Bama, Rabbit, and I scooted down to our zoned public school to register Bama for PreK this fall. While we kept a spot at our beloved school from last year, it's in the village and I'm not sure I have it in me to commute three days a week for it. Perhaps I'd be more enthusiastic if I thought we'd be returning to the same love fest as we ended the year with (barring my continued crap experience with the "i birthed in a tub you lazy git" mother) but the majority of her buddies will be at PS3 or PS41, leaving us as one of the older people in the class. Sigh.
So we decided we needed to get serious again. We didn't get into any of the pubic schools on the lottery draw, so I put her on the wait list for ones in our zone, and crossed fingers for a couple out of our district knowing full well it would never happen (too popular, too far down the pecking order).
Private schools. The three that we looked at that appeal and are local (read: not manhattan) are between $25K and $29k a year. PreK. We don't have that cabbage.
COOPs. I talked with two, one still sounds appealing. It is a French immersion coop, but she would be significantly older than the other children. Still, I may give the organizer another call to check in. It might be a better option than our public school which rated a 4 out of 10 on greatschools.net. No, it's not the word of god, but we also don't know anyone there. It's hard to fall in love with a school covered in scaffolding, rated a 4, whose teachers carry around a giant bag of chips during recess (we walked by one morning). When I registered her this morning, the school secretary was cheerful, kind, efficient, and ebullient about the homework she'd be assigned as part of being at a real school where she'd really learn. "We don't just play with blocks here!" she said.
Color me not excited.
The other coop we looked at sounded intriguing (it's a revolutionary art directive) but after missed connections with the organizing parent, we thought it might not be organized well-enough for us.
I am trying to not to feel discouraged, like a bad parent, like parents short-changing their child. Plenty of people will say, "it's just preschool! what does it matter?" but it's foundation learning, I want our kids to be excited by school, not lost in rote routines and homework assignments. I don't want them taught to the test. I don't want to feel like school is "fine" when fine shouldn't be good enough.
Then I feel like a jerk because it's public school and I taught public school so I should know not to believe the hype.
But when it is your child, it seems, at least for me, all that changed. Aggravated, indeed, by how little we know of the education landscape here. If we knew more, we knew the districts or had teacher or family connections (as we did in CA and in Manhattan) I am sure we'd be less anxious.
Then we walked by the Dillon Child Study Center, which is affiliated with St. Joseph's College and is a teaching school. Green lawn, happy children running around. Bama stood outside and said, Hey, we looked at that school. She sounded wistful.
Handling Mean Girls And The "Cool" Kids via www.thetwincoach.com
How does this relate to the mean girls article? I have been thinking a lot about how my very sweet girl who thinks the best of others will do in a larger setting. Her public school class will have 18 students, a teacher and a para. While the preKs are separate from the general school population, it is daunting for me to think of her navigating the halls, the lunchroom, the bathroom of this bigger world. She's already dealt with a couple of bully boys who loved to swagger and segregate kids at whim.
I thought the tips here were a good reminder of how to help my child and how to think about what was going on with bullies in general. Fingers crossed we will not have to deal (much) with it.