October 04, 2003

From Montessori to Public School

It's depressing. Ask George. Jenna's kindergarten experience so far has been nothing short of depressing. I don't know if it's her age (september birthday that missed the state cut off for first grade by 4 weeks) or her Montessori experience that brought her too far ahead, but this current kindergarten situation isn't working.

I thought I'd found a good compromise in a school that is not quite a regular public school--one of those new-fangled special schools, but still state funded--and I thought there would be a better chance for her to move ahead (either within her grade, or literally to first grade) at this school. So far, none of that has happened.

The newsletters we receive at home from her teacher suggest activities such as:

Use string to make the shape of an "S" - (she's been reading for over a year)

Let your child write letters in shaving cream - (george did that with her when she was 3. she's been writing for real for 2 years now).

This week, the newsletter said, they learned the difference between a real horse and a model horse.

Well unless someone shipped over some actual steaming maneure for the kids to smell, I don't think Jenna learned much new from that little exercise.

Things like that. There are more examples. Jenna comes home and acts out. When I ask her what she learned at school, she says "It's boring. It's stuff I already did before. And the other kids whine all the time!"

And then she starts.

So we've been attempting to reach the administration to discuss the situation.

It took four in person visits to the school to get the Principal to call us back, just once. She did not apologize for her lack of response. If I hear ONE MORE TIME how busy she is, I promise you, I am going to pop my top. Busy? She thinks her job is busy? Join the stinking club, lamebrain. If I treated my clients like you treat your parents, I wouldn't HAVE any.

Anyway, the Principal promised us during her gracious call that the guidance counselor would call us Thursday or Friday. "I promise I will have her call you Thursday or Friday," she said.

She never did. It took two more calls on our end to chase her down. The guidance counselor gave George a laundry list of benefits from keeping Jenna in Kindergarten, but indicated the choice was ours.

So we thought about it. George more than me. He actually thinks about things. I react. When all was said and done, we decided to have her moved to first grade. We called to tell them to move her, and it was like talking (again?) to a space alien. Did she even remember us? I couldn't tell by the tenor of her voice.

Now, apparently, they don't think she's ready to move.

Ready to move?

She's the only six-year old in her class. If she had been born at 36 weeks instead of 40 weeks, we wouldn't be having this discussion. She's had almost 3 years of Montessori. She reads, writes, and does math equations for FUN--the only one in her class who can. She's sick of coloring already!

She's forgetting what she once knew. She's regressing. She's bored to tears, quite literally. She loves Saturdays and Sundays because she can do work at home. She doesn't want to get up for school.

This is not the Montessori child I knew.

This is not the same the child who used to push ME out of bed to get to Montessori. She knows the continents, she knows the rainforest, she knows how to read chapter books, she always has a pen in her hand.

And now, she's starting to forget. And she says she's forgetting. She'll TELL you she's forgetting things.

I think it's because she's using her brain power to re-absorb and re-awaken what had become inherent. And she's stumbling because of it.

I have no scientific proof of this. But I have something that makes me more credible: the title of Mother.

Stop me before I strangle someone.

The bottom line is we have a meeting with the weenies at the school on Monday morning.

Any words of wisdom on how to approach a very arrogant, very disorganizied, very clueless female Principal are welcome. In other words, what language do these idiots speak????????????


Anonymous said...

I went through the fear of this and ultimately decided to homeschool my Montessori boy instead of public schooling him. I taught at the high school level in the school system here in GA and would never want to put any of my children amongst those ego-maniacal half-wits that have absolutely no appreciation for the unique qualities of each and every child. Maybe a good avenue to go down is to become as much a part of her classroom as possible. Even offering her supplemental work to be done at the school instead of the brain-numbing worksheets they're no doubt filling her with. Good luck to you and yours. Peace, Tarah ;)

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