Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I attended Kindergarten Information Night on Monday, and all I got was this migraine

I live a few blocks away from a well-loved elementary school that has just recently been renovated to the nines. People with children there love it. They love the principal, they love the teachers, they love the facilities. And did I mention this well-loved elementary school is free? Well, not exactly, but at least already paid for by my property taxes?

I feel bombarded with information about how children need to be outside. They need to be free from the television, computer, movies, etc. They need to explore and create. They do not need to memorize, sit in lines, and repeat back.

Neither Ed nor I were impressed by the image of a Kindergartener sitting at a computer. We were also not impressed that the event started late.

The gist of Ed's and my conversation?

Me: Well...I guess we both know the endgame here. You tell me how everyone loves our neighborhood school, that Connor would get to go to school with friends who lived close by, and that he's an exceptionally smart kid who will thrive in whatever environment we subject him to.

I tell you that he loves Potomac Crescent Waldorf School, that he's having the best year of his life, that he's with the nicest group of 15 similarly aged children I have ever witnessed, and that they actually understand just how important interacting with the natural world is - something that every piece of research quoted in the NYTimes supports.

You tell me public school is free and that Waldorf school is expensive, and that since our school only goes to grade 3, his joining of the public school factory is inevitable. You also point out that logistically, it would be fabulous to have a child who could walk to school.

I cry.

We send Connor to Waldorf school.

And then Ed adds that possibly, I might want to actually visit the local school. And he reminds me that I did have a really nice exchange with the principal over email and the assistant principal in person.

That, my friends, is the clear cost of marrying someone who is utterly rational.

And then Ed admits that he told his coworkers that day he was gearing up for the inevitable argument about where to send Connor to next year.

Why can Arlington County have a public Montessori program and not a public Waldorf program? It seems so unfair.

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