The school we’ve chosen for Rumi: kahani mein twist!

Last I wrote, we had almost finalised DLRC for Rumi. It fit all the criteria we were looking for and she also attended a Demo day and came out beaming, with a ‘best friend’ in tow.

Just as we were gearing up to pay the fee and complete the admission process, we got a call from a parent who had also attended the DLRC open house with us. She informed us that Sapling Diya was planning to offer higher grades too. Sapling is a very well-known and loved pre-school in Pune. I would have certainly chosen it at the pre-school level, but for the stubborn beat of my heart saying ‘alternative’.

Since I was already sold on DLRC, I was unsure about whether I wanted to even take a look at another school but one thing I’ve always truly loved about my parenting is my ability to go that extra mile for Rumi, and so I called up and took an appointment. That worked well as we were scheduled to visit DLRC later and both schools are in close proximity to each other.

I can say with all honesty that Sapling Diya was the first alternative school we loved on sight. There is something very warm and inviting right from the minute you set foot in the gate. And the classrooms are absolutely beautiful. They are the most aesthetically pleasing classrooms I have ever seen. Completely in line with the Montessori value of orderly, beautiful systems for kids with ample natural light and clean, easy-to-maintain spaces on every floor.

It felt like the kind of space I would have thrived in as a child who loved order and neatness. We had a general tour and waited for a more detailed appointment in January.

Our second visit continued to impress us. The Montessori philosophy is exactly in sync with our values as a family. There are many schools that add ‘Montessori’ to their name and a general impression prevails that Montessori = little children.

But the Montessori method is so much more than open bookshelves and colorful toys. It is a careful thought through way of letting children unfurl authentically while supporting them with well-designed tools and toys that appeal to all their senses while challenging them adequately.

I had lost my fickle heart again! But the fees shook me out of my bliss. Sapling Diya has the highest fee structure amongst all the alternative schools we know of, indeed the highest among any school I know of barring the international schools.

Then followed a few tense days of discussion. Can we afford to spend so much at this stage? Is it even worth spending so much on the early years of education? Would it matter so much if R went to another school? How quickly we were forgetting that we had loved DLRC too, and even that price point had seemed high?

On the other hand, what do we strive and struggle for if not for all we believe in? And we believe in the value of education. And when it comes to your child, how much is too much?

It seemed like a leap of faith when we decided to pick Sapling Diya. My mum, the Brave, said “Tum karo, Raasta Allahmiya dikhata” (You take admission, trust that God will show the way).

Having the support of R’s uncles, aunt and both sets of grandparents was very encouraging. And we went ahead. It seemed like things wouldn’t fall into place but they did and how!

For Sapling Diya generously offered to have R start in February in order to acclimatize herself to the Montessori structure and settle down before leaping into Lower Elementary.

R has started and seems happy. I am wary of jumping in joy too soon as I am prone to doing but I think it will turn out to be a good decision yet.

And to sum up, what made us choose Sapling Diya over DLRC?

The difference was truly fractional. I remain impressed with DLRC and the fabulous engaging work they are doing. It all came down to the Montessori philosophy which I loved everything about and our belief and knowledge about Rumi made us feel like she would continue to thrive in a more playful, child-centric environment.

I will be talking more about Montessori schooling in my next videos.

Sapling Diya intends to offer both the Lower and Upper Elementary program (until 12 years of age). And what will we do after that? It all remains to be seen.

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Indhu says:

    Hi We are planning to move to Pune in a couple of months and I was looking for a good Elementary Montessori School for my 6 year old son. Can you tell me the fee structure for Saplingdiya?


    1. Rumi's mommy says:

      Hey Indhu thanks for stopping by! 😊 so the elementary program at Sapling Diya is above 2 lakhs per annum. It includes lunch and materials. If you give me your number, we could connect and talk if you like.


  2. freeadya says:

    I meant we AREA looking for a strictly chilled out and heartful place for Kabeer (our son’s name). Couldn’t resist mentioning his name since yours is Rumi 🙂


  3. Madhu says:

    My son just turned 1 and I have gone grey checking out schools for him – all to make sure he’s prepared mentally (we’re prepared financially) for the leap. Came across your blog at random. Your Rumi is absolutely adorable ♥️ Thank you for this post. Will look forward to yoir updates here 🤗


    1. Rumi's mommy says:

      Thank you so much Madhi, so glad to have connected here! Unfortunately Instagram has really reduced my full posts here 🙈maybe I can pick up in 2021! But do let me know if you need anything at all… Looking forward go hearing which school you finally choose for him and love and blessings to him ☺


  4. kalpana pankaj nande says:

    Hi. Actually we are shifting to Pune in this month. I am in search of a school for my kids… for grade 4(studying in conventional CBSC board school in Mumbai) and Nursery…in this regard yesterday we visited Aksharnandan …me and my husband like it very much. while searching for more such options, I came across your blog on alternative schools …it’s very helpful to know the different nurture center at single window.
    lets see where our search ends for schooling.


    1. Rumi's mommy says:

      Hey, glad to hear from you and to be of help. All the very best to your kids on their new schooling journey ☺


  5. Prajakta Shingvekar says:

    Hi…Thankyou for the blog. I’m going to check Anand Kshan for my 16 mo twinnie girls ,as m looking for such alternative school and it’s quiet near to me (just starting to check ) , can u ask about it to the parents whom u said have taken admision in Anand Kshan? also where is sappling diya located ? Lots of love to u n Runi ❤️😊


    1. Rumi's mommy says:

      Hey thank you so much! Sure, I can put you in touch with a few anandakshan parents, where should I contact you?


  6. Prajakta Shingvekar says:

    Hi…Thankyou for the blog. I’m going to check Anand Kshan for my 16 mo twinnie girls ,as m looking for such alternative school and it’s quiet near to me (just starting to check ) , can u ask about it to the parents whom u said have taken admision in Anand Kshan? also where is sappling diya located ? Lots of love to u n Runi ❤️😊


  7. P says:

    Hello Rumi’s Mom,
    It would be a great help if you could connect, have few questions about Montessori.
    Thanks !


    1. Rumi's mommy says:

      Hey sure, could you send me your contact details on


  8. Ridim says:

    Hey Rumi’s mom,
    We will be moving to Pune in June this year. Bumped into your blog while searching for alternative schools just like most mothers 😃. I wanted to know if my son who will be 5 in June will be eligible for admission in their primary program. Have few other questions, would like to connect to you if that is ok with you.
    Thanks for taking time out and writing this blog


    1. Rumi's mommy says:

      Hey Ridim, thanks for stopping by. Would you like to share your number so we can chat further at length? You could send it on


  9. Thanks for all your posts. It helps parents like us who are looking for other options than regular school.

    We have found another cool place named – Unschool in Baner. Visited them a few weeks back. Sanket, the founder has amazing thoughts and great infra …..


  10. Mitali Kolekar says:


    Thank you so much for your blogs, they are very helpful.
    My daughter is turning 2 this February, we are thinking of enrolling her in Sapling Diya if they start the Infant Community in offline mode.
    Our thoughts have been going from one direction to the other as we keep thinking about her schooling.
    Initially we were sure of Alternate schooling till the age of 16. Then we decided to take a short term decision , and came down to Montessori till the age of 6 years. We decided to think later about what is to be done after 6 years.
    (Whether continue in Sapling or switch to a regular school )

    Now after speaking with a few more parents, we are again confused. Looks like a lot of regular schools give weightage to some particular pre schools during admissions to primary level.

    Also few suggested that it may not be easy for her to switch to a regular school from Montessori after 6 years, and with my earlier point , it will also be difficult to secure that admission.
    This is such an overwhelming process for us, sapling is only till 12 years, that adds up to more confusion.

    Can you please share your thoughts on my doubts ?
    1. How easy will it be to switch to a regular school at 1std
    2. How difficult will it be to secure admission in a regular school directly at 1std ( example : Vidya Valley)
    3. What about 12 years in Montessori?

    Thank you so much, I know I am demanding a lot, but only a parent can understand this situation.



    1. Rumi's mommy says:

      Hey Mitali, thank you so much!
      All valid questions, something we’ve grappled with for a long time. Shall we chat on WhatsApp? It might be easier to talk at length, rather than writing all of it as a reply and still missing out on a few things. You could send me your number on In case you’re not comfortable doing so, in a nutshell: switching to a mainstream should not be a problem at all, because the school will provide an indepth report and mainstream schools will take a separate assessment too. However, for mainstream schools, having an empty seat Or two is always tricky. I know other parents who’ve switched to vidya valley and back again without a problem


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