Thursday, March 12, 2009

school woes.

i've been pretty m.i.a. lately on the internet. well, that's a lie. i've been on facebook and check my email fairly regularly, but as far as actually communicating with people... well, i've been crappy.

it's been a busy season for us - i was working on what could have become a huge, interesting project for me and our family - a sort of homeschool co-op for some ex-pat americans living in santiago. it was a lot of time-consuming work that unfortunately won't see fruition, but i don't regret doing it. the families backed out, opting for the american school for their kids, eventhough they know it's not doing the best for their kids education or formation.

which is what led to some evaluation of what's going to happen with our kids in the future. samil gets to play with his friends one day a week, but we really want him to enter something more formal in the fall. it's a complicated situation because we don't really believe that "school" is necessary for a two year old, and on top of that, we'd like to have samil "alphabetized" in english (or at least well on the way to reading) before he enters school in first grade.

pre-school is kind of a joke here. there is little philosophy of early childhood development, so pre-school, even for two year olds, is run much like elementary school. you won't see a lot of imagination centers, small or large motor development (maybe gym class once a week) activities or even the freedom of choice. the schools that are actually designed with small children in mind are way out of our budget.
so, homeschool co-op project was dropped and pre-school for samil was adopted. we've been to a hundred schools to see if they'll take our son for just two mornings a week. the resounding answer? no. i've been insulted in every way possible as these pseudo-psychologists try to tell me how horrible a mother i am for not enrolling him fulltime so that he "can learn". and when they don't get us with the educational opportunities they're very obviously superior in giving, they tell us they can't take him because the board of ed. won't allow it. good thing amalio works for the board of ed. and there is no rule that says part-time preschool is out of the question. of course, then, there is their offense when they realize our kid is smarter than the ones they teach and that, therefore, nullifies their "we are the best educators in the world" defense and finding out what amalio does for a living (and me, too) kills their "it's the boards fault" defense.
there are some daycares that will take him part-time. and we like a few of them. i'd prefer fake school to a daycare, but the real goal is to have him socialize with other kids his age, so it'll do for now. but this whole thing has re-ignited a little fire i had to start a rotating pre-school co-op.
i don't even know where to begin. because eventhough i complain about the lack of early childhood philosophy in the schools here, i'm not at all prepared to do it, either. i'm researching, researching and researching some more.
it's exciting to see how absolutely random opportunities that are given to us - even if they're then taken away - can show us how we can serve our families and children better. i sometimes get caught up in my work... or am so tired from teaching other people's kids that samil's education takes a backseat. so, we're re-evaluating. planning. and still working on that other huge project i've got going on that i mentioned before.
here's to a season of taking opportunities for what they are and putting our all into them - whether they come to fruition or not, we are learning from the journey!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Rest assured that, regardless of where he attends school, Samil will do well because he has two parents that are dedicated to his education.