March 20, 2008

Thoughts on Preschool or The Voices In Mah Head

A word of warning. I highly recommend that you pop a few tylenol or excedrin or maybe even some valium before reading this. Don't say I didn't warn you.

So, here we go.

It has become increasingly obvious that I need to get off my ass and figure out what the hell I'm going to do about the whole preschool sitch-e-a-shun for Dylan. My thought is that I'd like to get him into something for the fall season. Hopefully I don't run into too many waiting lists.

And so it begins. Below are the thoughts running through my head on a fairly constant basis.

Preschool? Preschool? Holy shit, he's ready for preschool. But what KIND of preschool? Do I put him in one that's held in somebody's house or do I put him in one that's a little more like real school? Or do I put him in a Montessori, which is IN FACT a real school. And having said that, do I put him in one up here where we live or in Santa Barbara where we spend a lot of time. If I put him in school up here I need to be HERE while he's THERE so I'm not an hour away should any injury or bomb threat occur, which means I can't go to SB on those days, which means I'd have to rule out Fridays because that's payday and is definitely a day I HAVE to be in SB. So, I could do MWF mornings in SB, but that would mean I'd have to be in SB 3 days a week, instead of the usual 2, which isn't really a huge deal, but SB days are rough on little baby Zach who doesn't sleep well and, truth be told, I don't really want to force him (or me for that matter) to be out of our comfort zone, aka our house, more than I need to. I'm a stay at HOME mom for a reason, no? I could, I suppose, put Dylan in ALL DAY school on Wednesdays, and DJ could drop him off and pick him up which would give Zach and I the opportunity to stay home on Wednesdays by ourselves and have some alone time together, which would be really nice. We've never really had that opportunity. Or, I could change things up all together and put him in school up here on Tuesdays/Thursdays. That, however, would force us out of Dylan's playgroup, which, let's face it, is more about me hanging out with my MOMs Club lady friend's. That wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Or would it? Also, if he were in school on Tuesday/Thursday and we're in SB on Monday/Friday, he'd only have 1 day at home during the week, which doesn't really give me the warm fuzzies. He'll only be 3 1/2 or 4 for crying out loud, which is still pretty little and I'M not really ready to be "rid" of him. I like having him around.

Which brings me back to what KIND of school to put him in. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea of Montessori. Play learning? How awesome is that? That, to me, is right up Dylan's alley as he's a smart little bugger who learns most things from doing puzzles and such and has never really been the kind of kid you can DIRECT. He marches to his own beat and does not like being told what to do or how to do it. That's why I think Montessori would be good for him. He'd be the one "in charge" of his learning, with help from the teachers. BUT, maybe being in a structured environment would really HELP him and teach him how to conform? That word makes me cringe. That's not what I want. Is it really conforming? I'm not sure that's right, but that's what it makes me think of. He'll sit and concentrate on building a house with Lincoln Logs or putting together a puzzle and when complete, will jump up, arms raised in celebration and will yell "What we do next?" and will shortly be off to the next activity. I can't picture him following a schedule that has him sitting patiently in a circle while someone reads a book or sitting in a seat while a teacher talks at him. Not, at least, at this stage in life. But I also can't picture him spending his entire elementary education at a Montessori. Or maybe I can. GAK! BLAK! ARRGHH!! AHHH!!!!!

Maybe I need the valium.


Call me Ms. Maxwell said...

I'm a Montessori evangelist. MiniMe has been there for 4 years (started part time just after her 2nd birthday and is now in kindergarten) and we're keeping her there through 3rd grade. Great learning model for any kid, regardless of "style." If you ask MiniMe what she likes best about school, she says "free time" but her 3 Rs are still pretty respectable (I'll spare you the MommyBrag).

Okay, done evangelizing. And you didn't even ask for opinions... ;-)

Z said...

No advice for you on this one, but god luck with the decision making!!!

Z said...

oh, obviously god luck = good luck ;)

Grandmaother said...

I remember when you and Quart went off to preschool....
I got over it.

And by the way, he'll be fine, wherever you decide to put him.

Jennifer, Le Binky Bitch said...

These are my exact concerns (minus the Santa Barbara stuff since I live in Indiana.) (Duh.) I add the cost factor in, too, since the Montessori here is as much as my college tuition was per year.

And trying to coordinate with a napping baby is the worst. How do people with 3, 4, or 10 kids DO IT?!

Also, I was just catching up on your post about cups and OMG I've gone to the 1 cup a day rule because of several near misses.

EatPlayLove said...

I went through the same thing last year. We decided on the neighborhood church program, even though we aren't members. It's the "love thy neighbor" sort of feel.

Montessori is a great way to educate. You should definitely visit. My 4 year old would go bonkers in the silent/quiet classroom that montessori creates. But then again, she's a dramatic chatty-kathy.

You'll know what feels right for him when you visit/tour. Trust your instincts.

papa-oomau-al said...

GMO is absolutely right. You and Quart had to adapt to new homes, new schools, even new states, and look how you turned out...

(Shit, now that I think about it, that's not a very convincing argument, is it?)

OK, how about this: Dylan will blossom wherever he winds up; it's his nature to thrive. Give him a long leash and hang on tight!!

HRH said...

I am so confused.

Oh, and I think Jennifer BB should consider SB. Now that would be a commute that a baby could sleep during.

I can speak for this person with 3 kids...I don't have the energy to send my pre-schooler to pre-school. I know! His brain is rotting right now...

I am sure whatever you decide will be great. He is a smart cookie and will probably be teaching the teacher a thing or two. I do LOVE the Montessouri thing.