Sunday, January 04, 2009


Tomorrow morning I will be lining up to get my kid into a 'good school'. Jan 5 is the first day of applications for the September '09 Kindergarten year and that's where we're at.

After much discussion we are about 80% sure that we'll send our kid to the standard down the road public school but in the meanwhile we need to play along with all our friends and neighbours and a good chunk of class politics, too. Considering everything I need to make applications for 6 schools: the two public montessori school lotteries; two french immersion; our local school (that tends not to have a waitlist so yeah) and a second local school that's considered 'better' than our actual catchment school. The latter school is in fact closer to our house by .1 of a kilometer. I repeat 6 schools! Hey I could make it 8 but I cut-back. Consider me suddenly some hyper-social-engineering, self-centered freak-show parent. A garden variety busy-body and worrier I despised, well, a little over a fortnight ago.

I wish I could enjoy the pride of my daughter being such a big girl now, the twinklings of independence to come but no, screw that. I am newly immersed in a forest of anxieties about making the right choice for my kid. I mean why are half the families around here sending their kids to French immersion? ESL-paranoia. If they go to French immersion they won't have immigrant kids holding their kids back! Yeah, what a crock -- then on the flip side my daughter actually likes what French language learning she's had so far so fingers crossed we win a lottery space for that option!! Montessori? Well that's a similar thing, get my kid out of the regular school please I am afraid of the ordinary????

The most time sensitive application I have to make is for the school nearest our house. I will honestly be standing there begging them to timestamp my submission all the while elbowing three other dear mothers of my daughter's dear friends to do it. While we sort of prefer this school location-wise it would be a lie to not also acknowledge our perception that this is a better class of school, more English speakers, a better balance of ethnic groups, fewer special needs kids. It's shameful all the euphemisms. Hello, this is PUBLIC school, don't we want our kids to learn how to operate, you know, IN PUBLIC??

My daughter is a sweet girl. She's clever enough by half. I think a lot about what she might do with her life and thus I will comb all the options here. But seriously, wtf??? What I want most is that when she goes to school next September she is among friends. That she will go to a school with a few good friends she knows and that she can build from that community base to the bigger, and better, community base school offers. For a lot of reasons it is becoming freakin' complicated to achieve that.

I really hate anything that requires me to give a crap about how my friends choose to run their families. Know what I mean?

ps.. I would prefer there wasn't a lot of driving involved to do that either.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay. I now regret whinging last year about having no choice in where to send my son for school. This sounds intense.

Just a word about Montessori schools: the term Montessori is not trademarked. Schools (playgroups, daycares, etc) who claim to be Montessori don't necessarily follow the theories or practices of Maria Montessori or have teachers and aides trained in her theories. It's frequently just used as a marketing phrase to appeal to a certain kind of parent so if you really want your child to be in a Montessori educational environment you may need to do some research.

Good luck!

9:21 p.m.  
Blogger mo-wo said...

Newsflash. I just got a call from a friend. She's out! They have decided to opt out of the options and just go local!

I love her.

And, SB on the Montessori thing. We have two public school Montessori programs in Vancouver. I have looked into them and understand their differences from 'pure' Montessori method. I appreciate them for what they are. We'll see.

9:45 p.m.  
Blogger Mad said...

It's all catchment here. No choice in the matter other than French Immersion vs English leading to Intensive French. That decision doesn't happen until grade 3, though. I feel greatly relieved about my situation having read this.

11:47 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you thought you had nothing to blog about! Parenthood just keeps on giving.

1:38 p.m.  

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