Today is "The Day in The Life of Kindergarten" at M.'s potential school. I am thinking about the 48 minute drive to the school from my house, and the pressure parents feel when choosing their child's school. We are lucky that here in the country we don't face pressures to enroll their children into expensive private schools that have lengthy waiting lists. But, we do have charter schools that are part of the public school system that offer an alternative curriculum. We chose a charter school that is a K-8 waldorf school. The very long drive aside, I am very excited that M. will potentially be at a school heavy on music, art, virtues and individualized learning that does not include homework or textbooks. I was sad to find out a couple of weeks ago there are 40 kids on the waiting list for 18 spots because I don't have a plan B.
We have a local elementary school 3 miles from our house, but I am opting to not send M. there for about 10 different reasons, but mostly because I disagree on the curriculum. This has created somewhat of a firestorm in our community because people are very passionate about their local schools and have a vested interest in maintaining their survival. At community events like May Day and Halloween people like us who are choosing not to send their kids to the local school have been publically humiliated and chastized for not supporting the local community. There is a public forum at these events, where people can speak in the middle of a circle surrounded by hundreds of people. This has been used at a platform for airing both judgemental and non-judgemental opinions toward a group of parents choosing to send their children elsewhere. But, today I am putting that all aside to enjoy meeting new parents, children and teachers at the school we will hopefully soon be calling our own.