When my son first proposed going back to Montessori, I had that heaviness hit me in a moment. I knew his need to spend more time with peers was growing by the day. Coordinating schedules with other homeschool families can be very challenging, especially when most families have children of multiple ages with multiple (and usually varying) needs. While M. has no problems entertaining herself, E. prefers companionship and interaction. I realized that school may be part of E.'s solution to try to meet that need. I also knew he chose Montessori as he believed there was more freedom in learning with that choice, than public school. M., well, I think she agreed to go along with her brother because he didn't want to go by himself. She is just supportive that way :).
As unsure as I was of this idea, I decided I needed to trust. They should have the opportunity to go through this decision making process. This part was hard for me of course. It would have been so much simpler to convince them of MY reasons for why homeschooling was a better choice, and remind them of what they would be giving up. It would have been easier, but I don't think it would have been fair. They don't learn much if I make all the choices for them. They already know what I believe, but they need to start trusting their own choices, with our guidance available always.
So, we moved forward. We found an A.M.I. certified school, we went and toured the school, and we had two different meetings with the teachers. It was a lovely place that had a chinchilla, 2 rats, finches, and a frog for pets. The teachers seemed kind and knowledgeable, but I was more interested in seeing what the kids were curious about. After those visits, I waited with baited breath to see what they had thought. M., who never has issue with blurting out what she wants, let me know that going there a couple times a week would be okay, but that's it. E. was more pensive, and I could see he was weighing the pros and cons in his mind. He agreed with M., while it might be fun to be there part-time, it didn't seem right to be inside one room all day, every day, not for learning-- even if there were other kids there. I spoke with the school about a part-time option, but there was none, not for their age group and not for this style of classroom.
Thanks for all your thoughtful words and sharing this part of our journey with me :).
"Choosing to live your life by your own choices is the greatest freedom you will ever have." ~ Shad Helmstetter