Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dilemmas: A Short-List

(Or, The Stuff That Is Making My Brain Explode Today)

This is me thinking out loud. Please feel free to give advice or ignore me, as you feel so inclined.

1. Should I send Bub to JK this September as planned?

Pro:

  • My next-door neighbour works at the school and recommended a good teacher for me to request. This teacher had an autistic boy in her class last year, and since the classes are a mix of JK and SK students, this boy will be in her class again this coming year, along with his EA, which means there will be two adults in the room who are knowledgeable about autism and accustomed to accommodating for it.
  • Convenience. I’ve arranged my teaching schedule so that I can do the drop-offs and pick-ups myself, but that’s possible only because it’s less than a five-minute drive to the university from the school.
  • It’s free. And we’ve got three years’ worth of law-school debts to pay.

Con:
  • I’ve read the article about how advantageous it is to be among the oldest students in the class. As a November baby, Bub will be among the youngest, but if I hold him back a year, he will be only slightly older than his classmates.
  • If I put him in another preschool program, he will get many of the benefits of JK (classroom experience, socialization), and I will buy myself a year in which to consider where to place him. If he’s doing well, he could transition into SK, and if he’s still having problems, we could move him into JK with an extra year of preparation under his belt.
  • Toilet training. ‘Nuff said.

2. Should I put Bub into a Montessori school?

Pro:

  • He would be happy there. Montessori education emphasizes independent learning, so Bub would not be melting down constantly in response to forced structure and transitions.
  • Bub’s academic skills are already strong and would likely continue to develop in that environment. (To wit: he can read at least sixty words by sight, as I discovered this afternoon, with some ability to sound out new words.)
  • As I was pondering these issues I came across this post, which is making me reconsider the value of learning to cope within a structured environment. Having successfully home-schooled her children, this is what Mary P has to say:

    When I was homeschooling, my two directing principles were:
    1. Children are natural learners who don’t need to be coaxed or manipulated into learning.
    2. My role is facilitator of this natural drive, not enforcer of information absorption.

    Thus, my days with my kids involved me following their natural curiosity. I would suggest activities that would include aspects of learning they mightn’t get to on their own, or to enrich their inclinations, but it was always their curiosity and desire that led us - and they had lots! EVERY child does.

    If my principles had included children need to learn structure and adherence to routine in order to prepare them for the Real World, I’d probably have established set times for lessons and required submissions of completed worksheets at regular intervals. However, I don’t think this, so I didn’t do it that way.

    Do Bub’s particular quirks mean that it’s more important to teach him how to accept instruction? Or do they mean that he’s only three years old and he could use a year in a less stressful environment before making the leap into a more typical classroom?

Con:
  • The emphasis on independence could mean that there would be little to challenge him to come out of his shell and interact with the other children. One of his speech therapists visibly shuddered when I mentioned Montessori as an option: she agreed that Bub would love it – but it would likely not foster his social development.
  • It’s probably too late to register for any preschools – and the local Montessori school requires applicants to pay a non-refundable $100 deposit simply to be considered for the waiting list.

3. My home-care provider is having a baby this fall, which means I’m on the hunt for alternative care. Should I place the children in another home-care situation, or in a day-care centre?

Pro (Day-Care):

  • The curriculum at the centers I’ve visited emphasizes emotional intelligence and episodic memory. They even use a chart with icons to represent the daily schedule (something that is very useful for boys like Bub to help them adjust to the structure of the program).
  • Convenience. The on-campus day-care center is, well, on campus. And they’re open until six, which will be useful since I have a class on Mondays that runs until 5:30.
  • If I decide not to place Bub in JK, and it’s too late to register for a preschool, day-care would offer many of the same social benefits without a transition halfway through the day from one place to the next.

Con (Day-Care):
  • I can’t even imagine how stressful it would be for Bub to be in a large day-care center full-time, constantly surrounded by other children. The home-care environment he’s been in until now is small, intimate, home-like – it’s restful. Day-care centers are stimulating and fun, but they seem to me to be the very reverse of restful.
  • Although I’m getting near the top of the waiting list, there’s no guarantee that I will get a spot.

Pro (Home-Care):
  • I managed to stumble upon an ad posted by a woman who lives less than five minutes from me and is opening a home-care this September. She seems very knowledgeable and professional, and she just happens to have two openings for exactly the days I would need. If we like the look of each other, we could have a contract signed by the end of this week.
  • Instead of being separated all day, Pie and Bub would be eating lunch together, playing together in the afternoons after her nap. They would be in a home environment where there is a single caregiver for Pie to bond with, and a restful environment in which Bub can recover from the stresses of the morning.

Con (Home-Care):
  • The fees are just as steep as day-care, and the pick-up time is 4:30 (I will have to find out whether the caregiver would be willing to extend that once a week to accommodate my afternoon class).
  • The plan is for my previous caregiver to start taking children back into care a couple of months after her baby is born. It’s quite possible that she will feel differently about that plan when the time comes, and indeed both of us might want to wait until her baby is a bit older before resuming our arrangements … but I already feel guilty about leaving my new home-care provider in the lurch after only a few months.

Remember the days when we thought life would get easier once the kids started school?

43 comments:

bgirl said...

oh i feel your dilemna as i went through that last year and am still going through it. i had my little dude first in a daycare (this is prior to me knowing he was on the spectrum). something in my gut told me it wasn't right. it was too overwhelming and he couldn't translate what was happening around him. he just completely withdrew in the classroom and then would cry all night once picked up. broke my heart. then i tried montessori (which i love) but found that it was more important that he have social interactions with his peer group, collaborative and guided play vs. independent work. he tends to gravitate to his *own thing* anyway, so it wasn't a match, despite the fabulous teacher and beautiful classroom. based on his needs (wasn't yet potty trained, or skilled at most self-help skills) and the integrity of the classroom, it simply did not work. later a pediatrician told me, montessori can be a tough one for kids on the spectrum. (of course IMHO, any preschool, no matter the philosophy is really dependent on the teacher/ structure). in my case, he needed a very nurturing, teacher and predictable environment. i could go on and on, so instead i'll email you!

V-Grrrl said...

My son is not autistic but is very much an independent learner. I sent him to pre-school in the U.S. two days a week right after he turned three. The preschool seemed to me to be the perfect blend of organized, structured activites and time to explore and learn on one's own. He loved it and eventually went three days a week.

His birthday is in September, and the year he turned five and was eligible for U.S. kindergarten, I decided to wait another year before starting him. My decision tipped in that direction after talking to parents of much older children, who reminded me not to base my decison just on where my son was at that moment in emotional maturity but where he might be later--as a young teen or even as a college student.

As for day care, he liked home daycare. It provided just the right amount of social skills and independence for him. My daughter? She hated the same home day care that her brother loved! I hired a college student to come into my home and watch her.

Julie Pippert said...

Well only you can know whats best, but yes, you can drive yourself nutso weighing options.

I found the place and people mattered more than style. if it was good, it all ended up being the same sort of loving individual environment regardless of label on the door.

Theoretically, I'm a big fan of Montessori and individually-styled learning centers.

But down here places slap Montessori on the door and cram boot camp style training onto kids. It's weird.

I admit I've yet to find a daycare I feel comfortable placing my children in. So when I have to be at work in an office or out and about, I have a lady who cares for children in her home (a SAHM who does this for income).

So I mix school and homecare.

GOOD LUCK!

Suz said...

I don't know...I find it hard to stop thinking about daycare and we're not even facing a decision about it. We toured several high quality centers recently and they did tend to focus on teaching with good security (one even had a web-cam where parents could check in on their child's classroom); however, I found the noise level and constant activity to be too much for me. We keep postponing going from a nanny to daycare, for this very reason.

Mouse said...

You already know a bit about the back and forth and decisions we've gone through with Scooter. It's not easy and I often feel guilty that one of the big reasons we are sticking with his current daycare is the convenience of location and hours (though the teachers are wonderful and he loves it more than he doesn't).

In the end, I think that if you can come up with a situation where he is safe and nurtured and appreciated (which means having adults who appreciate both his challenges and his strengths), the rest of the decision can be a gut feeling.

flutter said...

honey I wish I knew what to say, other than you know your kid, and you know your heart.

slouching mom said...

I don't think that when Montessori is done well it discourages social interaction.

I am biased, because I am on the Board of Directors of Jack's Montessori and think it's the best preschool/kindergarten I have ever seen. For any kind of kid. Period.

I like it so much that I agreed (silly me) to create and manage the school's website.

I think there are a lot, a LOT of misconceptions about what Montessori is, and these are complicated by the fact that there are two kinds of Montessori -- a more rigid, old-school Montessori, and a more relaxed Montessori. I'm all for the more relaxed Montessori.

OK, I'll get off my soapbox now.

(Jack is a December baby, who has been reading since he was two and ten or eleven months. He will be almost six when he starts K, thanks to the rules and regs. of our school district. Am I dismayed? Yes. On the other hand, he's shy enough that the extra year will be good for him socially, I think.)

I imagine that this rambling comment has confused rather than enlightened.

Sorry.

bubandpie said...

SM - I'm sure Julie's right - the personality of the teacher matters at least as much as the name on the door. I went to a Montessori preschool for two years, and I remember quite a lot about it: I loved it, and I came out of it able to read, add, subtract, and sing "Frere Jacques." But I also know that I spent an awful lot of time alone - I remember observing from the sidelines but I can recall very few interactions with the other children.

mayberry said...

Oh my gosh my head exploded. This is TOUGH ... all I can do is wish you luck.

Angela said...

It is hard to make those decisions because we know that they will impact our children. I am sure you will find something that works for the three of you

Joy, of course said...

I just had a very lengthy conversation with my SIL about preschool/montessori/daycare options and what was best for our respective children, their personalities and our parenting philosphies. It is a very tough decision, and I am already planning on going a different route with my second round of kids than I did with the first.

I also do believe strongly that it is advantageous to not be the youngest in the class, especially if your child has experienced some of the challenges that you have described. Allison is THE youngest student in her grade every single year and if I had it to do again, we would start her a year later. I feel as if I did her a disservice by not doing this. You will be amazed at the difference a year can make.

That being said, let me say this: I think that despite making that error in deciding when to start Allison's schooling that she is going to be just fine. She is who she is. And, as big as this feels right now, nothing you decide is set in stone. You can always change paths in a month, or a year if you feel you have made the wrong decision.

You can worry yourself sick about this, but in the end you just have to trust your gut and move forward. And cut yourself some slack.

Mary-LUE said...

I think a year to grow is a good idea. It gives you more time to have Bub assessed which will equip you to make the best decisions. In the meantime, I think preschool/home care sounds like the best option while you wait.

If Bub is reading sixty words at 3 1/2, he'll pick up more along the way without a more "challenging" environment. By pursuing what he is interested in, he'll learn plenty. Having him in an environment that he is more comfortable with is more important now.

Having said all that, I have no doubt you will make great decisions for him. Mama (and Papa) knows best.

Em said...

So many options! I haven't had so many choices but i will say this... W has been in preschool since she was three and it has helped her enormously (with socialisation). i truly believe that the fact that she was in preschool enabled her to start kindy on schedule (at 4) and will play a big part in enabling her to start school on schedule (at 5). Not that it is necessarily important to stay "on schedule", but in our case the benefits of already being accustomed to routine etc. have been manifold.

Omaha Mama said...

I have no advice for you sorry. I guess the one thing I will say is this - go with your gut. The gut is usually pretty spot on. If the gut gets it wrong, nothing you arrange has to be permanent. If your choice doesn't work out, then you try something else.

It's a trick situation.

My kids go to our church during the day. It's got proximity, price, Christian ed., and preschool and daycare all wrapped into one. It's a pretty good set up.

Good luck.

painted maypole said...

ummmm... wow. Toss a coin? I few times?

I am very helpful, I know.

Luisa Perkins said...

Wow. I'll email you.

Jenifer said...

SOunds like you certainly have a lot to consider..... for me it has always been price... My daughter is very social and would LOVE a day care center... however I only need care 2 days a week and all of the centers I have spoke to have a minimum hour requirement that is over what I need.... and the price??? Well lets just say as a 911 dispatcher I don't make a million dollars and I might as well stay home if I had to pay what they are asking. Right now I have my best friend watch them and I pay her.... well, not much. She is a stay at home Mom and even though what I am paying her is nothing compared to day care rates it is still enough to help out her household budget some and she is home with her kids anyways....

I have no idea what I am going to do once preschool starts.... It has a fee that I am not sure how to fit into the budget also.... Oh well I guess we will manage, we always do right?

nomotherearth said...

I would check out the type of Montessori it is - as SM said, their are VERY different philosophies from school to school. That being said, it sounds like Bub is very accomplished in the academic aspects already. I think it would help to find a situation that stresses the social aspects.

I'm generally a huge fan of starting school later - it can help in so many ways. I might be swayed, though, based on the opportunity you have with that certain teacher's experience. In that, I would agree with the others to do what feels right. You know - even if you think you don't.

If you would only do daycare 2 days a week (i.e. not full-time) - wouldn't Bub have some restful days at home and some not-so-restful days at daycare? That could be a good mix.

bubandpie said...

Mary-LUE - By "challenging" I don't mean academically challenging - for Bub, the challenge would be socially demanding situations where he's expected to join in group activities like circle time instead of simply being left to wander wherever he pleases.

Em - Theoretically there are many options, but in reality I've left things so late that there are probably very few real options. If I can't get a spot in a private preschool, I guess one option would be to send him to JK at public school this year and then, if necessary, put him into private school the year after.

slouching mom said...

Well, I'm obviously like a dog with a bone here, but just to add to the conversation:

Jack's Montessori has circle time.

(I'll be going now. ;)

fully operational battle station said...

Wow there Missy. I feel your pain, we have had to make several hard decisions in regards to Delaney's education and surroundings during the day. I do have to say that putting her into Montessori school was one of the best decisions we have made. But, I do think that every Montessori school is different and MUCH depends on the teachers. In our case, Delaney's classroom is much more structured than a typical Montessori classroom and D needs that structure. They also have "recess" and "circle time" and they encourage kids to "work" together on projects. Delaney is very reluctant to play with other kids and she has managed to make a couple little buddies in there, which we were pleased about.

The first option you mentioned sounded great thought too, the teachers having experience with Autism is invaluable and it's FREE. Holy cow! Talk about a major stress-reliever in our house if we could find a decent option for free.

Good luck in your decision. Luckily, that ALL sound like wonderful, decent options.

:)

Jamie

Kyla said...

Difficult decisions. I think personally, I would keep him back from JK this year...and probably, in spite of the ST's concerns, I'd lean toward Montessori. The transition from home care to Montessori is quite a change in and of itself, and it a baby step towards preparing for JK next year.

Lisa b said...

It sounds like that JK situation is really a good situation for bub. If you put it off another year I suppose you could still get that teacher but would the EA still be available?
Even at the highschool level I still see the advantages that Janary babies have so there is a lot to be said for putting it off a year. However just based on what you have written here I think the JK, homecare combo seems really a good option.

Becky said...

I'm with others. I feel for you, but I don't think I have any good suggestions for you. It looks like you're doing well at weighing all the pros and cons, though. And just keep in mind that you know your kids best.

Also, what are the possibilities for switching once a decision has been made? Should that be a factor? (ie. maybe you can't put Bub into JK after September, but you could try it for a few months and then switch to home care if it doesn't seem to be working well for him? Maybe that's not considered cool, but again - you know him best, so you know whether or not he'd mind *trying it out* for a bit?)

Sadly, there is no JK down here, so we're doing the pay-for-preschool thing (three mornings/week) for the next year. I am looking forward to the "free child care" that is public school.

Beck said...

I have read that boys, especially, who start school earlier have far more problems. And because of Bub's autism, I would be doubly cautious of an early entry to school - I DO like the sounds of the Montessori school, very much. Friends of mine have LOVED having their children in (very gentle) Montessori classes. But you know your child best, and have the best idea what would suit him.

Christine said...

Kyla kind of said what I was thinking.

This is a tough one, but joy was right when she said that you can always change your mind.

Jenifer said...

I think I am leaning towards what Beck said, give Bub another year to prepare for JK in a less stimulating environment.

I know so many parents who truly agonize over these types of decisions. From the right childcare to the right school these are huge decisions with so many pros and cons.

You know Bub best and I think following his lead of what works for him will be the path to follow.

Magpie said...

Wow - I think my head exploded too. You have a different set of issues, but daycare (a Montessori based-but-not-named daycare which morphs into pre-school) has been fabulous for my child. Yes, it's a daycare center, with about 45 kids in 3 age-based groups, but it's got circle time and free play and lots of learning in the interstices. There's an autistic (asperger's?) child in the next level who does really well there. I think you have a lot of viable options, and that one will be great for Bub, and Pie.

Lucy said...

You've gotten a lot of great advice, so there's probably not much I could add. I'll just say that we put our daughter in preschool last year when she was just turning 3. While she enjoyed it and made a couple of friends, I was most impacted by what her teacher told me at her last conference. She watched Lydia with my hubs and me and told us that she acts totally differently at school. At school, she was quiet, reserved, not too interactive and only wanted to play with certain toys, like the baby dolls and in the home station. With us, she talks a mile a minute, jumps from one thing to the next, plays with all sorts of toys (she has an older brother who is a knight in his spare time) and almost never touches her baby dolls anymore.

We decided to keep her home this year. I'm a SAHM and so can do this. From observing her with the other kids on field trips and whatnot, I felt that she needed more confidence in herself and more nurturing. She's peer oriented to a fault. Her brother will be in 1st grade this next year, so he'll be gone all day. This will give her time to be the "oldest" (we have an almost 2 year old, too). Lydia is social when she's comfortable, but she gets shy and timid in situations where she's not comfortable, even if they're familiar, like church or school. Personally, I feel that forcing her to be social before she's ready will do more harm than good (so speaks the horribly shy girl who was in Montessori and spent so much time alone that the teachers didn't know I could read when I was three! My mother still regrets forcing me to be in school at such a young age. I got much more confident after being homeschooled from fifth grade on!). She's like the rosebud that's not quite ready to bloom. Plus, she still has two more years before kindergarten (she's a fall birthday, so she'll be almost six when she starts), so there's no rush. My son was never in preschool at all.

Anyhoo, I'm not at all trying to tell you what to do, since your situation is so different from mine. But hopefully my experience helps you as you think about what to do. It's so tough to know the right thing to do for these wonderful little people who depend so much on our ability to discern what's good for them. Gah! It's overwhelming for me sometimes.

Good luck!

Di said...

I think life does get easier when your kids are in school...but as the mom of a middle and high schooler...I'm thinking maybe they mean college!

I'm not a home school fan in general...but to each her own. In "real life" except for some really creative careers, I think you do have to adhere to structure and unfortunately the world isn't going to hire you to follow your natural curiosity but to do a job.

But, Bub is 3! I like the idea of giving it a year and maybe having him be the oldest. There was no reason to keep my daughter, born in July, from going to kindergarten at 5 in September. But with her social maturity level NOW, I sure wish she had another year before high school.

I am going to send your link to a friend with a son with certain special needs...and high intelligence, as I think you described Bub. Maybe she'll drop you a note...her son is now 14.

the mad momma said...

well practically the daycare sounds better than the lady, simply because it gets bub used to mixing with more kids. That way when he goes to school next year he will have a handle on the whole being social thing. I agree with children being sent to school as late as possible. i've always found it to be more of an advantage than the other way around. ...

amy said...

I am the friend that Di referred to. My son Duncan, now 14, has been in Early Intervention since age 13 mo. and could certainly then and still qualify for a spectrum dx, though we never had a need to do so. He attended EI group therapy twice a week until he 4, then a traditional preschool that was within walking distance of my house (i'm all about the convenience aspect of parenting), and i then went through all the options you listed: home schooling, montessori (I echo what others wrote about each mont. school having a different character and flavor depending on the teachers), traditional school with therapy pull-outs, sending him to preschool for another year (he is a march baby). In the end i found a charter-like school 15 min. away; it's an independent private school for grades pre-8 with a heavy emphasis on socialization and cooperation, not very traditional learning methods, some but not total structure, and quite kid-driven in terms of learning styles and interests. It ended up being a school made for Duncan--if i could have written a curriculum that would have met all his needs, this school was it.

There are no grade levels at this school, kids are multi-aged grouped which meant he was in with kids older and younger. His teacher spent most of his two years with her making sure he made eye contact with whomever he spoke with and that he played with other kids, not just sit in the sandbox by himself. It proved to be an invaluable experience as he taught himself to read in kindergarten while learning that other kids did exist and have to be accomodated.

At his age now i had the choice to send him to high school this fall or hold him back another year at this school, and i chose the latter. he is academically ready but still behind at least a year in terms of maturity and social skills. Many boys are held back so he won't be the oldest in his class when he does go to another school.

The thing is, you'll never know what the roads chosen might have brought. For all i know, if i had put him in a different setting he might be way ahead of where he is now, or a different kid altogether. As you so wonderfully laid things out, all your choices have very legitimate pros and cons. For myself, I chose a setting that would work for driving, my other two kids (one older, one younger) and something I hoped would work for him, then tweaked it along the way. All of your choices have pros, so there really is no "wrong" decision--whatever you choose, that will be the best choice for you and your family. If it doesn't work, move on to Plan B. (I had homeschooling as my Plan B, never needed to use it.)

Kids like these, like all kids can change so much from one year to another. My SIL, who worked with special needs kids for years, kept telling me to play to his strengths and wait as long as i could to make big choices--even now as i contemplate where to send him next, she has said that from this year to next he could end up proving very able to handle public high school, so i'm exploring private schools but waiting to see what he does with this year.

good luck with your decision, take some deep breaths and stay centered--some days that's the most i could do.

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

So many things to think about!

We considered Montessori for The Happy Boy. I am still a big fan of the educational principles, and I could see him absolutely loving the learning. But (at least in the school we considered), there was no gym time, or outdoor play time.

I also think Montessori might be hard for spectrum kids, because the day is not predictable, and, while the learning is student led, there is not as much structure, which can lead to frustration in some kids.

Good luck with your decision. Remember, you can always change your mind with any of your choices!

Carrien said...

I'm absolutely no help. I'm homeschooling and I'm still deciding how to approach this structured/unstructured thing. MY oldest loves predictable routines and so I guess we're structured right now based on his lead. I don't let him quit when he gets discouraged because I know if he sticks to it he'll feel really great when he understands.

bubandpie said...

Amy - Thanks so much for stopping by. Somehow I don't think I've fully realized that (a) I'll be facing these decisions every single step of the way, not just now, and (b) there's a kind of freedom in that - because all I can do is just try things and see what works.

I talked this morning to the director of the university lab preschool (run by the psychology department) and she confirmed that they are full, put me on the waiting list, and had some very good things to say about the school where Bub will be going to JK this fall, should we go that route. I'm feeling less panicky now - one good option might be to go ahead with JK this year, but then switch to the lab school (which offers JK/SK programs) for the following year.

PunditMom said...

Yup, I thought it would get easier. But then a mom to teens told me it's even harder for her now.

Sorry.

Mad Hatter said...

Hey, just wanted you to know that my sister is still visiting and even though I am still reading I have been completely unable to comment. This post and the one about finding a new friend for you and for Bub touched me deeply. Miss M starts day care this fall and I am terrified vis-a-vis the social interaction angle. It hasn't helped having my sis around who a) works in day care and b) lacks tact. She is terrified that Miss M is going to have a frightful fall. Erg. Uh, thanks for sharing!!!

Catherine said...

Since my greatest strength AND weakness is always seeing both sides of the story, I am devoid of advice. But I still want to chime in and say - wow - those are some tough decisions. And - wow - you just about talked me into homeschooling, and I didn't see that coming. Could you maybe put a spoiler warning at the top of your post? :)

ewe are here said...

Obviously, you know your kids better than anyone... but with that being said, my *ssvice...

I am a November baby, and was a hyperactive, no sleeping, energetic one to boot. I was not ready for Kindergarden and ended up repeating the year. Best thing for me. I understand boys are even more likely to need that extra year before starting if you have any doubts...

I wish we had a Montessori program here, because I suspect MF would thrive in one in a few years...

I actually prefer the Daycare option, if you can get into a good one, to the homecare option. More adults, more arts and crafts, more things to do, more accountability...

Hope your brain doesn't explode!

DaniGirl said...

Sheesh, I can't keep up with all your posts, and they're all SO interesting! Again, i've only skimmed the comments so forgive me if I repeat...

In general, I have trouble with the whole "red-shirting" thing, holding kids back so they'll be among the eldest in their class (she said knowledgeably, with her Febrary and March babies) but in Bub's case, I do think it's great that if you hold Bub back this year and he does well, he will be able to transition into SK next year anyway.

But you know what? These are all good choices. Good for you and good for Bub (and Pie). They all have pros along with their cons.

I read your post fairly carefully, and it seems to me that reading between the lines you favour home care and holding off for a year on the school thing.

Sigh. I wish it were easier....

Bloggin' with a basket o' clothes at my side said...

Just found your site. I'm going to read **ALL** of your posts on autisim. My mom thinks my niece has it but we're not sure if it's autism or just ADD, or something else. We're going to be researching the best place to go to have her tested.

Thanks for sharing!!

Mary Joan Koch said...

I have mentioned that my Scientist, who reminds me of Bub in some respects, loved a Montessori school. But it was a very special creative . flexible school; I have seen Montessori schools i hated. Fortunately, I had the option of not sending my most gifted, intense daughter (the writer and human rights lawyer) to nursery school at all when she was turning 3 in November. Besides she wasn't toilet trained. She loved it when she was almost 4.

I prefer nursery schools that are totally nonacademic --all blocks,dress up, fantasy, art, music, outdoor play.

Bright November children are such a dilemma. If you push them ahead, they might not be ready emotionally. If you hold them back, they might be very bored. We pushed Katherine ahead and didn't regret it.

Mary Joan Koch said...

I might opt for a stimulating, loving home day care. Two of my children went to all-day kindergarten; two went only part-time. Bright kids often find being in a large group situation very stressful and exhausting. Vanessa was a monster when she came home from all-day kindgergarten. As she said, "I used all my goodness up in school."

Bub's being able to see Pie would be great; she seems the most special service practitioner of all.