She's three now. This means she's outgrown my Assistants to Infancy training and poised for primary. Now we have a decision to make.
Right now, Nuvy's enjoying our neighborhood co-op nursery school, which is sweet and lovely, very play-centered and child-centered, and lots of parent involvement (with the co-op thing and all). She is there because she was too young this year for the area Montessori primary programs, and I didn't find an infant-toddler Montessori program within half an hour's drive. It was an easy choice. It's very well thought of in our area, and with good reason.
The next choice, however, is not so easy. We love our preschool, but it is not a Montessori program. The philosophy combines some traditional elements, some Montessori-appropriate elements, lots of Waldorf-appropriate elements, and a lot of attention to detail, which makes for a really lovely preschool. However, I'm wondering if I will be able to square my Montessorian educational philosophy with this approach. No Montessori handwashing, no beautiful lunch, no long chains, no practical life, no work mats, no birthday ritual, no gardening, these are the elements of the Montessori Curriculum that made me fall in love.
On the other hand, she's happy. It's very close to home, so the community is made up of our neighbors. It feeds some very nice elementary schools. The nearest Montessori program that is like the ones I'm used to is half an hour's commute away (but it's fantastic!). The nearer program is well reputed, but it's a religious school, which I'm not sure is what we're looking for. (we had our ups and downs as non-catholics in a catholic school as kids. If we're doing religion, I think I want it on my own terms.) There are a few other "Montessori" schools nearby, but none has passed my sniff test. (One "lost its accreditation and is working toward restoring it" um...no.)
So now I'm torn. Do I take a chance and move her to the local catholic-infused Montessori school (yes, I know Montessori was a catholic--but she was not running a Catholic School.)? Do I haul her out to the main line every day to attend the grande dame Montessori in town? If I leave her where she is, will I squander her absorbent mind? Will it just be absorbent, and get all the good stuff regardless? Can I fill in the practical life at home? Will I make her teachers hate me with all my Montessori crap? Could I ever forgive myself (no matter what I decide) if she has trouble in high school?
The re-enrollment form is due at the end of January. So I have a few weeks to think about it. Oh, wouldn't you rather just talk about Van's infant-toddler development?