Saturday, August 29, 2009

Beginning Again...

This is a quick post, but I will have more (though still sporadic) throughout the upcoming months. We are planning for another round of homeschooling, after many months of seriously considering sending the kids to a local Montessori school. To put it briefly: Brendan's company was affected by the slow Michigan economy, and he started looking for another job back in early spring. We decided that I would try to talk to local M schools and see if I could get a teaching job (and send the kids there as well). I talked to two schools, and one said they had a position and I would qualify for it if I signed up for a teacher training course. I was very excited, and we started talking with the school and working out the details. The kids all came into the school and were given an informal evaluation, I filled out initial paperwork, etc. The school kept me waiting, though, to actually fill out the final paperwork until they knew their enrollment figures for the fall. And as I was waiting and waiting, I had a feeling that it wasn't going to work out. In the end, it did come down to enrollment- they were short 20 preschoolers (they only have two preschool classes) and didn't need/couldn't afford to pay another teacher.

I was pretty sad to think of all that my kids would miss by not going to that school. Besides a traditional Montessori curriculum, the school also offered a large playground (with three sandboxes), a sledding hill and ice-skating rink in winter, swimming lessons for the Kindergarten and Elementary kids, and the chance for Gene and Lucy to make some new friends. I was also excited about the toddler program for Jane. It would have been kind of like homeschooling, just away from home, since we would all have gone together, and come home together, and the school in between would have been a great version of what I try to do at home.

Regardless, I am mostly over feeling sad and now am getting excited for the Fall. I will post more about what we'll be doing, but it will be a mix of traditional Montessori (as much as I can afford or have time to make) and a few other activities (Gene loves worksheets, and I will take advantage of that as long as it doesn't become a chore for him!) We will have some daily work (math, writing, spelling), Montessori choices out on the shelf for free choice, and a weekly or biweekly art and science lesson. I was sadly lacking in my art and science presentations last year, and I am going to try and remedy that this year. I found a neat book that presents art in a Montessori way- skill based instead of project based- and I will post about how the kids like it.

We start the day after Labor day, if I can get everything ready. And even if I can't, we're still going to start...!