going to school

Posted on December 3rd, 2013 by mountain girl  |  6 Comments »

That’s my little homeschooler, right in the middle of all those other kids. In school.

For a while Zia has been wanting to do more with other kids, and not just go on play dates. She wants to do work with them, eat lunch with them, stand in line with them, wear a backpack along with them.

That sounds a lot like school to me.

So I’ve been looking for some kind of supplemental homeschool program for her. Everything I’ve found is either too far away or has too long of a wait for enrollment.

Except for this:

It’s a Montessori first-and-second grade classroom, inside our local public school, about 5 minutes from our house.  It has loads of learning materials and manipulatives, a good (and nice) teacher, and a dozen or so students.

The kids looked happy, and they were always moving around–some working together, some separately, and some with the teacher.  They looked bright and motivated, and were really curious about us. They kept asking if Zia could stay in their class.

There were colored wooden blocks to teach binomials; strings of beads to teach multiplication, skip counting, and cubed numbers; number trays to sort the correct amount of wooden sticks into.  There were drawers of cards titled prefix, suffix, and other parts of language, and wooden 3-D shapes each representing a noun, verb, adverb, adjective, etc.

There were no desks, but places to read, tables to work at, a fish tank, shelves of books. There were different areas for science, social studies, literacy, math. I’m sure there was more, but that is what I could take in at first glance.

The Montessori school runs four days a week, eight hours a day, and covers preschool through 5th grade. There are 3 other classrooms, each stocked with its own trove of materials.  Enrollment (besides preschool and full-day kindergarten) is free, thanks to generous district funding soaked up from all the casinos in town.

So after a few phone calls, we obtained permission from the superintendent to have Zia attend the specials: Art, Music, PE, and Library (each with its own teacher). They run for an hour each afternoon, one or two subjects at a time.

After the specials time, there is an hour of chores and free time back in the Montessori classroom, until the parents come to pick up their kids.

Yesterday was Zia’s first day. She went to art class and then stayed for the hour after (which happened to be a birthday party). The kids were so nice to her, and literally had their arms around her, leading her through the classroom and explaining everything about it. She loved it so much, too much. Today she begged me all morning (with tears) to go full time.

I’m not stuck to homeschooling if something else works better for her, but this is kind of fast for me. I like Montessori method, this teacher, the classroom, and the kids–but eight hours is an awfully long time for a little girl who has been home her whole life. I’ve been telling her that all day, but Oh, no. I want to go for eight hours. And I NEVER want to do homeschool again.

Hmm. Well, I’m not sure how all this will end up. I’ve spent one sleepless night over it already, envisioning everything from her getting hurt in gym to crying over mean schoolmates to junior high drama to high school boyfriends. I think I’ll try to stop thinking about it for a little while.

And now, I’m off to take this poor school-deprived child to her class.

6 Responses to “going to school”

  1. Mom & Dad says on :

    Oh my what a beautiful big girl 🙂 be happy lil Zia and have fun luv u/grandma

  2. Lyssa says on :

    Wow. I never thought about that being a possible situation when I begin to homeschool my kids! I went to “real” school (local public) at age eight, per my request, but I disliked it so much that I dropped out after one semester. Some children thrive on the structure and classroom cooperation of a school system, though, and maybe Zia really will enjoy her time there.

    Good luck navigating these tricky waters, mama. It must be so tough!

  3. Tiffany says on :

    Sounds like it will be a lot of fun for her! It’s great that you have that option so close to home too! Best wishes for your sweet Zia! 🙂

  4. Hannah says on :

    my real life schooling thoughts say… if the shoe fits wear it until it no longer fits (but all day? ohhhhh please noooo lol) about once a week bunny makes the trek across the creek to her nana’s little montessori preschool, for the morning.

  5. GRANNY says on :

    THIS MUST BE A DIFFICULT CHANGE FOR YOU MIA. IT REMINDS ME OF WHEN IKNEW CALEB WAS LAVING US AND GOING WITH YOU GUYS. I THOUGH IUD DIE BUT I WANTED WHAT WAS BEST FOR HIM. GOD WILL TAKE CARE OIF HER. LOVE GRANNY

  6. mountain girl says on :

    Thanks, Granny!

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