Sunday, September 9, 2012

New Beginnings

Tomorrow our eldest heads back to Montessori school. The last time she was in a Montessori classroom she was 3, we lived in Georgia, her father wasn't a priest, and she had one less sibling. Times were very different back then but our love for the Montessori philosophy has remained the same.

It's funny how not having the option of something makes you forget how important it was to you. When we moved to TN, I was so broken-hearted our children wouldn't have the option of attending a Montessori school. Luckily they still had a few years left of preschool and I ran the preschool program they attended so I made it as Montessori-influenced as I could, but I knew once A started attending "real" school, we were stuck with the local public school as our only option. I knew we wouldn't be able to afford anything else and could only hope the places we lived in the future would have great public school option. Or I considered homeschooling, often.

In TN I wasn't thrilled with the local elementary school's policies (corporal punishment is just not for me), but I did like that the school was so small and so much a neighborhood school, it was Sewanee after all! I hoped the small class sizes and population of university families would help the bad reputation of Middle TN schools. But, even though it was just Kindergarten, it just didn't measure up and her reading skills were lacking.

When we found out we were coming to Charlotte, I researched schools and was amazed to discover Charlotte had 3(!) public Montessori schools! But they were only accessible by lottery and we had missed the cut-off. Luckily we moved into an area with an amazing school and we were very happy with our situation. I wanted to just be able to put our name in for the lottery though, just in case, and ended up going on an interview last year knowing our chances were slim entering as a 2nd grader. We never heard back though, and started school happily as now a Kindergartner and 2nd grader.

Then, on Thursday, they called to say they had a spot for A, and they needed an answer by the end of the day. This was amid a pretty crazy day that included J getting stung by 10 yellow jackets and going uptown during the DNC for a taping of the Daily Show (awesome, btw). That night we told A she got in and we thought it was a great thing and how excited we were. She was sad to leave her school but I could tell she was trying hard to be brave. She said goodbye to her old school Friday and took it all so maturely. I am so proud of her. We are beyond excited to be back in the Montessori mode and can't wait until they have an opening for H (but he'll be able to go next year, and M can start when she's 4!). It's the start of something new but also a remembering of something old, but not forgotten. A philosophy if life, education, and parenting. So happy to be there again with our amazing girl to lead the way!

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