School is over, graduation is past us and to be honest, I am more nervous than Alexis herself about her attending kindergarten.
First of all, 5 is way too early to go to a structured school. I think we all can agree on that. There should be pre-K5 and pre-K6, where all they do is play and learn through play.
Alas the current education system does not allow for that unless you homeschool or hold your child back a year. Neither of which is an option for us. Lexi’s pre-K teachers have expressed how far ahead she is of the pre-K class curriculum and has been the whole year, so leaving her in pre-K 4 would be boring her from the knowledge standpoint. Homeschooling is not an option, even though it would be amazing for our travels. Both Andrew and I have to work. Daily. Adding homeschooling and entertaining a child on top of work is a recipe for parental insanity, especially considering how intensely social Alexis is and how much she needs to play and talk to her peers.
Spending some weeks during her summer break without a camp or school to go to, has given me a glimpse of what a homeschooling life would be like. Enough that we had to sign Alexis up for summer camp after a month of summer break at home. If I were a stay at home mom, or at least not the bread winner (being a singe co-parenting mom), where it is not crucial whether I make money or get work done, I would absolutely opt for homeschooling considering how much we travel.
Though, I have not entirely given up on the idea. When she is older and can handle herself better in terms of entertainment and school work, I will have a discussion with her and see if she would be interested in doing homeschooling for a year or two to allow us to explore the world. But I am talking like maybe 10-11 years old.
I got sidetracked, as usual, since there is so much to talk and think about. So about her current pre-school. It’s a jewish private pre-school. We are not jewish, nor do we approve of any kind of religious education at all, however this was an amazing pre-school without a big emphasis on religion and we figured while she is little, we can overlook the minor religious aspect that is presented in an educational form. If anything, it would only open a conversation about such topics, which would allow us to explain to her the scientific point of view instead. She’s very intensely interested in science, so it hasn’t been an issue.
She has been going to pre-K for a year. We started there as a summer camp to test the waters when she was 4 and she absolutely freaking loved it. The teachers are amazing, the security is top notch, the classrooms are exactly what I would envision in my house (lots of wood, treehouses, open ended toys and lots of books and crafts). It’s not a cheap school by any stretch of the imagination, but it has been absolutely worth it the last year, even if we have had to stretch for it financially.
I have seen a ton of benefit from going to school in the last year, from new concepts to better skills. And I have also seen a lot of negative that comes from picking up bad behaviors and habits from other kids. She has learned how to scream, and be contrary and disobedient, something that was not present before the school year. She is still the sweet little Lexi we brought up, but now we have the challenge of directing bad behavior she sees from kids and correcting it.
All in all it was an amazing experience for her to go to such a good school and we wish we could just keep her there.
But we are off to a new school, which I will post all about in the next blog post in a few days.