Picking the Right Kindergarten

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Sheena and Samir made a tough decision back in March about whether to put their twin boys (who turned 5 in March) in montessori school or public school for Kindergarten. They spoke to several parents who went through a similar decision process and did a lot of research before making this decision. A little background – the boys have been in Montessori since they were 2.5 years old along with their younger brother, who started at 18 months. They did try the daycare route for a couple of months, but it didn’t work for them. As you saw in this article, mom and dad have been huge Montessori fans since day one. Therefore, when it came time to decide about Kindergarten, they were surprised to see that Sheena was leaning towards public school and Samir was leaning towards Montessori. We wanted to share their journey and thought process for those that may be in the same boat one day.

They created a pros and cons list to help them come to a decision for their particular situation and preference. This list is something they came up with personally and by no means reflects what a general thought process should be when making this decision. As you will notice, a few of the reasons were very personal to their situation.

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Kindergarten Montessori School

Pros:

  • We all love it!
  • We would ideally like for them to finish the recommended “3 year cycle” of the Montessori program
  • Twins will be among the eldest children in their class (where in public school they will be the youngest) which gives them the opportunity to be leaders at such a young age and that really does a great thing for their confidence.
  • Being leaders and teachers to the younger students develops them socially as well
  • Learning (reading, math, spelling, etc) is well beyond first grade level
  • Their last year is the time when a lot of their earlier lessons come together and become a part of their childhood educational understanding
  • Twins seem to thrive in the self-paced learning process as they both learn at different paces
  • They are never bored because the teachers are always making sure to present them with challenging lessons before they are free to choose familiar lessons or teach other children their lessons.
  • The teachers are very familiar with the kids’ strengths and weaknesses and cater to them.
  • Saiyan (the youngest) was going to stay in the school, so doing drop off and pick up for all three of them at the same time was a huge bonus!
  • They get to stay with their “friends” one more year

Cons:

  • Being beyond their years in education at Montessori, it can lead to the boys having a hard time adjusting to state mandatory curriculum when they do switch over.
  • The expense! (Public school is free and full day in our town)
  • They may become “too” comfortable with their close knit classroom that adjusting to a much bigger school will be scary and hard for them (but hey! at least they have each other)

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Public School – Kindergarten:

Pros

  • They would be able to create their friends/relationships at the start of their elementary school education, instead of coming in later.
  • The adjustment they have to make after Montessori can happen sooner rather than later, as they will have to make it one day
  • They get to ride the school bus with their neighborhood friends
  • They experience the real feel of a large school (just like mommy did)

Cons

  • They wouldn’t get as much personal attention and lessons from their teachers
  • They would most likely get bored in their class, as they will be educationally ahead of their peers
  • It would be hard for them to sit in a chair/desk and listen to a teacher teach when they have been so used to doing their own lessons and being interactive

Our clear choice ended up being Montessori! The twins are going to finish one more year there and then off to public school they go! We’d love to hear your thoughts on the choice between sending the kids to Montessori, private, or public school! It always helps us parents to know how we’ve all made these choices!

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