Changing Schools with an Older Child - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 06-01-2006, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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x-posted to Education

Hi mamas
My dd is just finishing 3rd grade in public school. From age three through kindergarten, she attended a public Montessori school, then we moved to a new community and it was too late that year to open enroll her in an alternative school, so I enrolled her in our neighborhood public school.

She is lucky in that she absolutely loves school. That is not the problem. My problem with her school experience is that she is only asked to do the MINIMUM and is not challenged in any way to do more. She is very bright and creative, but is not optimised in the traditional learning model. She is happy to just get by and doesn't ask for extra/harder work. I've seen her in other, more creative learning environments and it's incredible the ideas and work she generates. I've really been blown away by what I've seen.

Other upsides to this school - they have a great character development curriculum and very good teachers. In addition, my dd has a BEST, BEST friend who she's been inseperable from since 1st grade and I can't imagine separating them.

Downsides to the school - they are very focued on our state standardized tests and "teach to the test" IYKWIM. My dd didn't take the tests this year (and won't ever). Which leads me to another downside - even though I'm very involved in the school, there seems to be little tolerence for questioning school decisions and very little opportunity to get involved through committees and/or PTA. I'm not one to whine about not being let in, but I have given serious effort to three parent-led initiatives this year and have had the door closed in my face or been ignored all three times.

So, I'm considering open enrolling her for 5th grade in another school. Home schooling is not an option at this point for many reasons. We have lots of public school choice here - Montessori, a School of Integrated Studies, other alternative schools - but just don't know if it's the smartest thing to do for her development. What do you all think?

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
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#2 of 2 Old 06-01-2006, 04:53 PM
 
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I'm not sure which state you're in, CO maybe? But I have to say that if your daughter is not being challenged then maybe that's not the right environment for her to be in. It is true from a teacher's standpoint that alot do "teach to the test." Unfortunately we are given a ridiculous checklist of information that the kids should be able to regurgitate by the end of the school year. The list is so long, it doesn't leave room for other creative, challenging topics. In my state not taking the test is not an option. At somepoint in her public school education she would have to take one of those standardized tests.

This is all just my opinion, but if you could find an educational environment that is better for your daughter then I'd jump on it. I hate that I know this statistic but public school students in the US drop from the top 4 in elementary school to #25 by the end of high school when compared to the rest of the world's children.

Good luck with your decision.

wife to DH, Mama to DS "Bug" (09/07), and DD "Sprout" (01/11). 
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