Tuesday, August 18

Montessori, anyone?

With moving comes a mountain of other time consuming, necessary changes -- finding new doctors and dentists, forwarding mail, updating billing address for everything, new checkbook, new drivers license, finding a new job, and the list goes on -- all daunting as an adult, but does not even begin to compare to having to move a child.

I spent eight months of pregnancy researching pediatricians and day cares, hoping to find what I thought would be a perfect fit for my child. And they have been, but now we have to start over. We loved Kindercare in the beginning, but now I would say we just like it. We loved that it had a curriculum, that there would always be an adult around, and that Nora would be around kids her age instead of the wider range found in in-home day care. As she grows, however, we're finding that they are more reluctant to deviate from the "schedule", and that everything must go as planned. I don't think they appreciate non-mainstream parents.

Anyway, somewhere along my search for the new perfect place I discovered Montessori. For those of you as clueless as I was, Montessori is an alternative education method characterized by child-led learning. The classrooms don't have an agenda and the children aren't expected to all develop at the same pace and take interest in the same topics. Montessori encourages children to think independently and puts a strong emphasis on personal responsibility. One of their arching principles is the belief that hands are an extension of the mind -- meaning the method generally takes a very hands on approach.

In a lot of ways, Montessori supports our parenting philosophy by following the childs cues, letting them develop at their own pace, and not forcing a schedule or agenda. Children stay in the same classroom for a number of years allowing them to form a strong relationship with thier teachers, which I also think is great.

Traditionally, Montessori was geared toward birth to 6-year-olds. The Quad Cities Montessori School accepts children as young as 2 and goes through age 12. I'm not 100% on this yet, but I love the concept and look forward to touring the school next time we're in town. My thought is if we love it, we can plan for Nora to attend once she turns 2 until she reaches school age, at which point we can re-evaluate whether we would like her to continue schooling at Montessori or transition to a more traditional school setting. It really seems like the perfect way to explore all the school has to offer -- trying the shoe to be sure it fits.

Now on to pediatricians...any recommendations? :)

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