We signed Katrina up for a small Montessori preschool today. She starts next week. We've gone to 3 schools this week, and this one was the most impressive. Katrina was immediately fascinated with the "materials" as they are called in Montessori. The director/teacher was enthusiastic and good with Katrina. Katrina did not want to leave...she wanted to look at one more thing, ask one more question, etc. And this was without other kids in the classroom. Truthfully, I don't really care philosophically about Montessori vs. traditional preschool, but this school was one where I could picture Katrina doing well and not getting lost in the crowd.
It's 5 days a week, which was a little more that I really wanted. But the other schools we talked to were filled up on the M-W-F classes anyway (with the exception of a church preschool that doesn't start till the fall). So she'll go to the summer program for the month of July. The school closes for August and then starts for the school year.
I'm hoping that this will help both Katrina and me make new friends. The director spoke of building a community, which appealed to me. I'm an introvert by nature, so taking the initiative on meeting/getting to know people is difficult for me. But Katrina needs social interaction like she needs air to breathe. So becoming part of an established "community" should help both of us.
My mama heart hurts more than I expected with this first big sign of separation. I suspect that Katrina will love being around other kids and doing cool stuff. But I keep having thoughts like, "what if the teacher doesn't understand or appreciate her?"; "will she be safe?"; "is this too much change for her on top of a move?"
Of course I wonder if she'll miss me, but the answer is "probably not." She's an independent little girl, never clingy unless she's sick or something. She steps boldly out into the world, running toward adventure, asking a million questions along the way. Today she saw some kids on the playground and started yelling "Hi!" from a block away.
I have a lot to learn from her.