Thursday, November 05, 2009

Back to School

I've mentioned a few times my difficulty in adjusting to kindergarten.  While I have philosophical issues with giving 5-year-olds a bunch of homework each week in addition to special projects, various little readers and the like, Kate does seem to be dealing with it better lately.  It helps that she's gotten help at aftercare.  So today as I was dropping Kate and Sarah off at their respective institutions I was thinking I should mention some of the good things about Kate's school, in the interest of fairness and lest I leave the impression that Kate is in a bad place day after day.
  • The building is new, beautiful and full of natural light (sunlight, not beer)
  • When we arrive each morning the staff are scattered strategically throughout the parking lot and building to welcome the students and wish everyone a good morning.
  • All the parents exiting the parking lot and drop-off line deal with merging and traffic mayhem with aplomb, without the aid of someone directing traffic.  Every day.  I marvel at this.  Where are these people for the rest of my commute?
  • The teachers and staff recognized the new kids and us parents within a few days.  When I go in to pick up Kate in the afternoon, they call for her without having to ask me who I am.  There are over 700 kids at this school.
  • Kate is reading an exponentially increasing number of "sight words" and sounding words out on her own.
  • Kate explained to me that a rhythm is a pattern in music.  She's saying stuff like that to us all the time now
  • In aftercare, Kate gets to take fun classes that change each semester.  This semester she chose "I Am Movement" dance, Fairytale Theatre and Puppetry.  Among her other choices were science labs, cooking, various sports and painting.  Next semester, so far, I know they're offering a sculpture class.  We pay just $20 a week for aftercare.
  • The school is attached to the YMCA.  That's the kids' gym.
  • I see the teachers treating the students with respect, even when the kids are in trouble.  This morning I passed a teacher saying to a kid who appeared to have been in some trouble "thank-you for having a good day yesterday..."  The building is so open, most things there seem to happen very publicly.
  • Sarah is mimicing Kate and can now write many of her letters and numbers and recognizes a few of Kate's sight words.  Sweet.
  • Most importantly, most of the time, Kate seems happy there.

1 comment:

Boomin' Granny said...

I'm really glad that you wrote this blog entry. I have been having very unkind thoughts about this school which was making my granddaughter have nightmares about traffic lights!
It sounds lovely AND time sometimes is needed for adjustments with a big change like starting kindergarten.