Saturday, January 10, 2009

Decisions... Decisions... Ooooh Payday!

First of all.. Congratulations to Baltimore. That was a surprise. I always root for the blue state teams. And I like to root for the underdog. (even if they took our spot). Enough about the playoff's. I want to write about something much more emotional.

Choosing a kindergarten.

We visited our first public school today, Prospect Hill Academy. It's a charter school about a half mile from my house. First the "bad." The building is unquestionably a dump. It's an unrenovated 60's era building with clouded Plexiglas windows. The playground is smaller than my backyard and they have a "cafe-gym-atorium" meaning that in bad weather, they have to choose between the kids eating, exercising or having an assembly.

But the teachers and administrators were all energetic and dedicated and the curriculum looked interesting and challenging. In spite of the bleak foggy windows, the kindergarten class was warm and inviting and the teachers seemed to love what they do. The school seemed light on the arts in the upper grades, but that is one of the easiest things to supplement with outside classes. Since my family is so artsy, we have a lot of support there. The "lower school" only goes to fourth grade, so the focus is on younger kids. I'm not really a fan of the k-8 model that seems to prevail in Massachusetts. The needs of 5-8th graders are so completely different from the needs of the smaller kids, it's crazy to lump them into the same building, with a similar structure.

I'm not sure if it's the right fit for us, but Rich and I had a good feeling about it. The highly structured environment is a significantly better fit for Eric than for Kaylee. But we have four other schools to look at in a couple of weeks.

I will try to blog the rest of our Somerville Kindergarten Odyssey as it unfolds...