fairly well-versed in Steiner philosophies and Waldorf schools in the USA as well as in the greater Waldorf lifestyle of Camp Hill communities and biodynamic farms.
The local Waldorf school where we live is the only private school that offers tuition assistance. There are parents who drive up in big fancy SUVs and other parents who live in the nearby trailer court with a bus pass to get around town. It's economically diverse but not racially which is mostly because our community is 92% white.
Both our local Waldorf and Montessori schools begin foreign language, and two foriegn languages in grade K. I think this is SO important. Oh, I know there are many studies about brain development and language. Why I feel adamant about beginning languages early (and in an appropriate format) is empathy. I truly believe that an additional language is a gift to the heart in opening up understanding of other peoples and cultures.
There was some mention that homeschooling isn't an option because employment is a requirement. Every mom has to do what's best for her family, and I always trust other parents to know what's best for them. I would just say that if your heart
or your gut or even your rationalization points to homeschooling, you may want to know that there are many, many homeschoolers who are employed. I've met homeschooling moms who are
single-parents; who are in wheel chairs; who are blind; who are grandmas raising their grandchildren ... Personally, I would take a loving mom who was happy about her choices and our life than a rich or revered or fashionable mom anyday. But now, I've gotten off track.