Friday, June 04, 2010

school search, part III

Losing it. We are. Losing it.

After re-reviewing another alternative education website, focusing in on one school I know we've read about 1000 times before, and (again) searching for life and houses in its general vicinity and proximity to oceans and airports, Mike and I are still beside each other with the laptop, me zoning out, Mike at the keyboard when I shake myself from my reverie just in time to catch this phrase being typed in the Google search box: “Best elementary school in the world,” then he hits enter.

Since you asked, I'll tell you that what appears when you lose it and start typing this bizarre thing into Google is a school in Laguna Beach, California called “Top of the World Elementary.” And since you further inquired, “It is among the few public elementary schools in California to receive a distinguished GreatSchools Rating of 9 out of 10.” (Zzzzzz. Oh, sorry, I thought we were talking about the future of children. I must have wandered into the wrong meeting.).

There is also (since you insist on hearing more) an article that debates whether Finland has perhaps the top educational system around, though I don't suspect we'll move there since it can tend to be very cold and very dark and good as they might be at schooling, there are people there who eat reindeer, and I REFUSE to explain THAT ONE to the boy who talks non-stop about the magic of Santa Claus 12 months out of the year.

And (you just won't let this die, will you?) there is a link to a page for an out of print book on some of the best schools in the world as determined by a couple folks in New Zealand.

Hard to tell if it was exhaustion or clarity that kept Mike plugging away, and so he typed in “compassionate elementary” which headed us for an elementary school in Fort Collins, Colorado which boasts a Kindness and Compassion Club and a school in Saco, Maine that has completed a 7 month kindness initiative through something called the Kindness Center.

The search is still on. Maybe something we found today will be the ticket (just not the Rudolph murderers). It's hard not knowing. It's hard looking at your family's future in the form of small pins plugged into an electronic map denoting real estate for sale and then measuring how far each pin is from the school you just got a virtual glimpse of. And how far the school is from the town, when there is one. Mapping, mapping. Studying. Looking for the right key words that will unlock it all.


bobbie said...

And with it all, you do realize of course that there is no such thing as the perfect school; and that no matter what the school is like, ultimately it is what and how YOU teach your son that will make all the difference. He'll be fine.

joven said...
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Dianne said...

I'm second what Bobbie said

of course his school environment is important but he'll be living in the real world and all his kindness and values and all the ways he thinks and copes will come from you regardless of where he goes to school

My DIL just saw a special about children who stutter and one of the theories presented was that they stutter because of the way they were spoken to as babies
So I have been forbidden from singing a silly Hippotamus song that Hope loves because it might make her stutter
Obviously I'll just let it go and do as I'm told
What kills me is that when Hope visits the "other" Grandma she sits in the same room with people who use racial slurs and somehow that's OK
In the end Hope is her own person and all that his sifted in will be processed and my absolute belief is that the goodness of her soul will win out

ruby said...

well i just googled "what to say to someone who is trying to pick the perfect school" and came up with 103,000,000 links including "stuff white people like."

it all seems like a bunch of b.s. and i'm pretty sure by the time he's in the third grade you should be able to write something better on the subject.

Honest Momblog said...

You know they have some damn good vodka in Finland...(or is it gin they're famous for?).

Brooke said...

off topic here, but Wow! I found you again. Thanks for your comment on my were one of my favorite writers when our boys were tiny and then I lost track of you. Here you are! So glad to be reading again.

Christine Gram said...

I just have this to add... sorry but I can't help myself.

You sound exactly like me. Literally. That madness that comes with the apparent weight of this decision. The hours and heavy responsibility not to mention the sacks of money you may end up handing over. We did.

And then we moved to Italy where I didn't understanding a FARKING thing about the education system here. I couldn't begin to grasp it. The culture was completely different. It came down to just picking the closest school so at least we could have less stressful mornings.

And for fear of tainting my children's perceptions of this new environment I bit my tongue time and time again. OUCH. When Punkette cried that she couldn't paint purple hair in her pictures, no outside time, fights in the courtyard, 1950's style discipline (writing "I will do my chores" 100 times)....

And with time and some work and love and patience... it turned out wonderfully. Seriously. And we're sending the kids to the nearest public school when we return in August. I'm confident they'll do wonderfully.

Kitty said...

Yes, of course, he'll get stuff from us. Buuuuut...
I want to hear the silly Hippotamous song.
"stuff white people like" -- Ha! Yeah. Pretty much.
I think Finland is vodka, like their Russian neighbors.
Hi, Brooke! Welcome back.
I remember the not being able to color the hair purple, and I wanted to cry too!
Sigh. I have really strong feelings about the social aspects of school. and I know my kiddo. You may all be right, but I'm not ready to let go yet. Though of course every day I question my sanity. (but that goes without saying!)

Kitty said...

oh and by the way -- thank you all for reading - and, Christine, geeeeezzzz - don't apologize for chiming in. I need comments, for lots of reasons.

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