Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Kindergarten Prep

We've been in the midst of open houses for kindergarten, gosh, can you believe it? Kindergarten! Seemed like it would take a life time to get to this point. It makes me sad and happy at the same time. I'm sad to see the boys leave my constant side but excited for them to have a new experience. I know they will just love school so much (at least for the first couple years, right?).

Aside from the Spanish immersion program we are looking at a couple different charter schools in the area. Because there is the possibility we won't get into Spanish Immersion we thought we'd see what else is out there. I love to idea of different approaches to learning since the traditional ways that are taught at most schools don't always work for everyone and aren't necessarily the best way to learn. I've watched a lot of documentaries about U.S. schools and the common theme is over worked and stressed out kids under mounds of homework. Children are seriously getting physically ill because of the pressure from school work. I really don't think young children should have any homework at all. My friend has her son at one of the charter schools we are looking at (it's a Waldorf school) and the kids there do get homework but guess what it is? They tell the parents to give the kids chores to do everyday! They also have a policy of no screen time on school days (I'm stealing that one for sure). Also the kids aren't taught to read until the second grade, crazy right!? Apparently this isn't a new method and other countries who've been implementing these types of teaching practices actually out perform American kids!

Sadly, I think the charter schools will be harder to get into than the immersion program because admission is based on a lottery system (with hundreds of kids applying for very few spots, one school only has 30 for kindergarten). So the probability that all three boys would all get into one school is slim and I don't hardly want them in different classes let alone different schools. The Spanish immersion program is also lottery based but we have much better chances at getting in since the boys would be considered native speakers (they want at least half the class to be native speakers). Last year they had 24 spots for native speakers and 26 kids applied. So knowing my luck I'll get two in and one boy won't get in, ha! No but seriously I'm really expecting that to happen. I feel worse for the non native speakers trying to get into the program because last year 109 kids applied for 24 spots!

It's really interesting why they started immersion programs in the first place and you'd be surprised to know that it wasn't to create bilingual people. They started it to close the "success" gap between children who's first language was not English and children who's first language was English. Apparently kids who speak English will start school and of course do great where as kids who don't speak English really struggle not only in the beginning but throughout their entire k-12 experience (not to mention into adulthood as well). However if these children are placed in immersion programs they will do just as well as their English counterparts. A beautifully symbiotic relationship! Both types of kids will do great and they will learn a new language at the same time, isn't that awesome?

Before learning this I was starting to feel a little self entitled and grumbling to myself that my boys really need to get into this program. But now after learning all this I would honestly be ok if they didn't get in. I mean I still really want them to but in the end I don't think my kids are the "target native speakers" that the immersion programs are looking to help. They speak English very well and would do great in an English only setting just as they would in a Spanish only setting. Anyways, applications are accepted later this month and we find out in April whether or not we got in, so we'll see I guess : )

Buddies est. 2010
Check out this Fire truck that Thomas built all by himself!
I'm really impressed : )
Ok so he may have gone a little over board on the bumper : )
I love the hose detail and the realistic driver in the back.
And did you notice the color/pattern symmetry on both sides!
Thomas worked on this for like two days finding the right colored pieces and making it as realistic as possible with the help of nobody at all!

1 comment:

nan cee said...

I am sure that what ever school they get into they will do just fine. Thomas did a super great job on his fire truck! Hard to believe he didn't have a bit of help! A job well done!
Love to you all,