Thursday, March 4, 2010

what you didn't learn in prenatal classes

My son is now 6 and he will be going to grade 1 in September. Sounds simple, except that I don't know which grade 1 he will go to. We have been in the Waldorf system for 5 years now and mainly without question. It is a loving, nurturing educational system that embraces the child as a whole and meets their developmental needs without pushing them to do things they are not ready for.

Why on earth would I not want to continue in such a school? It is expensive. While it is one of the least expensive private schools around, it is still a private school and unfortunately, we are not millionaires.

So this week I began my search for a new school. There are so many choices, public, French Immersion, Catholic, Alternative, Waldorf, Montessori, home schooling, it is dizzying. Public is where I began since we are already in the private system and it it's time is coming to a close. There is a good public school close to home, so I went to meet the principal and he was nice. The school was nice. The library, nice. Inspiring? Not so much. When I asked about their outside time I was told that the BC government requires 30 min of physical activity a day. That could be in the gym, outside or are you ready?? An exercise DVD geared towards kids. I am still tripping over the words "exercise DVD" Why not just go outside? Do I now need to buy my son leg warmers as part of his school supplies? How did teachers become so disconnected from their students? When did Jane Fonda become an appropriate part of elementary education?

In a couple of weeks we are going to explore the French Immersion school. I hear great things about it, it's in a beautiful old building, great music and art program. But will it still nurture my son's belief in fairies? Will he be rushed into an academic machine that I am so afraid to throw him into? Or will he thrive, loving to learn, making new friends and enjoying the family vacation to Belgium that we could now take since we would no longer be paying for tuition.

Pregnancy, birth, babies, we all get through it somehow. Each phase has it's own challenges and for many of them there are groups, classes, resources to support you through them. Choosing the right school for your children in balance with the health of the family, now that's something I didn't learn in prenatal classes.


Melodie said...

This just reminded me I didn't return your email. I will get on that RIGHT now!

jenlee said...

You can still take him outside!!!! Your love for the outdoors was not learned at school. I love you my friend. Don't forget to check your expectations.

Anonymous said...

No choice is written in stone, if you find whatever you choose isn't working you can always go back to Waldorf...(after your vacation). Leg warmers should be part of every school uniform:)