Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Upper Delaware River Valley, PA
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My son is now in second grade and public school. He is very active, loves the outdoors, loves other kids. I transitioned him into a Montessouri pre-school very slowly. I sat in the corner reading for about a month until I felt he built a trust and good connection with his teachers. My first day leaving was rough, but I had confidence in his enjoyment of the school and the teachers. After that he loved going off to school...half a day, 3 days a wk.
In 1st grade he went to the public school. The days were much too long, too much indoors, too much florescent lights, too many wild kids, confusing rules (kids vs. teachers, boys vs. girls). But he also loved the excitement. Every afternoon, once home, he had melt downs, bounced off the walls, challenged every home rule... Only late at night, snuggling in the family bed did he seem to find peace.
Near the end of the year he asked to homeschool, so we agreed for this year.
We homeschooled for 1 month, travelling in Europe. It was very challenging as he is much more active than me, and I am not great with discipline - but exciting. 2 weeks back home, and one playdate with old school friends and he wanted to go back to school - to friends and recess. So, sad as I was to give up our homeschooling adventure, and glad to have more quite time, and he went back.
This year he has done much better. Handles the full day, the kids and rules better. He has a very young, energetic teacher. I constantly struggle with the values taught, the movies shown, the lack of outdoors, the sweets all around him. He talks of homeschooling some other year and hopes that we will find him a more alternative school.
Meanwhile next year my daughter becomes of age to go to the public school. There is no longer a Montessouri kindergarten locally and I am thinking to pick up and move the family to a location where there is a great alternative school that supports my values.
I think school is great for my very social kids. I don't miss them when I feel they are having fun. I love the peacefull time home alone, or the time to work (freelance). But I think our very well intentioned local public school is a slow virus to very lively, healthy, inspired, sensative children.
I welcome any advice of where to move to, to find a healthy, affordable school environment - see my looking for new home/great schools! posting.
good luck on your exploration.