This morning I left Genoa with Carol so I could attend the "showcase" at Alex's school. I came home and wrote all about it over at The Mom Street Journal, but the gist of that post is that I'm feeling more and more like taking him out of school is the right decision. Today was meant to be a big marketing day to encourage parents to re-enroll their children next year (and past preschool through the even more expensive elementary school years), but if anything, it had the opposite effect on me.
Today I learned that instead of getting to work with the Montessori beads that teach kids math in a really cool way, he's been grating nutmeg and get this: cutting paper with SCISSORS. We've basically spent almost four grand so our kid can learn how to juice an orange. I feel slightly bamboozled. I also feel like for whatever reason, the teachers aren't working with my kid enough. I saw first hand what some of his peers have been learning and I feel like he's been left out. I am certain he is capable of more and I had hoped the Montessori method would bring it out of him, but I think it's been the opposite.
I'm sure some kids excel in a setting with a lot of independence and no competition from their peers, but Alex isn't necessarily one of them. [For example, today he told me he would "grate more nutmeg than ANYBODY else! It would fill up the classroom! But oh how I wish it had been, "read more books than anybody else!"] Montessori is also famous for its low-key quiet atmosphere, an atmosphere in which the antics of rowdy boys, I dunno, like MINE, tend to be looked down upon instead of channeled into other areas. At his current school there is no outdoor (or indoor on rainy days) play time until AFTER the entire school day is over. He's outside playing when I pick him up and I see him running around and getting all those willies out and I wish he had more opportunities to do that during the school day, instead of just at the end.
So yeah, when they say that not every preschool style works for every child, I think it's important to PAY ATTENTION. Montessori hasn't turned out to be a great fit for my child (although for some reason I think it would be perfect for Genoa!). I hope the program we've picked for next year will be a better fit. (They get outdoor play time during the school day and the academics portion of the class is a DAILY requirement of all the children, not just something he only does when he feels like it). We'll see. The price is certainly a better fit.
More and more, I'm looking forward to having my boy with me and to getting a bit of a preschool-like structure going at home. I've already started listing out all the various ways I hope to fill our days, so I'll definitely be sharing that as it unfolds.