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Why Isn't Gus Heading To School? And, What We are Doing Instead

It's that time of year again around here again - the school year has begun! Nora and Henry are both off to their respective Montessori schools. Nora is beginning her kindergarten year of Children's House. She is at a smaller AMI school that she has been attending since she was 3. Henry is starting his third year of lower elementary at a public Montessori school in our area. It's so exciting to see them both at the culmination of their "grade" levels and really get to experience that three year Montessori cycle. 


Then, there is Gus. I've been getting a lot of questions about what he's up to this year and whether we are sending him to school or not. In many Montessori schools (especially private ones), Children's House begins, depending on a child's readiness, between 33 and 36 months old. Since Gus was born at the end of November, he just makes that age range. But, we still aren't sending him to school this year. 

In our state, the birthday cutoff for a grade is September 1 and children cannot start kindergarten until they have reached 5-years-old. Which means, they also can't start 1st grade (or lower elementary in the Montessori school) until they have turned 6. Because of these state regulations, Gus would not be able to attend lower elementary in our public Montessori for 4 years. While I'm sure 4 years of Children's House wouldn't be harmful for Gus, my budget says otherwise. It's just not a possibility to pay for another full year of school, especially since my job is flexible and I don't need childcare. 

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Plus, I'm just not ready to give him up! I have no doubt he would thrive in a toddler program or in a children's house, but I just want him here. I know he is getting bigger, but in so many ways he is still my little baby and I won't be convinced otherwise! 

So, what are we doing? Well, we are going to be doing a bit more academic work here at home. While I would avoid this work if he was also in school, I have a lot of traditional materials from when Henry was homeschooled. Over the next few months, we will be slowly incorporating more of this work into our daily lives. We will keep it casual and I hesitate to call it homeschool. But, you might consider it that. 


I don't have a super strict exact plan of what we will do, as I will follow his interests. But, right now here's what I'm planning for the main areas of Montessori learning:  

Sensorial: (not necessarily in this order) pink tower, brown stairs, knobbed cylinders, sound cylinders, smelling jars, geometric solids 

Practical Life: working on fine motor control activities moving toward writing, art, and sewing. And, continuing lots of real, practical work. 

Language: sound games, language objects, sandpaper letters 

Mathematics: number rods, sandpaper numerals, cards and counters activities, possibly spindle box

Cultural: continent globe, continent map

I hope to share more about this journey with everyone here as we get underway. This fall, in particular, will be very casual since we will be adjusting to a new baby. But, slowly more of this work will become common place in his routine. 

Have you decided to send your 2-year-old to school? 

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Comments

Katie said…
Thank you for this! I'm going through the same with my little guy who is a month younger than Gus. I've been struggling with him not being in a program especially since I'm considering a language immersion kindergarten and he'd be able to complete the his 3 year cycle and then move forward to the other school on time. I'm looking forward to Gus' activities this year!
Khyati said…
I'm sending my 1 year old to school in January! He will be 16 months old and I really don't know how I will let go of him for 4 hours a day but I know he will love it (or I hope so at least).

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