Thursday, September 8, 2011

Oriented or Not, Here We Go!

So... today was orientation for Smush's first year of school. Tomorrow is her first day. It's just a half day - 8:30am to noon, but her first day nonetheless. Photo Phriday will be delayed until we get that first day of school picture! I am thinking, at this point, that she is handling this much better than I. Unless, of course, she's not. I've noticed that she keeps a lot inside. This sometimes makes it difficult to really tell how she's feeling. She also has a really good social laugh that she pulls out when she thinks she should laugh... anyway...

Orientation didn't really orient me much other than letting me get a good view of what her classroom looks like, where her cubby is, and that while there isn't a really good "spinny" thing in the playground, there is a seesaw and she likes that. Her teachers seem nice enough. One has a lot of experience, one is young and actually had the head teacher when she was in nursery bet. I am actually quite relieved that we got Morah Judy as I had met her at the Open House and felt like she might be a really good match for Smush. I have also heard good things about how she handles children who might need extra work b/c they catch on pretty quick. We think Smush might be like that.

One relief is that there are many other children in this class who have like-minded parents as us regarding food and food choices. This makes the snack issue much easier and we have already decided that instead of each of use sending in an alternative snack we are going to pool together. And, when the school director heard we were considering this, after speaking with one of the parent's in our class who actually owns a health food store, she is considering getting the entire class's snacks through him so there is no alternative snack, just the one, that is healthy, whole grain or fruit and not packed with high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated fats, etc. So nice that a few waves can encourage the sea to swim more healthily.

What am I afraid of? It's just school. I managed to turn out okay, as did Hubby... millions of children do it... but yet... now, as a parent I know I want to do what is right, what is best for my child. She is a wonder. She is so creative and a thinker and I just don't want any of that stifled by a system that wants her to conform. Is it because I read too much? Probably. Do I think I could do better at home? No, not right now. Certainly not with Mr. Squiggly around! Mr. Daredevil who has no fear and regularly unlocks the door to walk to Grandpa and Omi's when I am barefoot and not ready to go out, or am cooking something that I can't easily walk away from the stove! Plus, it's not that I don't have faith in the local education system, it's just that you hear all these stories about children being left behind, or not encouraged...

I really do like the idea of home schooling, but I also really like the ideology and methodologies of Waldorf and Montessori. Neither of which are options right here right now. And, so, for now we are a HANC ECC family, for better or for worse, right now hoping for better.


Ima2seven said...

My 3 yo looked up at once during "orientation" as if to say "why are you still here?". He then proceeded to ignore me so thoroughly that I went across the hall to say hi to friends. I don't think he noticed. I am sure it was helpful for some other folks.

I have to blog about why we love homeschooling (and did it for a year) and why I am so glad we don't do it. But it sounds like you work hard at making school a second home for them, and I think this is in many ways an ideal if you can make it work.

AdinaLex said...

I have definitely felt those same thoughts myself. Here are some other things to think about:

1) You are still an awesome parent because you think about this so much.

2) You are still going to be her mom, and encourage her to be unique and creative and let her experience the world all of those hours that she is NOT in school. That won't change.

3) You can make a decision for now, not forever. If school stops working for your daughter, you can always make a different decision at any time. You'll see what works from year to year.

4) You'll notice if your kids are being left behind, or don't fit in. But there is something important about giving your kids the experience of learning to navigate the world without you sometimes.

You won't agree with every decision that the teachers make or every activity they do in school, but you'll get to see your kids succeed on their own, and that is also beautiful.

Good Luck with the school year! It'll be a harder transition for you than for her.