This whole summer as I’ve been conducting my Bastardized Home Montessori Preschool experiment I’ve thought of it as merely The Best I Can Do since “real” Montessori school wasn’t an option. But then two days before we left for our Texas/England four week vacation, I received an email from a local friend telling me about a new Montessori program run by a Montessori teacher with 16 years of experience. The school was literally across the street from the college campus where Michael works, which removed a HUGE roadblock since we only have one car and Michael has to pick up John twice a week while I’m teaching Mom’s Day Out.
We were able to visit the school the day we left for vacation. The room was still being set up but I already liked how well-lit, well-organized and asethetically pleasing the classroom was. I liked the teacher. And I also liked the price, which was slightly less expensive than the first program we looked into.
We arrived back from vacation on Sunday, I called and set up a classroom visit Monday, and last Tuesday my mom, John and I went to visit the school that had just opened the previous week. The primary thing I was looking for in this visit was how the teachers corrected John when he wasn’t using a “work” correctly – as that seems to be the primary difference between good Montessori and “Scary Montessori.” Since we’d been doing BHMP this summer, John pretty much understood the drill: take something off the shelf, work with it, put it back. But there were plenty of things there that he’d never encountered before, like the water pouring exercise. He picked up the little sponge and started dunking it in the green food-coloring stained water when the assistant approached and showed him how to pour without making him feel like he was doing something wrong.
I really, really wanted this for John. So we crunched the numbers and figured if I boost my freelance writing a little and we employ our Flexible Spending Account for Dependent Care, we would be able to afford Montessori school for John. We may eat beans all year, but at least John gets to learn to pour himself a glass of water. And, you know, read and stuff. Can you feel me grinning like a fool?
I’m really fighting to impulse to buy him this shirt.