I am often asked how we came to decide on a Montessori preschool for Evelyn. Fellow parents hope to glean helpful tidbits from our research, get insights into our frame of mind, and find out about the pitfalls / benefits to the education style. I’ll clue you in on our decision making process:
1. Evelyn turns two. I go insane. Need is identified for some sort of regular social interaction for incredibly verbal child.
2. Kind stranger in the park informs Mama that the neighborhood school offers a FREE kindergarten program that begins at age three. Free. Public. Preschool.
3. Enroll child as soon as humanly possible. Turns out it was a Montessori program. That’s how we chose it.
I actually love it, thankfully. What helps our family the most, in my humble opinion, is how the teachers help me see my daughter as a child capable of so many things. She can pour her own milk. She can sweep the floors. She can feed the cat and clean her room. She can write her name. (She really can. It’s improved so much this last week.) Learning to see my kiddo as an independent person has taken SO much stress off me, the parent. It reminds me that I am here to guide, not govern. That I can make suggestions, but I do not get to dictate. I am not responsible for turning her into a “successful” person (whatever that means) – I am here to help her as she figures out who she is and how she can contribute. She will make her own choices and have to live with the consequences. I cannot shield her from all pain, nor should I, because in the process I would inevitably shield her from some of the greatest joys, too.
When we moved to Seattle, we thought the one thing we could keep consistent for her was the Montessori teaching style. We found a school, took the last available opening, and she’s been thriving ever since. In the fall she will “graduate” (with a whole graduation program and everything – sheesh!) and this time next year she’ll start a traditional Kindergarten program.