Thursday, March 1, 2012

School Decisions

When a paper came home from school asking if my child was planning on attending kindergarten next year, I threw it away. It didn't matter to me because it didn't apply to me. Liam just turned 4. He hasn't even been through VPK yet. Well, sometimes decisions you weren't planning on making yet creep up on you. Liam goes to a Montessori school. They don't go by traditional grades at the Montessori School and though I knew this, I always assumed that Liam would be exempt since he wasn't "of age" to be in elementary. I guess I always thought the true schooling wouldn't start until he was supposed to start kindergarten.

When I picked Liam up from school yesterday, his teacher asked if I had received the paper and we got to talking. I explained that I wasn't sure what we would be doing with Liam as far as education was concerned because of money. In my mind, Liam would go into VPK next year and I would be able to use some Family Central vouchers and save a little money. Then we would have a year to think about where we wanted to put him.

The teacher informed me that in Montessori schools, they push the children and determine what grade they are in based on ability. They feel he is ready for kindergarten. THEY FEEL HE IS READY FOR KINDERGARTEN. I have to say I agree. It pains me to see him grow so fast, but he has mastered his letters and is doing well with numbers. He grasps the concept of math and loves to sound out letters, even asks me how to spell things. So now we have the decision to make as to what to do with this kid.

Here is my dilemma (and bear with this ridiculously long post but this is my outlet). Montessori schools are considered private schools. They cost money. A lot more money than free public schools. We can afford it in the way that we save no money while they are there. So there is that. And it's not to say that I think kids who go to public school aren't successful in life. That is obviously just not true. But it is true that I am not impressed with the school he is zoned for and even if I was, I do believe that Liam thrives in the environment he is in. I believe every child learns differently. There is no "one size fits all". And my UBER sensitive, engaging boy benefits highly from interacting with others. He has done so well where he is and it's become a bit of a family. I love that everyone in the entire school knows who both of my kids are.

So herein lies the dilemma. I feel like if I put him in public school, I am not looking out for his best interest. But then I also feel it would be foolish financially. It's one of those things you need to make a large pros/cons list for. Still making it. I am supposed to call the director of the school tomorrow to talk more about everything. Keep you posted. Let me know if you have any insight. 

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