Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Sidebar Links

My oldest daughter turns five this September, and we're not sure what we're going to do for kindergarten - should we continue with the Montessori homeschool? Should we enroll her in a private Montessori school? Should we enroll her in our local public school? Should we enroll her in a private Christian school? And on...and on...and on. Years ago, someone told me that school decisions would be among the more difficult ones I would have to make with respect to my children, and at the time, I found that difficult to believe. Now I understand.

For a little guidance re: the homeschool kindergarten route, I turned to someone who is a total source of inspiration for me: Xia at Grillos y Canarios. She Montessori homeschools her three boys, who are 9, 6, and 3. Up until a few posts ago, she posted both in Spanish and English, but she recently made the decision to post in Spanish only. I find that Google translator does a good job of letting me keep up with her blog in English.

She makes Montessori homeschooling look so easy that I emailed her with a few questions about her materials as well as resources for presenting them. She pointed me to some places that I had never seen before, and I thought some of you out there might not have heard of them, either (or maybe I'm just a total noob :). I've added them to the sidebar, but they include 3 - 6 and 6 - 9 albums from Montessori Teachers Collective. She also reminded me of the Montessori by Hand and playschool6 yahoo groups, which I knew about but which I had filed in the back of my mind and then promptly forgotten. She also recommended that I read Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius.

Also, Carla emailed me recently and mentioned the montessorimakers yahoo group, which I hadn't heard of (thank you!!).

Hopefully these links will be helpful to you too! If you know of a link you think I should add, please email me or leave a comment - thanks!!


My Boys' Teacher said...

Good luck making your decision.

I belong to those yahoo groups as well. They can be a great place if you have a question. Keep in mind that the Montessori by Hand group allows you to access to the group leader's manuals as well (in the links sidebar on the group page).

So far (and I've only been doing this as long as you have) I have found other blogs much more inspirational on a daily basis than the groups. If you are ever fishing for some new/different Montessori blogs to read, I have a pretty comprehensive list in the sidebar at my blog. I separate them by homeschool versus actual school and I have 22 good ones on my homeschool list alone so far. I have a couple of more I'm reading for a while before I put on the list. It might be a good place to go fishing.

Anna said...

Oh boy - the whole school thing is such a hard decision to make. I think there are a few things to bear in mind. This is my advice after considering the options for my 3 very different children!
No 1. is - no decision you make is final and set in concrete - you can always change your mind.
No.2 is - talk to other parents who have children there. You get a feel for the school from their responses.
No.3 - is go and look around the school. If all the displayed work is exactly the same for each child then there is no room for personal growth - it's all about ticking boxes in that school.
No.4 - When you are looking around have a swift look in the bathroom. If it is smelly/dirty/unappealing your child will feel the same and going to the bathroom is a BIG part of school.
No.5 - Talk to the headteacher about whatever concerns you the most. If you get the feeling s/he is trying to guess what answer you want to hear you wil know it's a no-no. If s/he listens to your concerns and then says something like "We've never had that problem before" and it is something fairly usual like bullying then they are lying! If you love what you hear then talk to parents and see if what they say matches up.
No.6 - there is no perfect solution!

I hope this helps a bit! I have to say you are lucky in the states - you don't have to make the grown-up school decision for a while. My youngest daughter is 4 and will be starting fulltime school formal education in september. My eldest was 4 and a quarter - way too young. Trust your instincts.