Thursday, January 12, 2006

Schools

Today we went to see another preschool in hopes of enrolling our kids in school starting next September, that will not cause us to mortgage our house to pay for it.
So far, that plan has failed. The cheapest school I have found so far, is a Christian preschool which will cost us $425 a month for the twins for three days a week, three hours each day.

The school was ok, it was clean and it had small classes. They taught about God along with regular preschool curriculum. The only thing that worries me, is it is part of the evangelical church here.
Don't get me wrong, I am a Christian, raised Episcopalian to be exact, but I am not a "church person". I do not go to church regularly but I plan on it once the kids are slightly older. I love God, but I also love him from my bed on Sunday morning. I do not believe that you must go to church every Sunday and maybe even during the week to be a "good" Christian.
The encounters I have had with born again Christians is that they want to recruit you and I am really hate having a conversation with someone who questions me repeatedly if I have "found Jesus" or "have you been saved".
It is just not me.

So as of right now, I will be looking into one other church preschool and the two Montessori school in my area.

Wish me luck, and the lord be with you.

6 comments:

  1. I know I need to get on the ball and start looking. My son is only 22 months, but from what I hear, the schools in my area have 2 year waiting lists!!! :) As for the Christian school, I know how uncomfortable it can be getting those questions. I'm a regular church-going Catholic and love God, yet I get those questions from my non-Catholic Christian friends all the time - they are always trying to "recruit" me for their bible studies, and their couples groups. I still don't understand why. We're both Christians, we just practice our faith differently. Anyhow, I wish you luck in the hunt :)

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  2. Good luck with that! I have yet a few years to go before I have to search for schools :)

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  3. We have 3 friends who sent their kids to 3 different Montessori schools and they seemed to do pretty well in that environment. The one guy, though, has been employment-challenged (not totally unemployed, but employed on a project basis and then hunting between projects) and I think they're finding it difficult to swing the tuition... all these people's kids stayed in the Montessori system from Preschool into elementary school. But this one guy told me recently his kid will transition to the public schools in fall of '06... their kid must be in second or third grade at this point. But transition from the Montessori system to a conventional system can apparently be a pretty big change.

    When we looked at Montessori for Logan, we knew if we sent Logan, we'd have to send the two girls as well, when their time came. And then we viewed the Montessori system as a kind of commitment by us to our kids... that we wouldn't plan to move them out of that system unless absolutely necessary. Obviously, the financial implications of that are enormous, as Montessori elementary schools can run some serious scratch.

    Fortunately, for us, Logan flunked out of Montessori after 3 short days. They only want a certain kind of kid in that environment, apparently... and they were very up-front in explaining they cannot serve a broad spectrum of kids' needs. And they certainly weren't doing Logan any good. The day Trish told me Logan was sitting in the playground, almost in tears, with a teacher standing on each side of him watching other kids play made me realize that just wasn't a good fit for him.

    Long story short, after those 3 days, we moved him to our town's preschool program, which turned out to be a very good program. A private preschool, you pay to go there and all, but run by the town and they had a whole battery of specialists available to help with a broad spectrum of kids' programs. (Logan had previously been in early intervention because his speech was developing more slowly than we thought it should have been). And he thrived in the public preschool environment.

    Lessons learned: (1) More expensive does not necessarily equal BETTER. (2) Montessori is good for certain types of kids, but in spite of what they may say, I do not feel it is a good fit for all kids. (3) Just because you may be able to afford Montessori at the present time, things may change in a few years... are you sure you'll be able to commit to the Montessori system? (4) Our public preschool surprised the hell out of us. I really believe it's one of the best preschool options out there in our geographic area. And it's cheaper than Montessori AND they had better facilities, too.

    So that's just some food for thought. As I said, we do have a few friends who really swear by the Montessori system. It just didn't work out for Logan, though... and, in fact, it was THEY who invited Logan to leave. It just so happened I had already made up my mind he was out of there when I spoke to the principal and she made the suggestion first, so there was no need to debate the issue. They wound up refunding the tuition - all but $1,000 that was labeled a non-refundable deposit back when we enrolled him. And we had paid something like $5,700 to cover that fall semester, too. Wasn't cheap, that's for sure.

    Anyhow, good luck in the search.

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  4. Not sure where you are located, but after much research, we ended up finding a rather small preschool for our twin boys which costs us $180/month for both, for two mornings/week from 9-11:15.

    We found it through referrals from friends. It is a group of retired kindergarten teachers, as well as newer younger teachers. It is like going to Grandma's house. It is very organized, they have a strict routine, but they enable the children to learn through play, crafts, music, storytime and learning adventures. They really pack it in each time, and so far my boys love it.

    You will find what works for you and your family, and when you do, your twins will love it, as will you love the break!!

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  5. Anonymous3:02 PM

    We made the mistake of sending our children to a parent-run Montessori school. The program was solid; the teacher was excellent, and it appeared to be a welcoming community. Tuition was also several hundred dollars less that at other schools because parents pitched in. Our tow oldest went through and graduated, so we sent our next two.

    Everything was fine until we were asked to be on the Parent Board. Eventually allowed ourselves to be talked into the Chairmanship because no one else wanted it. Within three months, we were hounded and harassed by other parents. Finally, when we gave our opinion of the whole situation (highly negative), the Board voted us off the Board and then voted our two children out of the school. It is truly ironic that I made it through college and grad school to a PhD only to flunk out of Montessori!

    Never ever go with a parent-run school thinking that it will save money.

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