Friday, April 30, 2004

School's Out
Today was Shane's last day of school at his current "Montessori" pre-school. Technically, the school is in session through the end of May, but we have been failing to see the point of continuing. The school is at least 20 minutes away, when there's no traffic. Some days, it has taken over an hour to get there. The school is ridiculously expensive, which is fine, IF we thought we were getting our money's worth. But right from the start we have felt like outsiders, and not even outsiders looking in, for we were never allowed to look in. A neighbor who had also been going to the school tried to schedule an observation which the school literature brags about allowing but when push came to shove, it was deemed that such a session would be disruptive to the children's learning. My own attempts to try to find ways to reinforce the classroom work were met with resistance, the only tip I ever got was, "while waiting at a restaurant, try playing a game of 'I Spy'" where one of the clues is the phonetic sound that begins the word. Further attempts triggered the response from the directress, "We'll let you know if there's a problem." Even Shane never really told us what happened there, which freaked me out a little. A recent email/e-newsletter from one of mom-centric "parenting" (mothering?) magazine sites compared Montessori programs with other programs and talked about how Montessori programs work hard to include the parents in the educational process. This was sort of the final straw. Our homework had hinted that this would be the case when selecting the school, but our experience was so completely different. There are countless other things that were reasons for us not continuing. Today's pick-up was confirmation that we had made the right choice. The directress said good-bye and good luck and all that to Shane and then turns to me to tell me that we really needed to work on Shane's listening. What! You're telling me this now. I have been asking for feedback and guidance for eight months and you're telling me this now? I told her that we were very disappointed that we had not been getting this feedback, and that it was one of the reasons for us not continuing. I just couldn't believe her audacity!

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