It’s that time of year again, time to think about back-to-school and WHICH school. Lilah has been in Montessori for the last year. She is now 4 ½ and could start Kindergarten in public school this fall but her Montessori has a Kindergarten program as well. What to do? I’ve been reading many parent blogs and other forums about what has worked or not for their little ones and I’ve been talking to the other parents about this subject. About half of Lilah’s class and close friends are heading off for different schools but for a variety of reasons. Here are some reasons parents are taking or not taking their 4-5 year-old children from Montessori.
Reasons to Leave:
- Their local public school is good and the money paid for Montessori can be used for other things like sports, music and dance classes.
- Their child is already 5 and they are moving them to another private school that starts at K. Depending on what level they test at the child may move to K or 1st, plus they have been at Montessori for 3 years now and have reached a high level.
- Some feel their child will be going to the local public school for 1st grade so if they move now they can start making new friends and get them used to the structure of public school.
- The general thinking is that if your child is at a good Montessori they may already be academically ahead of public school kids. Grade skipping is rare so if they move to public school earlier the child won’t be so far ahead that they are bored
Reasons to Stay:
- The Montessori program is a full day for Kindergarten (where public is only a half day). Their child is happy (and excelling) where they are AND afternoon child care is not needed. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
- Many children have been looking forward to being the oldest (and wisest) child at the Montessori. This is their chance to take younger children under their wing and for them to solidify the lessons and habits learned in the previous year(s).
- If your local public school is not a good fit (either academically or socially) this gives time to find a public or private elementary school that does fit. To switch schools now just to have them switch again next year would only disjoint their lives. Kids need stability and structure.
- Since there is a good chance my child will be academically advanced when she starts public school she will have energy to focus on meeting new friends. True there will be a different type of structure in public school but for any child moving from K to 1st grade sitting in assigned desk will be new. If she can follow instructions, and have a good attention span and social skills she will adjust when the time comes.
Did any of you have to make this decision? What are your thoughts on this subject?