Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Ongoing Debate

In my ongoing debate between keeping E at home for preschool or sending her to a school, I am leaning more towards keeping her at home.  Which has led me to much research and thought into HOW exactly I would do that.  This in turn has led me to look at repurposing some of the rooms in our home.  I love moving things around and re-decorating.  Maybe it's a girl thing, maybe it's just genetic.  My mom always "fluffed" our house when we were growing up.  You get tired of things and get in a rut.  Changing things around makes everything seem new again, even when it's not.  Unfortunately, in my house, with the furniture that we have and the layout that we have, my "fluffing" opportunities are few and far between.  So I am jumping at the chance to remake our office/exercise room (yeah, right, we never use that eliptical!) into a school room for E.  I have spent the last week measuring, pricing shelves, deciding where I would put certain things (like our computer, for example).  I have had great fun looking at my favorite homeschool and Montessori blogs, seeing how their learning spaces are set up.

I have also been doing a LOT of research into the Montessori materials themselves.  Which to buy now, which to buy later, which to make, and which to forget about.  I hear there is a yahoo group dedicated to making Montessori materials.  I guess I need to get a yahoo account.  I have decided I think I can inexpensively make things like dressing frames, sound boxes, and fabrics.  I am looking at making some of the sandpaper materials as well: land and water cards, rough and smooth boards, and perhaps the land and water globe - I have an old globe laying around that I could do something with.  I have also seen the constructive triangles that some people have made and think I could make those as well.

I don't, however, think I want to make sandpaper letters or numbers - cutting that much sandpaper does not appeal to me.  I think I will buy those.  Along with the pink tower, cylinder blocks, brown stair, red rods, geometric cabinet and solids, metal insets, binomial cube, and some of the cultural materials.  I have several spreadsheets dedicated to the decision of which materials to include at this time and I think I can get what I want AND get the schoolroom set up for price of about 2 month's tuition at my favorite of the Montessori schools we went and toured.

I am still trying to get the husband on board 100%.  He's about 75-80% there, but I want his full support before I go into something like this.  My biggest problem right now is trying to field all the "You want to keep her home for preschool???  Isn't playing with the other kids the whole point of preschool??" comments from well-meaning family and friends.  All I can say right now is that my mind is not totally made up.


Mari-Ann said...

Oh I have so much to say about your post! I went through the EXACT same debate last September. I hope you won't mind me sharing my story...

Last summer I found out about Montessori. I realized right away that this was a method of learning I absolutely wanted my James to benefit from. And I realized it was something I wanted to be a part of MY life, too.

I expressed this to my husband and he was totally on board with me teaching James. Getting him to agree with me taking a Montessori Teacher Training course and subsequently buying a lot of Montessori materials was another story. The cost of the training course, and, as you know, the cost for the materials can be pretty pricey.

{Oh btw, I'd be more than happy to shop talk materials, if you're interested - we sound VERY alike in that I too have a list of materials I own and need to buy and when!}

Anyway, after a month or so
and several "anticipated cost" lists and many heartfelt conversations my husband, he was on board with it all.

Homeschooling James for preschool was something I knew FOR SURE I wanted to do. The preschools here aren't much more than daycares, and the Montessori school here is BEAUTIFUL and true Montessori, BUT it costs an arm and a leg to go there (about 1500 a month). Like you, I came to the decision that buying the materials, transforming the playroom, and taking the training course would end up being MUCH less than a few months tuition.

Lastly (sorry this so long) I totally hear you about all the well-meaning (most of the time anyway) remarks you'll get from your peers and maybe even family. I get them all.the.time. My response? I know it's something that's right for our family and I can see for myself that James is absolutely thriving by what we're doing The remarks no longer bother me at all.

As for the social interactions there are playgyms, playgrounds, playdates, music and/or art classes where your little one can join in with other children. You could even invite one of her little friends for an afternoon of school!

Whatever you end up doing make sure you listen to your mommy instinct. Don't worry about your husband, or what other parents might say. :)

Counting Coconuts

Musical Mama said...

Thanks, Mari-Ann! I'd love to "shop talk" with you. Hee!

I am not at all concerned about social interactions. Like I told one friend of mine, it's not like I'm planning on locking her up in the house and never letting her out!!! My goodness! Talk about over-protective. :)