This is mostly just me "thinking out loud", but I'm posting it because I'd love if someone had some input or could tell me if there's something I'm missing!
Since talking to you ladies and the behaviorist with the pedi, I've been looking for something for Maiya that is stimulating, challenging, and without me (since if I'm there, she won't push herself, and therefore isn't challenged).
Since she just turned 3, there are very few activites that allow her to be there without a "caregiver" that I can find. The ones that I have found are either almost over and it's too late to sign up, or they don't start until July (when we'll be in Hawaii, so for us, it would be mid-July and she'd miss half of it).
So it appears that my best option is a preschool with open enrollment- which conveniently, I have found one very close to us. We visited today, and she LOVED it. It's Montessori, and I was impressed with how well the kids seemed to be really doing constructive stuff. The classrooms weren't "organized", but the kids were definitely learning. It was pretty cool! I mostly spoke with the owner, and liked her. My first impression of the teachers was positive, too. The price is, as Montessori tends to be, rather high, but within a normal range, from what I can tell. I might be able to find something cheaper, either Montessori or not, but I do like Montessori, and I can not beat the location.
We only spent 1 1/2 hours there, but Maiya really seemed to thrive. They said some kids need a transition time, with someone else there with them. Maiya? Psh, she just walked up to the kids and teaches and jumped right in. After asking the teachers if it was ok, I said good bye to Maiya and left (with the owner, so she and I could talk), and Maiya was still totally fine. She didn't seem interested at all when I came back, and definitely didn't want to leave!
The preschool she is in now is age 2 - 4. Maiya is not the oldest by age, but she sure seems to be, by far, the oldest developmentally. The potential school is ages 3 - 6, so Maiya is definitely the youngest. She's also the youngest developmentally, and I think that right now she really needs that older peer influence. She's been going to her current school for 2 months now, and doesn't have a single friend, because none of the other students are really at that developmental point where they can be friends, if you know what I mean. This school, she made a friend in only 1 1/2 hours. In her current preschool, she doesn't participate very much with the songs or anything, and in this one, she did. Not much, but more than the other preschool. My guess is that the difference is the "peer pressure" aspect.
My point is... I so far really like the school. I'm waiting for some references, but I talked to some parents there, and they all gave glowing reviews. Maiya really liked the school (she's already saying she doesn't want to go to the other one any more, and we still have a month left!).
With the "extenuating circumstances" of me thinking that a class like this will make a huge difference in her life right now, I am in a rush to get her enrolled, and that is why I'm posting! I researched a little when she was about 1, but was in no rush to do anything then. Now, I've only visited that ONE school. I've talked only to them. I've researched others, but not interacted.
Now I'm worried I'm going to make a rash decision! Honestly, Maiya would probably love any school with older kids. I would probably love any school I toured, since everyone is on their best behavori then and I'm pretty susceptible to that! But, do you think it's worth looking around more? This school has an opening now, so I can probably start her very soon, which is really what I want. Am I crazy to just sign her up for the first one we both visited??
And also... They have a flexible schedule, and I'm not sure when to have her go, if we go. I think I want to start with only two days a week, but do you ladies find that that is too variable of a schedule, and they don't get used to it? I was thinking Monday and Wednesday, would a 4 day weekend be too long, do you think? Or Tuesday Friday (I'd prefer to not have school on Thursday)? Maybe Monday and Thursday? Or go ahead with three days, and do MWF?
They also have a half day schedule, but I think I'd rather her get to stay for the whole day, because that's better for her, and it gives us days to do something.
Sorry for the rambles!