I have a 4 and 6 year old. The 6 year old was in first grade this year and has struggled all year with keeping up. Both children have been in a local montissori for several years. This summer, we have the option of putting the six year old back in the montissori with the 4 year old or putting her into a summer YMCA program for kids 5-11. It is held at her normal school. My wife and I are divorced and don't see eye to eye on many issues including this. The girls are close and are forced by situation to be with each other a lot of the time. Luckily they like each other. However, my thought is that my six year old should be with a mix of kids this summer and something challenging to keep up her skills. The montissori will put her with maybe a few kids her age, but mostly younger. I think that it is a good thing to give them each their own program, a chance to meet new kids, have some new influences and to experience new things. As stated my 4 year old is too young and can not attend the YMCA this year. My ex-wife said she knew of this program, but didn't tell me because she asked the girls and they were not interested and wanted to stay at the old school. I'm not sure this is a decision the girls should be making. We are the parents and should consider a lot more than their wants. They have become shy (I am sure partly due to the divorce) and I don't want to see my 6 year held back unless it is necessary. I would also think time apart from each is good too. Just a note: money is an issue. It is tight and the YMCA would be a little cheaper by a few $100 dollars. My ex-wife would like me to agree to take two days off each month (she is only 32 hours a week) and we could drop the montissori down a bit in cost. However, that digs into my vacation time with the girls as I work full time and it would have to be days off for me. I want to push for the best decision here and could use some input.
IMHO, I would send the girls together to Montessori camp, take a few extra days off each month to keep it a bit cheaper and use those days with your girls doing fun, different things around your community. Go to kid friendly exhibits, the movies, parks, amusement parks, water parks. the zoo - - the kinds of things children at this young age LOVE to do. Missing out days on your vaca won't mean as much to the girls as it does to you. They will be thrilled with spending fun, quality time with their Dad.
Good luck on your decision, and sorry about your divorce. -Kathleen
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