Many months ago, we threw Curly’s name into a lottery to try and ‘win’ a spot at our local Montessori school (which is free and considered a public school). There were 33 spots available and half of our county (which as of 2011 contained over 20,000 children under the age of 5) could vie for a spot. Two weeks ago, people received a letter in the mail if their child won the lottery. Our neighbors, who have a boy in Curly’s current daycare class, e-mailed us one afternoon to say they had received a letter in the mail notifying them that their son had gotten in, and their fingers were crossed for us. When we arrived home from work that evening, we had also received a letter: Curly got a spot.
The Montessori school is supposed to be wonderful. It goes from the age of 3 until 8th grade. While our local elementary school is very good, our local middle school is not and we were worried about what we were going to do at that point. It appears we don’t have to worry about that anymore. But there are a lot of other things to worry about…
The first year, 3 year olds go to school from 9 to 11:45am. That’s it. If you don’t have a stay-at-home parent in your family, you have to find somewhere else to bring your child the rest of the day. It’s also closed in the summer, since it’s public school. And there are lots of holidays and other days off, including field trips that 3 year olds cannot attend. Children must be fully potty-trained and self-sufficient at it as well (and all toilets are full-sized!). And the school is located 10 minutes from our house in the opposite direction of our current work and daycare, adding more time to our commutes…plus the fact that we’d have to pick him up on our lunch break. So Nutella and I freaked out about all of this for a few days until we decided that we would continue sending Curly to his current daycare from noon until 5 and during the summer. Our neighbors are most likely going to do the same thing with their son, and already checked with the Director who said it should be fine if we all continue to pay full price. Huge sigh of relief even though things will continue to be expensive for a while longer. We just have to work it out that he gets fed lunch as soon as he arrives at the daycare, just prior to their nap time.
I took a tour of the school last week and registered Curly as a new student. It was surreal. Surreal to see rows of lockers…to be asking the principal questions…to get lost in the hallways. He is only 3, and yet here we are. I was happy with what I saw though, and we think Curly will thrive in that type of learning environment. He could really use a push into becoming more independent, even though we hear a lot more ‘No, I do it!’ these days.
We’re going to work with our neighbors on developing a schedule so we can alternate drop-off and pick-up, even though that will mean buying a couple more carseats. And then next year, when school goes until 3pm, we’ll have to find an after-care program. And a summer program. And see if Curly can survive that long a day without a nap (sigh). We’ll also have to work on teaching him how to pee standing up this summer so he can attempt to use a full-sized toilet (at least they have stools). It’s going to be a very interesting ride.