Friday, February 29, 2008

The Old School Dilema

This week was school registration week here. And it of course got me all in a twitter.

Currently, Al is enrolled in the French Immersion Kindergarten. Before moving to Vernon, Al had been attending Vancouver's public Montessori school and we loved it. But the public Montessori doesn’t start here until grade 1, so we had some deciding to do re. schooling. And ultimately we decided to take our first tentative steps into "regular" public school and try out French Immersion. I am so far unimpressed.

I'll be the first to admit I've got some real issues when it comes to schooling and educating my kids. Let's blame it on my own childhood trauma. My sad little story of childhood whoa is pretty unremarkable, common even. I went through several grades with an undiagnosed learning disability. And by the time I was officially tested and diagnosed with a learning disability I'd heard that I was either slow or lazy from too many adults and I'd given up. I became a huge advocate that school sucked. The day I graduated from high school was one of the happiest of my life, not for the accomplishment, but because it meant I'd never ever have to go back. I hated school.

Now I'm the grownup, and it's my kids reaching school age, and I of course spend hours upon hours weighing the pros and cons of every educational option. Probably not the healthiest of approaches but I am what I am.

So, no we're not happy with our French Immersion Kindergarten choice. It's great that Al's getting some exposure to the French language, but all in all, he's not getting a whole heck of a lot out of it. Al of course loves the movies that he gets to watch sometimes in the 2 and a half hour class, like Dora in French (!) and an animated version of the beloved book Corduroy (a bedtime favourite here for years, but I guess his teacher would rather show the movie), but he complains that class is boring, that the teacher talks too much, that the other kids are always disturbing his projects, that he feels frustrated when the teacher ends reading time too soon. And the French seems to be more annoying to him than anything else. Like it gets in the way of getting the information he really wants.

The end result of all this is that we're taking Al out of French Immersion come grade 1 and were putting him back into public Montessori school. It'll be a much better fit for him, and hopefully I'll be able to relax for a few years before I start to obsess over his future high school choices.

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