Here I feel like I'm going into this nearly blind, and I don't like it. I don't like it when Montessori Papa has anxieties similar to mine because that means that they must be valid. Eeks.
Then I see my daughter handling this with such grace. I am reassured and so proud of her. She has told us all summer that she did not want to leave her friends at her Montessori school. We have reassured her that this aversion was totally normal and that, of course, she would make new friends at her new school. She has been talking to me about various aspects of the public school and asking me questions. I've been pleased to be able to talk to her about the details and to answer her questions. I was most pleased, however, to hear her talk to my mother the other day on the phone while I was driving.
My mother asked her if she was excited about her new school. Inside I cringed a bit because I was thinking that maybe "excited" was a bit too much to ask of a seven year old who is leaving the most significant friends that she has known at her young age. She responded quickly and surely, "One. I am excited but a little bit nervous because I don't know what the school will be like. And two, I don't want to leave my friends at my old school, my best friends. Also, I like that in the Montessori school that the grades are together so that you can see the second grade work and the third grade work." Well, I thought, that is just about perfect. That's about everything that she should be feeling AND she can articulate it quite clearly.
In all of my fears about testing, lack of individualization, lack of peer interaction, and on and on. I am putting my trust in her.