Thursday, March 26, 2009


So I'm convinced if I don't start my kids in pre-school at exactly the right time or send them to exactly the right school, they will become dismal failures.  And, let's face it, I don't want to be the mother of dismal failures.  I think my therapist would be wise to point out my obsession is more about me than them.  But then I'd have to fire her for insulting me in that manner which is probably why she just says things like, "Mmm-hmmm... I see..."  

I've been researching The Montessori School here in Chicago and their philosophy is as such: "Montessori emphasizes self-directed activity on the part of the child and observation on the part of the educator."  Ummm, okay. Well, I can observe my kids with the best of them and it won't cost me 2000 smackers per month.  It also "discourages grades and tests under the premise it is damaging to the inner growth of the child."  Errr, this sounds like an easy teaching gig.  You observe and then don't grade.  And then the scare tactic:  They believe the mind is most open to learning from birth to age 6. Eeegads! They've confirmed my biggest fear -- I MUST IMMEDIATELY GET THE GIRLS INTO THE RIGHT PRE-SCHOOL OR INTO HOLLYWOOD (where I understand being stupid is okay).

Also from their web site: "At this age, children believe that they are the center of the universe and everything revolves around their wishes and whims.  When they enter the Montessori environment, they quickly discover that they have to sublimate their wants and desires to those of the larger group."  Montessori will in turn quickly discover my kids don't give a shit about the desires of the larger group. Not even the relatively small group consisting of their parents.

No, friends, I do believe the Montessori school may not be for us.  Plus, I thought the Italians were known for their food and sexual prowess, not their smarts...  On the plus side, Montessori advocates water being implemented into their teaching methods and my kids do enjoy bath time... Bath time in my house, however, is free.


  1. So glad I never had to find a pre-school. The stress by proxy is about to give me hives.

  2. De-lurking on the much heated subject (at least in my house) of Montessori schools. The hubs and I also were big on the "gotta get 'em into the right school at the right time" bandwagon. I did months of research and here's how it turned out:

    I have a very bright little nephew (Big C) he went into Montessori preschool knowing his colors, being able to count to 10, singing his abc's etc... Fairly normal preschool fare, maybe a little ahead, but certainly not lightyears ahead, of his peers. As far as I can tell, school consisted of going from "work station" to work station all day (they had to go to each station for 15 minutes, then they could go back to their favorite(s) for as long as they wanted). The work was things like poking holes in paper around a leaf (prick work, as it were, imagine the day he came home with that one! Me: "What you do in school today?" Big C: "Prick work" Me: "Wha-Wha-What?!? What is that?" Big C: "You know, PRIIICK WOOORK" normal 3 year old response). At any rate, he learned very little, was bored a lot of the time and came home with lots of little tidbits that indicated the teachers were talking politics to the kids (fine for 4th graders, if objective, not fine for 3 year olds, especially when NOT objective) and not being objective about it. He also came home FILTHY everyday. Usually he could not tell us anything that he learned or did.

    We moved him into a traditional private school for Kindegarten, and I'm way impressed. He's learning a lot. He comes home everyday with stories of what he's learned and with papers that he's worked on. Much better choice (and HALF the price) I wish we'd have started him in this school.

  3. Amen. With three kids (and WITHOUT giant bags of money we didn't know what to do with), we worried quite a lot about the preschool situation. We finally decided against it altogether. I do day care and do, in fact, spend time talking to the kids, reading with them, encouraging them to ask questions and trying to answer them (even when they're things like "what does God look like?" or "how does a volcano work?"). And my oldest is now in kindergarten and having a delightful time. The public school is very good, we're involved in his education, and I think he's going to be a smart, well educated kid even without being free from academic pressures exerted at the tender age of 5.