I have been homeschooling my daughter since she was 14-15 months old.
We have done several activities together to develop her cognitive, language and gross motor skills. I have loved and followed the concept of Montessori Principles and I have seen how well Kenisha picked up and has always amazed me with how well she could complete or understand an activity set for her. Following the child is a beautiful and effective way.
Many of you asked me why I decided to stop homeschooling and send her to a Montessori Preschool?
The answer is – I am not really going to stop homeschooling but I am adding a curriculum to her day. We shall continue with our learning and development too.
Last month my husband and I decided it was time to get our child into a proper Montessori preschool environment because we felt she was ready. It will be her first experience in a structured environment with teacher and other children. It will be a opportunity for her to learn, develop, share and follow instructions.
The very foundation for a moving to an elementary school later, a perfect launch pad.
- At 2 years of age Kenisha, talks and forms simple 3 word sentences. I know she can talk and share all about her day. This was my no.1 criteria
- Since we are in a nuclear family, all Kenisha sees is one adult (me) and 2 lazy dogs through the day. It was time to meet and interact with more people.
- She will gain exposure to adapting to a new environment and a new place
- Develop self confidence and learn to be independent
- A stimulating environment with so many activities will lead to love for learning
- Learn social skills and learn to be a part of group, take turns and share
- Most importantly it will help her to be without me for couple of hours.
- And it would also mean I could get back to working for few hours a day.
Choosing a PreSchool
A lot of factors play a role in deciding a preschool suitable for your child and you. I made my list based on the priority and suitability of these factors for us
- My first priority was to find the best Montessori Schools in Gurgaon . I asked moms on social forums and also experienced moms from my friend circle for suggestions. Also some research and reviews on google helped
- Once we had the list we shortlisted them based on distance from our home. Knowing its going to be for 3-4 hours we didn’t want Kenisha or us traveling and struggling in Gurgaon traffic
- Visiting the school was next in line – Meet thee staff and discuss how they operate and their philosophy and values. Intently look for how they interact with us and with other children.
- Next we took a tour of their facilities to check primarily 2 things
- The physical space like their classroom size, bathroom cleanliness , meal room , outdoor play area. Also the staff to children ratio is important.
- Educational Material – since Montessori requires suitable material I requested the Montessori Directress to show me all the materials and how they will be used. This was my favourite part.
- Take your child and let them explore the setting. Watch how they are treated by the staff and if they feel excited and happy in this new environment.
- What does it cost? Well even though a playschool look excellent or promising we all have a pocket and this becomes a critical aspect to decide how much you can afford to spend and if you ready for a financial commitment going forward. By choosing a school early you can plan your budgets to make it easier on your pocket. Some schools require the yearly payment in advance and some agree on term based payment, like ours did. Also most payments are non refundable.
On top of everything, trust your gut; your instincts are there for a reason! I happened to go to one school and I was fixed on it!
Our babies grow up so quickly and before we blink they are ready to set their wings to explore the world. Preparing them and ourselves is the best way to make this transition easier.
Since our last visit I have constantly discussed “school”, “teachers”, “activities and fun” aspect to get Kenisha Excited. She got a new school bag and a sipper and we have been talking about things she will get to do while in school.
Today was our day 1 trial where she was away for 1 hour. It wasn’t easy on her but it’s a start. I will come back and share our experience after a month!
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