Hi all. I am a new member to this forum and this is my first post, ever. : ) So apologies for any repetition.
My oldest child started out at a Reggio preschool and then transitioned to a JrK program at a "country day" school that is considered one of the top schools in our area. My daughter has a May birthday so JrK wasn't mandatory...we did it primarily to give her some additional time to mature socially and emotionally before the real academics kicked in. Now at the end of the school year, we are feeling less than satisfied with the quality of education our daughter has received. Part of this has to do with how much she wants to learn and go beyond coloring, gluing, and what-not...part of this has to do with the lack of differentiated instruction and the intensely teacher-led environment. Suffice it to say, the natives are getting restless.
I recently discovered a start-up Reggio school about twenty minutes from our home. They are building out a grade per year and currently planning to go to 6th but will consider 8th depending on interest level. Our daughter shadowed there twice and after much discussion, they offered us a first grade slot rather than Kinder because the teachers felt she'd be better challenged and fit in more comfortably with her own age-peers.
So....long story short...we are planning to move our daughter after this school year over to the new school and feel very good about the decision. But as someone who has several teacher friends and a retired teacher parent, I can't help but wonder/worry about how well our daughter will transition back into a more mainstream school environment from a Reggio program. The new school is no-grade, minimal/optional homework, with all tracking done via portfolios created by the teachers throughout the year. My dad is convinced we'd need to start teaching our daughter how to do homework, nightly, before we move her over to a mainstream school...and do some "practice" tests to get her familiar with testing, etc.
I would very much love to hear from parents who have gone down an alternative path (Waldorf, Montessori, Reggio, unschooling) and successfully transitioned a child into a more mainstream/traditional environment (or, alternatively, who tried and didn't succeed). I realize there are so many things that can change between now and 6th grade...but I like to at least have a very loose game plan (or several) in terms of how things might play out for our daughter when/if the time comes. And before anyone asks...I am also trying to plot out a strategy by which my daughter never has to go to a mainstream school until she graduates and moves on to college...but that may not work out for us considering where we live (not a huge number of progressive education options in our area).
Thanks so much in advance!