Posted on

School: 2012/2013

Given the space my brain needs to think about all the other things going on, I am tired of thinking about schools for Levi next year. We applied for one charter school, missed the deadline for MLC, missed the last open house (though not the registration) for Chief Joe, and am ambivalent about applying again for Levi’s current school to next year.

After hearing other stories, reading the Trouble with Boys, and experiencing a play based learning center to one that’s more academic in its orientation — I don’t have a lot of hope that we’ll see dramatic changes in no matter what choice we choose. If Levi’s current school was amazing, I could justify the expense. But, I doubt it will be worse (or better) than the local public school (that’s walking distance with rave reviews). The better risk, it seems, is to go to the public school (with union teachers) and call it good enough.

We’ve now passed the deadline for the current private school. But, we are no nearer a decision. Life has made timing a little muddled, and we’ll have to find alternatives to get the tours we need. The comforting knowledge is that Peter and I are on the same page. He saw some ruffians near the public school the other day. Granted, they were too old to have gone to the grammar school, but it prickled my husband’s feathers. We know the parents at the current school. They are all normal. Some of the parents at the schools we’ve visited … above normal. What if the parents in this gentrified neighborhood aren’t normal?

Me, though, I am done thinking about this. I wanted Levi to go to private Catholic school since before he was born. It’s proved to not be extraordinary. It’s proved to teach some religious ed, incorporate Christian holidays, but still it’s just normal. From what Levi is learning, there is no special learning style or different structure that really differentiates it from a public school.

The only thing I’d trade about my public school upbringing were the other kids. Why? Because when you move around a lot, other kids can be mean. When you don’t fit into the established cliques, life can be hard. But, I loved most of my teachers. They were kind. They were all caring. They all wanted me to succeed. They wanted all of my classmates to succeed. I can’t think of a single teacher who didn’t want to do their job to the best of their abilities. And, the real nice about public schools is that the teachers are unionized. I belive unions have a better chance of making our world a more stable place than without. So, no matter how ineffective they might seem, I think they are a good thing and it’s a good thing to support them. Private school teachers are likely not organized and they usually make less than their public counterparts.

What about homeschooling you might ask. Well, it’s not an option for our family, and not just because I don’t want to do it. But, I don’t want to do it. I don’t have the patience to consider lesson plans or field trips. I love my son, but he needs more diversity than mom.

So, the task for next week is to try to meet with Chief Joe. Maybe take a peek at the classrooms and sit down with a teacher or the principle. I would like to decide before April. Because when April comes, we need to start figuring out what to do over the summer…

Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted on

Sunday Night

I woke up this morning recovering from a dream in which I was late, missing my ID, and unable to remember where the after care program was that my son was in. The dream itself didn’t bother me once I was able to talk it out, but it is interesting how we use dreams to process that which goes on around us.

We are trying to find a school for our son. I had high hopes for this Catholic education. A place where Levi could learn more about this religion that I love than I grew up knowing. A place wehre Levi could grow with a small group of the same students in a nurturing, caring environment. That’s not to say he’d get something similar (sans the Catholic upbringing) from a public school — it’s just saying that’s what I wanted.

It’s become clear though, that the “regular” way in which we teach kids isn’t looking to be a good fit for Levi. It likely wasn’t a good fit for my husband either. They need tactile things. They need to touch. They need to explore. Sitting at a desk reading about life doesn’t teach them about life. Me? I can ponder, wax philosophical, and consider ideas until the cows come home. They need to jump into it. Knee deep. So, where can we find a school like that? And, if we do fine one, how much will it cost?

I won’t home-school. I am not that kind of a teacher. I require different stimulations while the day goes on, and if I don’t get it — I won’t be my best for Levi and my husband.

So, I am… I have been… worrying about Levi’s school. I’ve been worrying about our involvement, or lack thereof. I’ve been worrying about what the next school will look like. I’ve been worrying about the next school’s expectations. I’ve been worrying about managing all the things I’m involved in with the future PTA. I’ve been thinking more and more about how unrealistic 40 hour work weeks are when I have a small person and his own obligations. I’ve been fantasizing about ways to simplify my schedule and stay in line with my own goals: educating people on the importance of a sustainable society.

And, I guess all that thinking translates into a dream. A worried dream where I discard some of my personal belongings, including convoluted Keds, tied in strange knots, and putting myself at risk (of identity theft and getting soaked since I also discarded my rain coat).

Thoughts consuming the night time processing = dreams.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted on

God: a Religious Query

Nietzsche. Thus Spoke Zarathustra: God is dead.

Today, Levi told his preschool teacher that he wanted to kill God. When I queried him much later, when we got home, about this, he said that an unnamed bad person said it first. I do not know if this person was a classmate or a fiction of his imagination. I do not know the context behind the statement, only that the teacher (in this private Catholic school) spoke to Levi about how that sort of phrase makes God sad and it’s not really a nice thing to say.

I relayed the story to my husband who had only sympathetic ears for our 4-year old. My husband is coming from the perspective that, first, we haven’t been going to church regularly. Second, [my addition], we don’t instill a strict Christian doctrine in this household. So, third, Levi is attending this school where it sounds like all problems are fixed by God.

I guess I was taught this growing up. I know many who hold these type of belief now. I also know many who do not.

I believe in God [the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth…]. But, I don’t adhere to the strict Christian dogma I’ve been handed down. I detest when people tell me what God thinks. I detest when people relate sporting events to God-like events. I detest when people blindly put their faith in … well … anything. How can we really know what God thinks anyway? So, how can we know that just because Tebow had a good pass at the 316 that it relates clearly to John 3:16? One is searching for symbolism that isn’t quite there.

So, at home, I loosely talk about God. I want Levi to make up his own mind. I find comfort in believing there is something bigger than myself. I find comfort in believing there is a resting place for my soul. But, I do not find comfort in guilt, brimstone, and fire. [It’s a wonder I willingly go back to my Catholic faith!] I want Levi to be able to think outside himself and find comfort there. I want him to have a quiet place, name it God or whatever, to ask questions his fellow humans won’t be able to answer.

I’ve read varied viewpoints on God, one that God is dead. It gives an open mind pause for consideration. “What if?” Rolls the words along the tongue. What if it’s all a lie? What’s wrong with considering that? What’s wrong with testing one’s faith? Isn’t it more important to be mindful of our day-to-day actions and keep those in perspective with how they hurt, harm, or help people rather than wonder if this being we can barely grasp exists? Or yet, pin every good thing on this being?

But, I am uncomfortable with my son saying he wants to kill God. I am extremely uncomfortable with my son saying he wants to kill anything. But, to kill God, this thing adults don’t even understand but yet we are trained to exalt screams blasphemy in my Catholic trained mind. He didn’t know what he was saying, but he has an inclination that it was bad. What is this good and bad anyway?

Oh Levi, Momma doesn’t believe God is dead. Levi, Momma believes we should respect God and the things we assume he created. And because we assume [s]he created all beauty, why would we want to kill that?

Logic, though, is just beginning. Faith is not logical. This is what my intro to philosophy instructor failed to understand or relay to the mostly religious class of 1998. And, four-year old brains are just starting to grasp logic.

What is becoming clearer, though, is that this private Catholic school, the school of my dreams, is not a good fit for our son. I’ve had the opportunity to confer with friends, increase ideas, and now reality sinks in: we will have to hunt, seriously, for another school for next year. The question begs: what are we going to do over the summer? Now is when I want Grandma and Grandpa around. But, then, we’d slide even more into interesting religious waters that neither my husband nor I want to navigate.

Enhanced by Zemanta