Tuesday, March 8, 2011

To greener patures

This week will be our last in sonshine boy's Montessori School. We are leaving it for greener pastures- quite literally (you'll see what i mean).

The primary reason for the move is due to the 'second coming'- our number 2. It makes no practical sense for me to send sonshine to this school, hang around at the plaza for 2 hours for him before sending him home, especially now that i will have an infant to lug along. Moreover, i think i am overpaying the school. I always feel that my home teaching is always a couple of steps ahead of the school and i'm paying an exorbitant fee just for him to learn what he already knows. I figured i might as well 'downgrade', pay alittle less to do the same.

Anyway, we're moving on to a non-academic driven school. I struggled with that fact initially and wanted to continue to send him to a Montessori school-where i thought he'd be taught according to his level. After visiting a few centers, i realised this is not so. He'd still be clustered with his age group and be given the same old materials that he has already done both at home and in his current Montessori school. Again, it didnt make any sense to pay a high fee for a place where he'll not learn anything new. Hence, i decided to forget about the academic aspect and look for a school that suits the boy best AND ME.

The new school is relatively unknown, tucked in a corner in a private estate- only those living around would know about it. This school is ridiculously HUGE. I've not seen any school as big as this. It has not one, but THREE grassy LARGE compounds for the kids to run about. Each compound has all the typical playground rides you can find. One has all the Little Tikes play things like a house, balance beam, slides. The other has the regular swings, see-saw etc. And the last compound- has a wooden play hut (think tree house except that it is firmly rooted on the ground). So yes, lots of opportunity and space for the kids to run free.

And this is my favourite- its foyer has a HORDE of bicycles for every age group, every stage- pedals, no pedals, with training wheels, no training wheels, little tikes wagons etc.

My husband's favourite part of the school is the classrooms. Because they are non-air conditioned, the windows and doors are wide open. Hence, the kids get alot of natural light but more importantly, whenever they look out of the room, they see greenery, they see nature. Yes, this school is surrounded with greens and more greens. My husband took one tour of the school and said 'SIGN UP!'.

Their canteen and school hall are also hysterically huge for a preschool. Oh, talk about the hall. Here's my other favourite part. For just an additional $50 a term, the kids get to attend Gym classes which they outsource. Whoo hoo!

Sounds like a dream school? I sure hope so. The staff has blatantly told me that they are not very academic driven but will still make sure the kids are prepared for primary school at the very least. Oh well, as i said, i have decided to drop the academic part. I am alittle worried that he'll be bored in school since he'll probably not learn anything new. But im hoping he'll be like my niece (who is brillant by the way, i've never seen any other kid as intelligent as her) who was also 'downgraded' from Montessori to a typical school. Although she admitted she didn't learn anything new but she still enjoyed school. Moroever, i think it'll be a refreshing change (something new) for sonshine since the whole settting is different from his current school.

I really detest school hunting because i have to make a decision on behalf of my son. I have to make lots of assumptions, there's alot of unknowns and sometimes i just have to go with my gut feel. I wish he could make his own decision, so that i wouldn't be the one making the wrong move (selfish thinking!). I really hope my gut feel about this new school is spot on!


  1. Wow... I'd love to sign up my girl for such nature base school too! I always believe kids grow best with nature, you can really preserve your sonshine's natural senses and instinct when he get close to nature... something money can't buy!

  2. It's especially hard to find such a school here in our tiny island. Most of the schools are small or located in malls- so yes, no or little compound for outdoor play. yep- i found treasure!! :)) I thought over where you are at, you can find big schools, since there's lots of space?

  3. Big and spacious school, yes! But definitely not big land for kids to run and out about! You have indeed found a great treausure for both you and your Sonshine! Congratulation!

  4. wow.. sounds really nice.. where is this place ? i love huge schools :)

  5. OPPS! I would like to keep this blog anonymous, so I won't be sharing the details. Hope you'll understand. BUt i'll tell you its suitated in the west. :)

  6. In the west!!! My eyes are lighting up! I lived in the west and I've looking for non-academic school with lots of nature!! Please please email me at qq_057@hotmail.com and tell me????? My son is born in same year as yours too!!!

  7. I know you want to keep it anonymous, that's why I gave a twisted name too! But of course, now I see location different. ;D Gee...how many preschools have canteen, yah?


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