Picking a Kindergarten - Between Apples and Orangutans
The first school is lovely. Flower borders lovingly tended by little hands frame the rundown building. Children's artwork graces the peeling walls. Students race past us to bring attendance sheets to the office; their gleeful hellos to the parent representative ring with genuine affection and joy.
It's not a fancy place, but it's a happy place.
The kids in the classrooms are engaged, working hard with the room parents and the teacher. The books look well loved and very well used. As does every thing else stuffed into the cramped quarters.
This is the public school, the public magnet school that we're hoping our daughter gets into. It's a lottery system and we won't know until the middle of March if we're part of the 50% who get in. The school is up the street from our home and boasts much better scores and stats than the one we're districted to. And a better percentage of kids who speak English as a first language. All probably due to the insane number of parent participation hours the school demands.
The other school is at the other end of the spectrum. It's private, requires no parent participation hours, has small teacher to student ratio, small student body, and marches to a completely different educational tune.
It's Montessori. It's different.
Everything I believe in - be it living life or raising children - is reflected in the Montessori educational system. As my husband put it after the school tour ended, it is the school of Jessica.
It has a fabulous music and art curriculum. It has PE every day. It has a large library and a gorgeous yard. They teach Japanese and Spanish starting in Kindergarten. It runs year 'round and is open from 7:30am to 6pm. It's perfect for us in every way conceivable.Continued on the next page