I've been thinking that the path of least resistance might be to simply have DS stay another year in the excellent, small bilingual Montessori preschool for kids ages 3-6 he currently attends. The pros/cons to staying where he is look like this--
- He's been so happy there for a year and a half now - it's a known quantity.
- We all love it. (And I'm a tough critic, so that's saying a lot.)
- The curriculum is challenging enough for him.
- He's never bored there because they're always looking for signs of disengagement and then immediately taking action.
- Easiest logistics in terms of kids attending one school, with workable drop off/pick up times.
- It's affordable.
- This will be his final chance to get a Montessori education locally.
- Another lice-free year for our family. There's a good chance my kids will eventually get lice in public school because pretty much everyone here does at some point (not judging, just stating the facts ma'am). But then again, he could get something preventable like Pertussis, of course! And not that there's anything wrong with getting lice except it is a huge pain in the arse to treat it, and I suspect I will bear the brunt of it because my office is at my house.
- No bullies/abuse.
- Can keep learning Spanish.
- Can continue to learn at own pace and love learning.
- DS will probably be the oldest kid in the school next year (which is what happens when a kid has an Oct birthday, with an Aug 31 school cut off)
- In the absence of older kids, I have a nagging feeling he'll be missing out on building some social skills - though I can't quite articulate what specific skills I'm thinking of... hmm...
- He naturally clicks with kids who are 2 years older than him, and he's the same size as most 7-year-olds even though he's 5. So he'll really look bigger than the other kids, but will he care?
- There's the notion folks around here believe that Montessori sometimes "ruins kids for public school" - as if they are so thrilled about learning and are curious and ahead of grade level that they simply can't fit in when it's time for public school. Quite an indictment of our local public schools if you ask me. Eventually, there's nowhere else for kids to get educated locally except public school or homeschool (or a combo of the 2). Yes, there are religious schools but trust me, they are out of the question, and anyway they are no good academically (unlike parochial schools in bigger cities).
- The Spanish learning at Montessori is not immersion, meaning his spoken Spanish probably won't develop as quickly as it would if he were to attend the Spanish-literacy public K, we think (hard to assess).
- Possible harder transition to public first grade as a 6.5 year old?