Wednesday, February 16, 2011

An Almost 4 year old Boy

We have decided to home school. I had hoped that my visit to the school would blow me away one way or another, but no such luck. So, it was up to the good ol' pros/cons list. The Montessori school, though it has the potential to be wonderful, also has the potential to be a huge financial strain, a source of extra stress (especially with getting out the door by a certain time), and a host of unknown problems because I couldn't guarantee they would educate my son the same way I would. I got _no_ reviews on this particular school, though I asked a list of very active and vocal Pittsburgh Mamas (who have been around a while and appreciate home schooling, alternative schooling, attachment parenting, natural health, etc.). I also have at best only heard mixed reviews for Montessori schools in general (lots of "my kid loves it, but I have problem with x, y and z.", "they think my 3 year old has ADHD" [though no one would/ at least should _ever_ diagnose it that early, and I know this because of my experience in the medical field; young children just don't have long attention spans, even the "advanced" ones! This clearly speaks of teacher ignorance and an absence of Montessori principles.] I don't know if people who are 100% satisfied with the experience simply don't report that or if mixed reviews or worse are what you get (or if I just haven't found the 100% positive reviews). I love the Montessori philosophy, but I can only guarantee it as far as I can guarantee the way it is filtered through modern individuals... and it's a big financial investment and other physical and mental strains that I can't justify for our family. Besides, I have all these skills, many of which I'm still paying for (OT student loans) and have already bought all these museum memberships (which would not get used as often if he were in school). So, if we sent him to school, not only would we be straining to pay tuition, we would be wasting money on top of it.

I read somewhere (I believe in "Raising a Son") that around 4 boys have a rush of testosterone making them even "crazier" than before. (I wish I could think of a better word, but right now I can't.) I believe it...

He also astounds me on a daily basis with his new-found skills and affectionate sweet-boy demonstrations. He will be 4 in about a month. It never fails that I am surprised and amazed when this time of year comes around.

He took this pic of our beautiful pup, Dana. :)
He wanted to put the 4 pieces of styrofoam the insulation guy gave him "in a hole" because said guy explained that's how they insulated Daddy's office, so I made him a game from a cup, cardboard from the recycling bin and tape (one side taped with packing tape to hold more permanently and one held with freezer tape so he could pull it up and get all the stuff out and start over.) I'm not excited about him playing with styrofoam, but those 4 pieces gave us a new game and work on spatial relations, hand-eye coordination, fine motor coordination and more.

You know the pom poms had to get involved. We don't clear the table off that much and it works so very well...

Every child should be allowed to play in the mud. He's ready to go...
and the ice/melted snow...

This education decision,other not-necessarily household family issues and my father being in and out of the hospital frequently have had me pretty "full to the brim"; thus all the art lately. It has been a truly soothing balm.

Thanks for reading and allowing me to share!


  1. I think you are making the right decision. We are pulling Bella from her school. I'm so sad about it because academically I love it and I feel like it has so much potential... but I hate pretty much everything else. We stuck it out this long because she was happy there and wanted to go.... no more. There is a pretty awesome blog called "Montessori Mom" if you want to incorporate some of the Montessori stuff at home. Lots of the materials are makeable/substitutable somehow.

  2. Thanks, JoAnna! I appreciate your support and your feed-back really helped me to make the decision. I'm sorry you've had to pull Bella out, but Kudos to you for doing what is right for you and your family. I think I've seen that blog. Thanks for the reminder, especially the name. I know I was thinking about some vague Montessori blog entry and wondering where I'd seen it. I'll definitely be checking it out! Keep me posted on your next move!