I’m a bit of a reluctant Floridian.
I like Miami, but our state and local politics drive me batty most of the time. However, Florida got something right: free preschool for all four year olds.
Max has just enrolled in an excellent Montessori school, which he will attend five days a week for three hours a day.
I am beyond thrilled. As regular readers know, we have been using a Montessori-based curriculum in our Home Sweet Preschool. I am about 75% happy with it, but I do feel the limitations of teaching my own children. I sometimes question my efficacy, deal with feelings of impatience and frustration and wish it didn’t take so much of my time, creativity and energy. During the last few months, I have sensed that Max longed to be around more children and I also wondered if he would succeed better with another teacher. Maria Montessori beseeched us to follow the child, so I am following him.
It is time.
Home Sweet Preschool will continue as a column and an important aspect of our life. Jack has been eagerly engaging with our Montessori materials lately and will not be attending school this year. Max’s class will concentrate primarily on reading, writing and math, so I will continue to teach him science, geography, culture and art. Those are the subjects I love to share with him the most anyway. Each lesson is like giving him a little present, This is the world, baby, and it’s yours. Let’s open it up and see what we find.
I cannot properly express my gratitude to my state for picking up the cost of tuition this year. By making this process simple and open, so many children are given an extraordinary start to their education. This is not need-based. There aren’t any hoops to jump through, just a simple form to fill out. I am also incredibly grateful to Max’s school. Preschools do not have to participate in this program. In fact, only two Montessori schools in Miami accept VPK students. By opting in to this program, I know that our school cares deeply about the welfare of all children and is not solely a money-making enterprise. They have a heart.
That’s important, because I am entrusting them to take care of my little heart.