Max has decided on going to Montessori. I asked him to make sure to write a thank you note to Ken (the director of North Star self-learning/homeschool program) letting Ken know his decision. Here’s his first draft (unedited). I helped him with a couple of minor grammar and sentence structure changes and had him add an explicit statement that he’s chosen Montessori… but otherwise sent it as is.
Thank you so much for your time and patience and for showing me a different way of learning. I feel that North Star and Montessori are very hard to compare and it comes down to two things when I was making my decision travel and structure.
Montessori has more structure than North Star and I feel that would be better better for me since I’ve only been to heavily structured schools Montessori would be a smaller jump for me than North Star. The other thing is travel I can bike to Montessori but north star someone would have to drive me to or i would need to get onto many busses over an hour this would be a much longer commute than to Montessori.
I am not planing on being done with North Star and if Montessori becomes to expensive and I will consider it for high school.
Max had a great visit with Montessori. The teacher there is former outwards bound so their first week is spent camping and canoeing and getting to know each other. It’s a small class (6 students which is smaller than Max wants, but still good). Mixed 7th and 8th grade (not sure the ratio).
Meanwhile, Charlie and Ian are going to Smith Campus School. It’s much more advanced academically and also easy biking distance (it’s on Smith Campus). I’m not sure how it will work in the winter with snow since there’s a bit of residential area to go through between the bike path and school. Max shouldn’t have a problem since his school is a *little* more accessible.
And Tristan is going to public kindergarten… simply because of cost. He’s asked many times to PLEASE go to Montessori but it’s just too much.
I was talking to friend about wishing our kids could be challenged at public schools and his response was:
I have the utmost respect for public schools and want to do as much as I can to support them, but I’m not going to sacrifice my kids on the alter of public eduction.
I know there’s a LOT of privilege wrapped up in the ability to send kids to private school and I know how hard public school teachers work. I just wish there were more public option. I know that the people at Northampton Montessori would LOVE to merge with Northampton public schools and become an “in-district” charter, using union teachers and in-district resources. They don’t want to be a regular charter for all the reasons most people in education don’t like charter schools (self-selecting, funding discrepancies, low teacher pay, etc.).