Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Public school update...

Since Henry has been in his new public elementary school for a week now, I thought I'd provide an update on how that's going. Well, it's been mixed, to be honest. Last week, I was very unsure. We were getting a sheaf of paperwork sent home with him every day, yet answers to some very basic questions (like how he can buy lunch) were left ambiguous. I tried sending notes to his teacher, but she wasn't understanding what I was asking, and a carrier pigeon note system is not exactly the easiest way to communicate. Henry kept telling me that he liked school, but "didn't like his room as much as daycare" by which I understood him to be saying that he enjoyed all the toys he's had for all these years, and school is more "work" and less play. I firmly feel that kindergarteners should be playing. There's no need for us to impose strict learning outcomes on them; they're 5. When I was in kindergarten, it was a half day, and we still squeezed nap time in there! There was very little school work in kindergarten back then.

By the end of last week, I was feeling a bit emotional about the whole thing. Everyone kept asking me "how was Henry's first week at school?!" and I actually teared up whenever it happened. I wasn't feeling good and secure about it, and I'm a horrible liar. I didn't really want to talk about it, because honestly, I didn't feel that it was going all that great. Hank was still being very clingy when I dropped him off, so I knew he wasn't all that thrilled with it either.

Yesterday, mercifully, we had a better day. Hank's dropoff went the best yet, and he came home beaming. He had a library book that he chose from the school library, some things that he'd drawn (he's gotten much better with coloring inside the lines), and a counting/matching worksheet in which we could see that he's gotten worlds better with writing his first name even just in this short week. He also bought his lunch for the first time, and *loved* it. The children get to choose their main entree, but all receive the fruit and vegetable of the day, and for unexplainable reasons, Henry thinks that their fruits and veggies are delicious yet at home those same specimens make him gag. Whatever. As long as he eats them somewhere. He was able to choose chocolate milk for his drink, and was a very happy camper. This naturally made me feel a lot better.

So, it's still a bit up in the air. But yesterday, for the first time, I felt hope that we'll all grow happily into this school and feel a part of its community. Open House is in 2 weeks, and I'm very much looking forward to that; I think it will be key in increasing my comfort with the school. I'll keep you posted :)

1 comment:

  1. I worked at a Parochial school and the one thing that I liked about this particular kindergarten teacher is she allowed the kids to play inside the classroom at a certain point in the day. It gave her the opportunity to work individually with each child if she needed to. Unfortunately, Americans push too hard for academic achievement and overlook the purposes of imagination and figuring things out on their own.

    Talking to a friend from Colombia, their children go to school half the day and go home for lunch. They are also learning English and Spanish at the same time. There are so many different types of teaching philosophy out there. It's a shame that my state (which has the highest number of charter schools in the country) is trying to eliminate charter schools slowly. It's leaving parents without many options.


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