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Debbie

Oh. My. Goodness. Gifted Program? Seriously!!!

I thought about Isaac's education since the day I conceived him as well and knew I'd never put him in public school. Not for all the same reasons as you maybe - but because it sucks. Forced schooling is not accomodating to boys and the public system is that much worse. I have serious issues with it (my own, of course) but knew I'd never put Isaac through it. I value him too much.

We tried Waldorf for a couple of years (parent-child classes) and much of what you said about Montessori could be said of Waldorf and Rudolf Steiner as well. While I may not have access to the behind the scenes antics as you did - it was very apparent that the school practices an "us against them" mentality which I do not like. They also sneak religion in under the radar of most parents...and this is fine if you are a religious person and don't mind your child being indoctrinated in the ways of christianity...but at least have the balls to stand up for what you teach and to not pull the wool over parents eyes until it's too late. They encourage families to abandoned non-Walforf friends and support the school financially until the only ties you have left are Waldorf-related. This makes for a difficult transition when your child is done school and you no longer have friends because you've abandoned them for your child's cult...I mean school. Just a few of my big issues with Waldorf. We've never tried Montessori because I decided that no one could honour him and teach him as well as I could. So, as you may remember, we are unschooling. I know this is our path. I'm passionate about it and have seen how well it can work. And...given that Isaac has taught himself to read at 3.5 I'm pretty sure any school system would be a disaster for him.

I hope you find out what works for you and your little man. I'm glad to see you struggling over your decision because it means you are actually giving it some thought. Too few parents do that. They just ship them off to the local school without a second thought. You are a good mama.

And as for the character flaws...HA! You want to compare lists? :)

xo
Debbie

Sarah

Debbie- thanks for the support. I agree with you completely about public school and your Waldorf experience. My husband and I have a lot of baggage surrounding traditional or what you referred to as forced schooling. It's not something we ever wanted for our guys and how I ended up a Montessori teacher in the first place. Believe me most of my annual salary would get funneled back to the school somehow. And the outrageous demands on my time left me little space to do anything outside being a Montessori teacher. Which I always argued lessened my ability to experience enrichments and enhance my teaching. Initially I had thought no problem I'll just homeschool him but he craves social interaction in a way I could have never anticipated. I know that doesn't close the door on homeschoolling but honestly he needs more social interaction than I can supply that's just who he is. You are doing a wonderful job with Issac and are an inspiration! :) Sarah

Debbie

I would never attempt to persuade someone to homeschool that didn't think it was the best fit for them. There are so many ways to educate our children and you'll find what works best for your kids and your family.

I do have a question though. How do you KNOW Gray is indredibly social? What signs does he give? This sounds incredibly ignorant, I imagine...but I guess I'm looking for something to compare (yes, I know...it's awful)Isaac to because I don't think he is a very social kid. Then I wonder...am I missing something? He LOVES people and prefers adults...but he definitely doesn't seem to require that interaction all the time. He seems to be very content at home with his mama. Just curious how Gray is...

Thanks for your insight...and your kind words. -Debbie

Annie

Oh goodness I could just chat and chat about school/preschool. I am grappling with some similar issues myself right now. I have found a school that I like and adore the teachers, but I am not sure I adore the classmates/parents. My husband will tell you, quite quickly, that I have elitist tendencies. Maybe it is the CT thing or maybe it is just me. I also was a teacher and am not super excited about the idea of sending my boys off to public school. However, I don't know that being at home with me 24/7 is best either. Unfortunately, I too am currently in a place that doesn't afford me many options without paying our entire savings. Ugh!

Sarah

Debbie- first off let me say I think homeschooling is a wonderful option and by no means think that children who are home schooled are less social or lacking in any way. Now let me say I am not the most out going person certainly not when I was a child. I was happy to be on my own and preferred that way most of the time. So imagine my surprise when Gray ended up being nothing like that. He mopes around if there aren't other children to play with. He begs to go places where he might see his "friends" (he's two so everyones his friend and no ones his friend). God help us if there are no kids around - he cries. He enjoys interaction with adults and is thrilled when there are people about. He does at times seem incapable of being on his own. He loves spendimg time with me but if we spend a day at home you better bet he'll grab my bag the next day and ask where are we going today? This of course concerned me a great deal until I realized it's just who he is; it's a challenge. I realized early on his appetite for social experiences were going to be to great for me to fill alone at home. You should count your blessings that Issac is content to spend some time with himself; I think it is a real gift.

Sarah

Annie- I could go on and on about this topic as well. This post was actually significantly longer but I trimmed it down because itnwas just ridiculous. Its wonderful that you have been able to find a school and teachers you love. It's such a challenge. But when looking for possible playmates form your boys the other classmates and their parents become just as important. It's so difficult.

Annie

I should be off to bed right now, but I thought I would pop in and see what's been happening. I just read your comment to my comment and holy cow it's like you took the words out of my mouth, only you said them more clearly. Today was the first day the boys went to school, without me, and with all the kids. I went early to help on the playground and it has scared me. It was a mess of boys, one of mine, all running after each other, up slides, down slides, jumping off ladders, and just yelling. I plan to give it more time, but I have a feeling I am not going to be happy with the outside time unless it starts to settle. Perhaps my high standards are clouding my judgement, but I am don't know if it is a good mix of folk. Do you know what I mean?

Sarah

Annie-I hope things settle down out there on the playground for you. It can be terrifying when there are a bunch of them tearing around. I often find the yelling and shouting the most disturbing. I totally understand what your saying. I hope it works out with some time especially since you love the school.

Katie

I just feel compelled to say as a former Montessori teacher You took the words right out of my mouth. You have said it so well, summing up EXACTLY how I feel on the topic of Montessori. I know exactly where you are coming from and I have experienced all those things (specifically: behind the scenes politics, nit picking, henpecking, idiocy and just plain ignorance as well as forsaking ANY other ideas that weren't Montessori even in cases where we had a child who NEEDED something slightly different more than I could bare as well. ( I don't take direction well either ;-) )
It is comforting to know that I am not the only former teacher who feels this way (and yet also still values some things about Montessori). Thanks for sharing this, makes me feel like someone out there "gets it." :-)

Sarah

Katie- Thanks so much for the comment. It's nice to hear from someone who had a similar experience as a Montessori teacher. I often feel like I will be persecuted under Montessori law for posting some of the " cons" ;) Its nice to know someone else "gets it"!

amc

Thank you, you successfully made me not even want to consider a Montessori School. Your privileged and pretension demeanor is actually quite sickening. Montessori is quite expensive so I suppose you think those that don't have as much money are just simply below your children. I guess you did say you were an "elitist". I was looking into if I should myself put my child in a Montessori school and came across this and thought well I definitely do not want to associate with a school that is linked to such negative entitled individuals such as yourself. Even to degrade a child because she improperly phrased a sentence and went to public school. My husband is an English teacher and while he would correct a child for that word usage, he would never judge a small child's intelligence on the way they phrased a single sentence. Hell, I use slang at times doesn't mean I'd write that way in my work.

So thank you, you have helped in my decision making.

Sarah

Dear amc.... I wrote this post several years ago....So to be honest I had to come back and reread it to fully appreciate your comment(and oh the misspells! eeek). When I wrote it I thought much of it was a bit "tongue in cheek" if you catch my meaning. Some of it pertains to my experience as a teacher and not a childs experience as a student. Since writing this I have gone on to have more children... two of whom are currently in public school. They have done very well academically. That said, I still wish I could have sent them to Montessori or a like minded private school and not for any "elitist" reasons(Montessori IS very expensive and we could not afford it, as we are not in ANY way rolling in cash over here, quite the opposite actually). Many Montessori schools are wonderful places where children are treated extremely well and respectfully. The community and bonds that are formed are unlike anything I or anyone I know has experienced out side of that particular environment. I am sorry if my snarkish post turned you off to Montessori. I think as a relatively new mother at the time the world looked very different than it does today ;) I would also urge you to visit a school and not base your choice on a post written by someone five years ago.

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