Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's been too long

Wow, has it really been 19 days since I've blogged??? Yikes!

So much has happened over the last few weeks. Still no word about S & L's birthmom, but not much we can do about this situation anyway.

Some good news which has lowered my stress levels immensely is that I toured a Montessori charter school last week and was blown away!! This school was everything that I had hoped for. The best part is that it's free! I have two more campuses to tour next week and am just beside myself with excitement! The school is true to Montessori and what I observed in the classrooms is a very well thought out curriculum that uses the Montessori method the way Maria Montessori herself spelled out. No desks, children working together and alone quietly, and the Montessori materials I saw was very impressive. Every classroom even had the farm! I don't even think I've seen that at dd's private Montessori school! There is very high parental involvement and I got a really good vibe about our tour guide who I believe was equal to a vice principal. Oh, and let me mention again - it's FREE! You basically have to submit an application for each campus you want to enroll at and then the students are chosen by "random" lottery. They say it's random, but I do believe a child with a prior Montessori education in pre-school has a much better "random" chance of getting in. They said they have about 50 spots in kindy minus how many sibs are enrolling that year and they usually get 150 applications. However, she said, "People that WANT to be here will be here." That makes me feel good knowing that we have about 30 to 40 chances at 3 campuses.

I have to admit that Caroline and I have had the discussion on whether or not to wait that extra year and keep her in the private school for her 3rd year of Children's House (Children's House is what they call the 3-6 age group in Montessori) and then move her to the Montessori charter school for 1st grade. In most states the cut off date for kindy requires that the child must be 5 by the end of August or beginning of September to start. In CA, it's 5 years old by Dec. 2. Shaye will be 4 when she starts her 3rd year in CH (or the kindy program at the charter school), turning 5 that November. On one hand, why rush her into a kindy program months before she even turns 5? On the other hand, she is already so far academically advanced that entering into a kindy program after spending her 3rd year in Children's House would bore her to death. The big problem is that I want her (and Naia and Laela) to continue with a Montessori education all the way through the 8th grade and trying to enroll a child past their kindy year at the charter school is next to impossible!! Grades 1-8 only have 1 or 2 openings every year as opposed to the 50 openings in kindergarten. I just talked to a woman at the parent orientation that has tried for 3 years to get her oldest child in. This year makes the 4th attempt and now the child is already in 5th grade - which is honestly a little too late to start Montessori. In fact, I am checking into the only AMI Montessori program in our area and they said that they don't like to start children into their kindy program (Year 3 of Children's House). When I mentioned that she has been in Montessori preschool, they were like, "ohhhhh...ok. Lets talk then." There is a .001% probability that we would enroll into the private AMI school. The only reason I am going to tour their campus is to get an idea of how it differs from the charter school.

(SIDE BAR: All 3 of my children are in the hallway laughing HYSTERICALLYYYYYY because somebody let a stinker! God damn they are so funny!)

Anyway, I am just so damn excited that this school exists!!! If for some reason we don't get in, I will need therapy. No doubt.


kim said...

Is the one you like the Ca Montessori Project? I'm interested in that one too. If not, which one that was free did you like so much?


Queen of pink in a house of blue said...

i wish we had this many choices in our area! we are having to decide early on what to do for our 2 little ones now incase there are waiting list for private schools. with the cut off date, Z will have to go to pre-k the week after he turns 4 and D will have to go while still being THREE! that's nuts! i don't want them to start school that early! when it's time for middle school, they will not be mature enough to handle it (learned that with our oldest!)
I don't think we even HAVE a montessori school here! i know there is none listed anywhere i have looked! :-(
i hope you get the girls into the school you love! i know you have invested a LOT of time into finding the RIGHT one for your girls!!