Thursday, June 24, 2010

Taking You to School

Yesterday I took a big step, Friends. I committed to sending Princess to a local Montessori school for Kindergarten through 8th grade. I've been confusing family and friends for weeks, telling them she's going to a Montessori school:

"Wow! How much does it cost?"
"No, it's free. It's a public school."
"Montessori schools are usually private though..."
"Oh I know, but this is a public charter school, she got in through a lottery system."
"Oh! Well that's great! The Montessori here costs a ton!"

See, despite a lot of theories to the contrary, I was a straight up dork English major, shaken, not stirred. I did not have ANY education classes, (or desire) so my only experience with a Montessori school is basically when I interviewed for one during the Sad and Desperate phase of my post-college job hunt. They offered me a job, but I couldn't live on the wages. I only remember it being very touchy-feely be who you are, the world is a joyous wonder full of snow-cones type environment.

I googled it and learned some interesting things just now! Things like:

* They don't use a traditional "grading" or "corrective" scale, but rather the teachers will use observation and guidance to help the student reach the goal. (I'm pretty sure that I will have to be doing some *correcting* because, yes, there ARE wrong answers out there. As well as stupid questions.)(I'm pretty sure that *I* am not Montessori-approved.)

* Normal Montessori schools charge around $5,000 a school year! I'm saving money already. I should probably go shoe-shopping.

* Group work is encouraged but not coerced. I support that. I always wanted to shoot people who made me do group work. Mainly because I ended up doing most of the work if it involved writing. And in college I couldn't leave the future of my grade up to some numb-nuts frat guy. I hate groups.

* The abstract is taught through the concrete. I'm not sure how exactly that works, but it sounds very Zen, no? I'm pretty sure NO amount of concrete could have helped Your Favorite Writer pass algebra, but hope springs eternal. (Mainly hope that Princess inherited her father's Math Brain - which alternately terrifies and impresses me. He actually USES trig! FOR REAL!)

The other cool thing about this, which is purely on a *fun* level, is that the school is in the area of our city akin to saying "Yes, Princess will be going to Beverly Hills Montessori." I mean, we don't actually LIVE there, in this area of which I speak, but we DO receive their Newsletter. And, since I am a tragically misguided optimist, I always assume that once the book-I-haven't-written-yet gets published and I land on Oprah, I'll totally buy a house there. So. It's like I live there already, really, if you think about it.

The only thing I worry about is that once Princess heads to high school, that she will be traumatized by the *normal* public school. A paper with a letter grade? What fresh hell is this?!

But, by then, I'll probably have our driver take her to school in the Bentley, while I work on my series from the deck of my boat, so I'm sure I can find a Montessori high school.

Fun Fact: All Bentleys come with an umbrella BUILT INTO the driver's door. I know. It's that sort of extra touch that makes it worth the price tag, am I right?

Comments, questions, what's up with school these days?


Gina said...

I enjoyed reading your blog, and your comments about Montessori. I'm in the process of applying to open the first Montessori public school in New York City, and having to take it all too seriously! It's refreshing to read a light-hearted but on-target description of Montessori!


Sammo said...

Thank *YOU*, Gina, for reading! Good luck with your public Montessori - I hope it goes great! :)