By KATHARINE COGGESHALL
As the mom of a September-birthday child, I have experienced the “joys” of missing the cutoff for kindergarten. It was in my struggle to find adequate childcare last fall that I happened upon Canyoncito Montessori—a bright light in a dark time.
Nestled inside the United Church (across the street from the PEEC nature center), Canyoncito offers preschool and elementary education for kids who are potty trained through age 12. They stick to the Montessori method of teaching and are staffed with expertly trained individuals.
Canyoncito passed my full helicopter-mom inspection within the first visit. Small class sizes, clean facilities, and knowledgeable staff that truly cares for the kids’ well being put me at ease quickly.
What makes Canyoncito special? This isn’t just a playschool; this is a place of education. For years, I had paid for my daughter to attend one of the most prestigious preschools in San Diego. I thought it was great, until I compared it to our experience at Canyoncito.
Within the first month at Canyoncito, my daughter learned to read. She absolutely loves learning there and the methodology makes it simple for little ones to grasp. This is my third child, my third experience with a beginning reader, and I have never seen anything like it. It’s a combination of their method, their staff, and their praise that enable kids to learn at an accelerated pace.
How do you get in? Part of the splendor of Canyoncito is the small class size. And what makes them particularly unique is how they divide the classes, weighing a child’s ability more heavily than their age.
This means that there is no hard cutoff for a given age. If you want your child to attend Canyoncito, the principal will bring you and your child in for an evaluation to see where your little one may fit. It is customized.
Your child will be grouped with peers at their same learning level. If your child progresses quickly, the staff will reevaluate the placement. Every child learns at their own pace and Canyoncito is well aware of this fact.
Is it affordable? In my mind, it is affordable because you get what you pay for. Safety, education, personalized curriculum, excellent staff—these are priceless. After all, we are talking about your child, not daycamp for your dog.
In terms of numbers, it rivals other Montessori school prices. You will not be overpaying. Sure, you may be able to find cheaper care elsewhere, but it will be a challenge to find care that costs less and offers the same as Canyoncito.
I didn’t know anything about Canyoncito before we started there. I had no clue about how lucky we were to get in or what a great experience we would have. My daughter will be fully prepared for kindergarten in the fall. If you are interested in learning more about Canyoncito, contact them at 505.662.2910. Or you can peruse their website, http://www.canyoncitomontessori.com/, or stop by 2525 Canyon Road.