She will be four September 4th and as such she misses the school district's kindergarten cutoff by three days. I'm not yet sure whether we will try to test her into kindergarten at just-five; a lot depends on how she does in preschool. Leanna has a late-summer birthday and so barely made her cutoff - she's struggled in school as one of the youngest in her class - and Abby, who has a December birthday and is therefore one of the older kids in her class, has not struggled in school on any level but reading (which is not so much a matter of relative age and maturity as it is learning style).
Lizzy has one advantage neither of them had at the time... and that's older siblings. She has perforce learned to get along with others in ways the older two simply did not have to do; Leanna never attended preschool (although she was in a home-based child care) and Abby attended a daycare center/preschool, but was only with her peers for 99% of the day, not with children in other age groups. So Lizzy is used to being the baby of most groups, except when playing with her cousin Lucy, who is not yet at the play-with stage; at not-yet-two she tends to play near instead. Lizzy does too, at three-almost-four, but is beginning to be inclined toward cooperative play. Running off some of her energy three days a week might not be a bad plan either.
So I want her in a preschool - for one or two school years, depending - where she can be in a mixed-age group. Now, I have a number of (outdated) credits in Early Childhood Education, and Laston is trained as a K-12 teacher (his favorite is middle school science; if you want a baking-soda volcano, he's your guy. Although he might be inclined to use some esoteric something to make the lava more realistic, but I digress). We are pretty much agreed that Montessori is the way to go for Lizzy; she needs more structure than we (or Grandma, for that matter) are likely to give her at home, but the freedom to do what interests her (right now she's spelling words in a puzzle she co-opted from Abby, and is frustrated because the p, q, b, and d pieces look so similar) and a mixed-age group.
So I - being me - have made a spreadsheet of local preschools - Montessori and otherwise - for the fall. I'll need to enroll her soon. So far the best bet is three mornings a week at one in the Bothell High Tech Corridor. I plan to visit them, and in the meantime, I want to send her to my favorite mama-doesn't-stay drop-in daycare a couple mornings a week. The reason for this is three-fold: 1) running off energy again, 2) get her used to the idea or going to school, and hopefully fully potty-trained as her peers will be doing likewise, and 3) giving her the opportunity to attend "camp" just like her big sister Abby. Should be fun.