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<p>I posted this in the Stay at Home Parents forum but I wanted to see what you guys thought too.</p>
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<p>I have a 3 year old and I'm due with our 2nd in March.  My son is currently in full time care at a wonderful Montessori School which he loves and is doing great in.  I've always wanted to stay home but we haven't been able to afford it until this coming year.  I'm an elementary teacher and I'm always concerned about being on top of his education and what he is doing so that he has less of a chance of struggling in school. (I see children who are struggling everyday and it scares me).  Anyways, I worry that if I stay home I won't be challenging enough for him or that I won't be enough for him.  I can't afford to stay home and put him in the program (even half a day).  So I guess my question would be:  What would you do?  Do you stay home and take him out of the school?  I feel like this is a silly concern but it is what I keep thinking about.</p>
 

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<p>There are plenty of homeschooling Montessori families.</p>
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<p>Does his school offer any scholarships and have you looked into that application process?</p>
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<p>Well, I'm currently looking for a job specifically so I can keep DD (and send DS and DD2) in her wonderful Montessori school.  So that's my vote for me... but really it's such an individual decision.  Would you be able to find any part time preschool for him?</p>
 

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<p>I think the question for you is if you'd rather stay home and homeschool or if you'd rather work and send your kids to the Montessori school.  Either way your child can have a GREAT education but I'd consider the work issue for yourself first and then decide accordingly.  It seems like you're definitely leaning towards wanting to stay home, which is completely fine if that's the path you decide to take! but I would consider a few things first before pulling your son out of his Montessori school:<br><br>
- Do they offer any scholarships?<br><br>
- Since you have a degree in education would you be to assist in any way at the school itself to help off-set the cost of tuition?<br><br>
- Could you work part-time at your old school just while your child was in school to help pay for tuition?<br><br>
- Could you tutor on the side (for instance, is there a local university that has elementary education students that might want to be tutored)?<br><br>
If sending him to school is not an option (either you'd rather homeschool or financially it's just entirely improbable) then you have to think about HOW you want to homeschool him.  It sounds like he's doing great in his Montessori class but have you research Montessori enough to be able to do it at home?  Would you be willing to buy/make the needed materials (i.e. have low shelves, child size furniture, the pink tower, sandpaper letters, etc)?  Some of the materials you might already have at home or you can restructure what you have at home already to offset some of the costs.  <br><br>
But it seems like you have a lot to think about first before making your final decision!<br><br>
I will say that right now we're trying to do a lot of Montessori-esque stuff at home to prepare DD for when I go back to work (and she'll then start a Montessori preschool).  Basically, we have low shelves where her toys are neatly arranged (we actally cleared out A LOT of her toys to make that possible).  We also have a shelve just for her snacks so she can acccess them herself and ditto for shoes (the only piece of clothing that she can reliably get on and off by herself).  I'm also found some good blogs from homeschooling Montessori families that have cheaper ideas of things you can do at home. Sometimes I've just made do with what we have.  For instance, once I set up tongs and two buckets+ DD's Little people and showed her how to transfer them back and forth between the buckets with the tongs.  It certainly wasn't kosher by Montessori stands since it was plastic and the Little People had a dual purpose then but DD thouroughly enjoyed it and I didn't have to spend a dime.  :D</p>
 

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<p>I really think it is an overall quality-of-life issue.  And it's a hard one. I might be in this position after my mat leave and there the challenge is that we wouldn't be able to send our younger kid to Montessori if I were home, but our older would have received that advantage...tough one. I'm hoping I'll be able to go back to work for a wide variety of reasons, but Montessori + afterschool care for the elder gets a bit nuts.</p>
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<p>Anyways, my perspective is that I'm sure your home will be fine - with your background probably better than fine.</p>
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<p>At the same time so much of what my son's learned at his Montessori has been from observing the other kids. So personally I have a bias that homeschooled Montessori is just not the same. That doesn't mean I think being at home isn't great...I just don't think it's the same.</p>
 

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<p>My initial reply is that I would give my right arm to stay home (even though I take my daughter to work with me it just isn't the same) but I do understand that it isn't just that simple.  I think you have gotten some great advice already and going off of what Guildjenn said about the Montessori environment, would you consider watching other children in your home?  The benefits of additional income plus social interaction for your children might be a great solution.  Good luck.</p>
 

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<p>As someone who wishes I had pushed harder to stay at home longer after my second was born, my first thought is that if you have to decide between preschool and staying at home with an infant, I personally would choose staying home.  That said, I know it would have been hard for my older one, who was in preschool when his sister was born, had I pulled him out.  He is Mr. Social, and I can't even begin to quantify what that child got out of the amazing social setting of his 2 preschools (one Montessori, one not).  In retrospect I wish I had done it, but I do know it would have not been the best decision for him as an individual, just a better decision for our family as a whole.</p>
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<p>I wouldn't worry about your son not being prepared for kindergarten... you're an elementary teacher, you know what to do. :)  But if you decide to stay home, and your son is going from full time care to no outside the home preschool, definitely think about how you'll structure the transition so you don't both go crazy.</p>
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<p>One other idea. I see you are due in March.  Could you afford to have him finish out the school year in his current setting?  Remembering those first couple of months as the mother of 2, it would have been much harder to start homeschooling a kid used to being in preschool with a 2 week old than with a 2-3 month old. </p>
 
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