This week, I registered Abby for a 4-year old pre-school class for next year. She loves pre-school (told me so today, again). It started off kind of shaky with promises of peach smoothies for a treat if she had a good day. She's not what you would define as someone who enjoys new situations and being around strangers. Pre-school was this new experience for me, primarily, this year as I've never been the parent part of the educational process before, and I'm learning that every year henceforth will be a new adaptation to this role. I'm in a groove with two days a week gig now, but next year it will be three and in the mornings instead. Then, we'll be in for one more year of pre-school or else kindergarten. And, whoa...we're feeling pretty ignorant.
To quote my spouse, "I don't know anything about elementary school!" We may be licensed teachers, but elementary school is its own beast, one that neither of us proclaim to understand.
*I don't know what signifies the difference between an okay kindergarten program and a really good kindergarten program.
*I don't know how much technology is too much for this age.
*I don't know how different programs will help my skittish kid adjust.
*I don't know if she will "be ready" for it. I suspect she will, but...
*...I don't know if that signifies whether she should go at age 5 or not.
Most importantly, we don't know what school system we want our kids to enter. Given the looser districting that I mentioned in the last post, we feel a little overwhelmed as our children are not obligated to attend the district that we live in. Thank heavens on that one. We bought our house with no intention of ever sending our children to the district that it is in.
But there is a HUGE push for K-12 technology, not just in this area of the state but everywhere. We are both certainly wary of what appears to be complete immersion in constant screen time at such a young age.
I spent some time this afternoon skimming through a few of the local school corporations' websites, and shocking to me, there is virtually no information on any of the sites to answer any of my many questions. I feel frustrated already, and "the choice" is still one year away. One of Abby's pre-school teachers always spells her name "Abbi" (though why that's the de facto spelling for her is beyond my understanding), and this bothers Abby who has known how to spell her name for a year or so and is very proud of this as her identity. For a three-year old, that's a big deal how you are addressed. For an adult to mess up something that is vital to her self-awareness is understandably frustrating. I've debated a little about whether I want to or am willing to be "that parent" who steps up for their kid when the child doesn't have the words or willingness to solve the problem. And I decided that I won't, at least in this situation. Abby has to learn that other people make mistakes and that some mistakes aren't really a big deal. I've spent enough time interacting with "that parent" and I don't really want to be that way though I know that those intentions are often sincere. But given the overt lack of information readily available for what I feel I/we have to know in order to make an informed decision about what we think is kind of a big deal, then I forsee myself having to be "that parent" in this respect. I don't relish this part of my job.
I leave you with a quote from Brigham Young. I may not agree with you in many a way, but this thought I kinda like. And, I have 2 girls, so it's a little apropos. (Future post--how do you raise girls to be girls yet not buy into being girly??)
"You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation."