|Hayden on his first day of school this year - no lunchbox.|
"Is it a lunchbox day mama?"
"Let's check the calendar honey".
Hayden's calendar is a throw away from the insurance agent with inspirational quotes for each month. Barf. But it serves it's purpose, which is to indicate which days he brings his lunchbox and stays at school until 3 versus coming home and noon. Tuesdays and Thursdays are lunchbox days at our house.
"It is a lunchbox day mama. No no no! I hate lunchbox days. I miss you. It's boring. I hate it. If it is a lunchbox day I'm not going".
This is our morning conversation 2/5 days a week. (That's awkward - I do realize there are 7 days in a week, but only 5 in a school week... anyway..)
It is spring and school registration time is here. Hayden could go to the adorable, old, wood-floored public elementary school next year. He will eventually attend this school in first grade and could start next year in kindergarden. According to it's stats, something I tend not to put much credence in, the school is stellar; one of the best in the county - one of the best in the state. It is a 5 minute walk from our house, he would be in class with the same kids he's been friends with since we made friends here, and he would be home by noon every day. Kindergarden at public schools here in the Great Inland Empire is half days only.
The other option is to stay at the Montessori he's at now. He would be requires to go days 5 days a week from 9 to 3. Every day would be a lunchbox day. He would learn how do multiply and divide with 5 digit numbers. He would write stories with beautiful cursive writing and be one of four kindergarden children which would mean really individual attention from the teacher 3 hours a day. He would have the experience of being the "big kid" in the classroom.
Montessori also costs a little under $6000 per year. Ouch. Cute public school wins on that one. With the extra money we could save for college and do more extracurricular activities. With half days we could have more time together as a family and I would get to put off losing my baby to school and his peers for one more year. Conversely, or just the same idea with the opposite connotation, I would have to spend every day from noon until bedtime with my two kids. We might not all survive.
We had our conference today with Hayden's Montessori teacher. I told her my concerns - how he isn't liking the long days and I worry that next year, if we stay, he will dislike school and that feeling will stay with him throughout his education. She had some really good points in favor of his staying at Montessori the strongest of which was that this year he isn't reading and writing so he spends not a small part of the time after lunch watching other kids and probably feeling bored and a little out of place. Next year he will be further along and fully participating in all the afternoon activities, including the "fun" extras they do like baking and field trips.
Good point. And he will be 5 months older. 5 months is a long time when you have lived only 5 years. Maybe lunchbox days will be exciting by then, instead of something to dread and whine about.
Pricey but probably, at least for the next year, academically and socially superior school versus adorable, long-term, community based, free neighborhood school. How do we decide? What is the right answer? Or the more right answer? The less wrong answer? As I ruminate part of my brain reminds me that this is, in the grand scheme of things, not such a big deal. He will (probably) (almost definitely) be fine either way and, if he isn't, his tracing it back to the mistake his parents made when deciding where to send him to kindergarden seems improbable.
But still, I feel all angsty and unsettled.
.... and these are only the small problems, right? Little people, little problems....
So come on, what would you do? My husband will be thrilled that I'm taking advice "from the internets" so bring it on!