Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Cathedral Hill Montessori
If you've talked to me in person lately, you've likely been surprised by the passion with which I've embraced Beatrix's new preschool. Truth is, it's taken me somewhat by surprise as well.
We considered a lot of preschools last year, from Dodge Nature Center to Sunny Hollow to Jean Lyle to Mis Amigos Spanish Immersion. In the end, based on both cost and the fact that Beatrix had been in a home based environment for her care so far, we decided to go with a neighborhood rec center. We knew it was a solid program, even if we were not overly excited about it.
Then, in July, our lives collided with Whitney and Andy, who had purchased an amazing old home that had quite a checkered past as a nursing home/home for unwed mothers/boarding school/vacant building. Their dream was to convert the mid-century addition to the side of the house to a Montessori school, and the rest of the house to their home and a B&B. When we first heard about the idea we thought "It's so wacky it just might work!" When we met them, we knew it would.
I had initially ruled out Montessori for Beatrix for preschool. I thought it might be too structured for someone who had been in home daycare, while at the same time not being academically stimulating enough. But the new school was so appealing, and the more I talked to Whitney, the more converted I became. She convinced us to give it a try in the "mini-Montessori" they had set up for their 2 children (aged 3.75 and 1.5) — and Beatrix took to it like a duck to water. Meanwhile, I've been scrambling to learn more about Montessori principles and concepts.
So now every day I drop off Beatrix in this incredible environment where there is so much to do and experience. She goes in, hangs her lunchbox in her cubby, changes shoes, and settle right in. She tells us about her "presentations" about polishing, the tree, painting, window washing, and more. She's already gotten much better about letters and numbers (just ask her about the X in her name!) And she loves it that they go across the street to the park to play.
So yes, I'm converted. Sending Beatrix to Cathedral Hill Montessori is probably the best parenting decision we've made for her so far. And I'm always one to admit when I've changed my mind.
(Want more info? Their website is here, and their Facebook page here. The awesomely talented Glimpses of Soul Photography has photos from their Gala here and here. And yes, they are still enrolling — the official opening date is October 24!)