Well I guess it isn't really drama anywhere but inside my own head. But damn, it is quite dramatic inside there!
So I went to tour the private Montessori elementary school today that I talked about in another post. And man...I kinda fell in love. What a fabulous school, and what a fabulous environment for my child to learn. But as much as this seems like it should be a slam dunk, it just...isn't.
The biggest hurdle, by FAR, is the finances. I knew this school was a private school and their tuition rates are listed on their website, so it isn't a shock. But coming home and actually crunching those numbers? Ouch. It boils down to the fact that it will cost a little over twice as much as I am paying right now for my son's school. That hurts. A lot. It hurts so much that it just really might not be possible. And that makes me want to cry right now. I need to have a serious talk with The Ex this weekend and see if we can make this happen. And for the record, she was there for the tour this morning, loves the school as much as I do, and wants to do everything possible to make it happen. But even with all that, it just might not be enough; dollars and sense wise.
The other things that I am thinking about really don't even compare to the price problem. I have some preconceived notions of schooling based on my upbringing, and a family rich in public school teachers. It seems odd for me to not ever get a "report card." It seems strange that my son would never have a real "test." And yet if I step outside my box: how liberating! An education based on actual learning as opposed to where one falls on their "testing" schedules. (I need to talk about this more later...)
The only other small "concern" is the transition from elementary to junior high. Leaving a Montessori elementary and transitioning into a "standard" junior high might be pretty tough. And we all know junior high is a tough time for kids anyway. It would be my hope that there is plenty of preparation for the child prior to that actually happening, and lots of parental interaction to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Not to mention that I think, no matter where you are, no matter what type of schooling you have gone through, the transition from elementary school to junior high is tough either way. So the question becomes, if I am concerned about the "transition," then is the answer to force that transition NOW? At age 5? As opposed to 5 or 6 years from now? I personally don't think so...
There are so many things that I think are great about this philosophy of education and I wish I had an hour to compose a fabulous post on all of them, but alas I have a client to get to. But I wanted to put a quick post up for those following to say that I loved, loved, loved the school. Loved it. But now comes the tough decisions. Can I really make this work? Is this the best decision for my son? That part isn't quite as clear yet.
If anyone has had experience with Montessori elementary schooling and/or the transition to junior high after, please either comment here or send me an email. I would love to get your input. And hopefully I will get more time to put together a more cohesive post on this later...