Sunday, February 21, 2016

New School, New Ideas

So, it's been a very difficult first year of school for Maeve. We've struggled so much with Maeve's behavior at school, with doing homework, with a hundred things that make my daughter beg me not to make her go to school every morning. Which is like a knife in my gut. I've started making peace with the idea that school may never be to Maeve what it was to me; a place to shine, be noticed, to feel competent and talented.

But I have big hopes for next year.

Because next year, I'm sending Maeve to a different school.

It's an arts integration charter school that's opening in our district in the fall, and I have every hope that it will make school a fun, exciting place for Maeve to learn and grow. Now, if you're like me, you've never heard of an arts integration school, and you haven't any idea what that looks like. But I saw demonstrations of some of the types of lessons they do, and wow. It's exactly what I would do if I were in charge of making up a curriculum. They teach students by making up songs, dances, movements, art projects, photography projects, skits. All the things that really work to help kids learn.

They also offer a really vast set of 'specials', including world dance, theater, media production, and violin, as well as the usual PE, art, music, etc. Now, just thinking back to this year and how I've seen Maeve fall in love with dance and yoga, I know this school will be a big hit with her.

It makes me a little crazy that it's a charter school, as I've always told people that charter schools are against my religion. I have concerns about how they pull money away from public schools, and how quickly they tend to burn out new teachers. But everything about raising Maeve thus far has taught me that clinging to my principles is a great way to go insane. School is about what she needs, not about my ideals. So we will, with any luck, begin that new journey in the fall if she is accepted.

I hope so much that this darling little nerd will love it there.

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