Today I made a first visit to a local Montessori school to check it out as a possible preschool for our girl.
I liked it a lot. Great location out of the city. Teachers seem good. And the assortment of amazing educational materials (if you’ve been in a Montessori classroom, you know what I mean!) were inspiring. I kept wondering which of them I could make at home, do at home, add to our daily routines. Though of course, the focus of teaching at home with those materials, observing and nurturing sensitive periods, must be a tremendous challenge.
At the same time, to enter (which wouldn’t be until fall), our girl would have to be comfortable separating from us and being in class for 3 hours at a stretch, 5 days a week. And I just can’t see that without a reasonable amount of stress or possibly trauma in the process. I could be wrong, of course. And: do I want her in school 5 days a week? Because also, based on the teacher comments, I know that the focus is on learning, not creative play, for that 3 hour stretch. Creative, imaginative play will be redirected into working with the materials. I am reminded of what another friend said about her daughter’s Montessori experience: that after a day in the classroom, she didn’t have the emotional energy left to be creative.
I could imagine really integrating Montessori approaches & materials if I were focused full-time on home schooling. Unfortunately, right now I am not and can’t be for the next long stretch, barring a significant change to our financial situation.
As with most things: today gave me lots of food for thought, and we will see what happens.