Preschool...who knew it could be so complicated?
When it was time for Ava, my now kindergartner to go to preschool, I simply pooled the other mothers in our playgroup and promptly signed her up where her LBF (little best friend) was attending. Proud parenting moment...I know. It turned out just fine though, the play based religious affiliated preschool was good for her. The first two years she had wonderful teachers. This, her final year there has been ok...not great but not horrible either. I know I've written about this before, LBF is also a Chinese adoptee whom we met on our first adoption trip. The girls are practically inseparable and will attend different public schools in the same district next year for 1st grade. Honestly, the fact that she gets to keep close contact with LBF is a large part of why I'm keeping Ava at the school for another few short months. But now that Liv is preschool age, or will be in the fall I'm more seriously considering our early education options.
I'm sensing that Olivia might prefer a more low key child centered individualistic approach to time spent off mama's hip next fall. She self entertains pretty well and seems to have a decent attention span for a two year old. She is sensitive and kind. She will walk away from any confrontation and is fairly compliant for a two year old. I don't see her leading the band of three year olds in animal antics any time soon.
So, with this being said I wonder if she might be the type of kid who would do well in a Montessori program? I toured one school this week and they are accredited and seem to be Montessori purists. I liked the director and the kids seemed really happy. (Many Montessori programs only incorporate parts of the Montessori philosophy into their curriculum but are mostly play based programs.) However, they suggest signing a three year old up for 4-5 mornings a week. Oh, no that won't do for us. I can't imagine Liv going to school that many days a week at just 3 years old. Obviously they are catering to the working parent's schedule...which is fine...but not for us. (This school even seemed to have a feeder day care center down the street.)
I could opt for the mom's morning out program where she is now and continue into next year. But, it seems more like babysitting and I hate the way the teachers do a craft for the kids each week. I don't need a preschool teacher's obviously created craft on my pantry door each week. Why do preschool teachers seem to think that parents need perfectly constructed art each week? And what is my kid doing when they are completing the craft for my kid?
I did a little research into Waldorf schools. But I don't think we have one here in town. Then I looked into Reggio Emilia. I think I'd spend quite a bit of time as a preschool taxi service, there is not one on this side of town...that is if we could even get in.
Maybe the happy medium is accredited Montessori and finding one with morning hours to suit Liv's nap schedule, my reluctance to spend $100 a week on gas going back and forth to preschool and perhaps more importantly...allowing her a place to feel comfortable with other kids and grow up into a fine upstanding citizen who knows her way around a basket of beans. (forgive the small Montessori joke.)
Good grief...how many more years until kindergarten again?