Wednesday, March 13, 2013

probably boring mcboring

thoughts for the night:

1. we went to the open house for the charter school that Maddy managed to win the lottery to get into. I was really curious to see what they would say about their educational philosophies and what they offer children. It was a very interesting experience and I have sort of mixed feelings. I feel both excited because I think their ideas about how kids are is much more based in reality and that they try to be both flexible while maintaining high standards and expectations of the kids. That's an interesting balance to try and reach. You can tell that these are people that are passionate about teaching children in the best possible way, and there is an enthusiasm in the air that is exciting.
the book they want the parents to read. yes, we already have homework

The mixed bag of it is that the school does not yet have a playground (they do have outdoor play areas and they are surrounded by nature preserves so they go on daily nature walks in addition to recess and weekly P.E. which is cool). They don't have a computer lab yet (they are writing a grant for that, but they do have Ipads in every room). They don't have a conventional library, but they do have shelves of books in each classroom. They don't have a cafeteria, the students eat lunch in their classroom with their teacher. These are all things that are not necessarily bad, but they are different. Of course there is no bus--the parents do all of the picking up and dropping off. We also found out that while there is no cafeteria, they do bring in hot lunches three times a week that kids have a choice to buy. Because they are a health conscious school they bring in the lunches from (get this) Panera for two of the days and a thin crust pizza the other day. John and I looked at each other a started laughing. Maddy would eat better than all of us combined! Funny.

The other part of the mixed bag is that I could tell that some of the other moms were INTENSE. Like, practically freaking out during the tour asking five gajillion questions (most of which had already been answered if they had been listening in the main meeting hello) and they started talking about their private school pasts and how far away they were driving their kids from, and I started feeling like the biggest pain about this school just might be the other overachiever mommies! holy cow. calm down people, deep breaths!

so the big question of the night really felt not whether maddy would love this school (um, it feels like happy magic land, the classrooms look like they were made by the same person who designed the magic house of the Father of the Bride movie--not that they are fancy, but they are just cozy and perfect and delightful!), but whether or not I am man enough (woman enough) to take on the amount of commitment that it would take to have my kids in a charter school. It is something I will have to think about, but I am feeling like I just can't turn down this opportunity because it literally is not likely to come again. They have 88 first grader positions total in the entire school. Most of those were taken up by students from previous years and they had 150 applications just the few open spots left of the original 88. Because this school is a new charter school (this past year was their first charter year) we were lucky there weren't thousands of people signing up like they are signing up for the original charter school that this school is based on close by. (I am thinking that once this school is officially rated, which is will be this coming year, that people will go crazy about it. Right now I think people are waiting to see). Also awesome is that Grant is automatically in when he comes to school age. So we don't have to worry about the kids being separated. It is also going to be a K-12 school (they will add one school grade a year, next year they will be up to fifth grade).

So anyway, we have basically decided to go for it, and see how it goes. If we hate it and it's too much we can always rest assured that Maddy's back up school is very good and we have been more than happy with it this year.

So...there's a lot of stuff you probably didn't care to know about charter schools. :)

2. totally random and crazy, but the other day I looked up the keywords "kitchen makeover" in pinterest and guess whose kitchen showed up as the first picture? Mine!! How crazy is that?! It caused me to have a moment of reflection when I realized that so many people had pinned my old painted kitchen to their "dream kitchen" or "someday my house will look like this" folders. It reiterated to me the fact that even when we have something that we think is not particularly grand and that we are just trying to make do and spiff it up, that other people would love to have it. But I digress, let's just focus on the fact that it was cool to accidentally pinterest myself. awesome

3. i don't know what is wrong with me but this morning i ate grapefruit for breakfast and hummus for lunch. i am turning into such a hippy it's scary. don't worry, i'll ruin all of that good work with some easter candy at some point.

4. no we haven't heard anything about the house.

5. we had a babysitter watch our kids while we went to the open house and when we came home Granty ran to the door in his little footed pajamas and my heart flip flopped over the sweetness of my baby boy. I think I'll keep him. Forever.

6. My greenie (missionary I trained) is back in Tegucigalpa helping with the temple dedication. Her husband is a sound engineer for the church and so he gets to go and she managed to go along by offering to translate and be a general go-fer. How cool is that?! But most cool of all is the fact that the place that I dedicated 18 months of my life is getting its first temple. I know non-mormon folks don't care, but this is pretty great to us crazy mormons. I just love those hondurans so dang much.

7. We're thinking of doing easter at my mom's house. The only thing between me and amish ham and pies is a long day of driving with little kids in the car. It would still be worth it.


Melanie and Jared said...

Wow, this was a great post. Awesome about the charter school. I would be worried about those moms too! I have tiger moms to worry about over here and I'm freaked out. You know the Asian moms of one that dedicate their whole existence to making their kid a prodigy in every way possible, our school is more than 50% tiger mom :/ also.... Soooo exciting about your Pinterest kitchen!,!! I'm so proud of you! So basically I'm proud of you. Except for that grapefruit part. I can over look that though.

jane said...

pininterest thing should be a bell ringing of who's got heaps of talent!

love it that Honduras temple is opening. Good missionary work by lots of people--including you and your greenie!

Your charter school sounds just like Mackintosh and Ltn Academy all over...and over....and over--right down to tiger moms, bad listeners, and no playground.

Perfect schools are about as common as perfect houses. Just when you think you've found it, you see there are just a few things you'd still like to tweak.

Recommend you make the Easter trip. It's always a good thing.

love and hugs!

Mellifluous Mommy said...

Super excited to hear you're thinking of doing Easter in Maryland: come come come come come!!!

Also: love that you found yourself on pinterest! Awesome!!

Missy said...

Schools are always a hot topic. That school sounds great just avoid the crazy moms! SO exciting about Pinterest!!! Your kitchen makeover was amazing!

Kelly said...

Laughed out loud looking over your blog these past few d
Posts! The birds watching him...oh soo many. You crack me up!

maugers said...

I think it's wise to go for the charter school, parents are crazy in public schools too :) We're just all nuts! I love that you put a picture of your old kitchen that you "re-found", and you sourced the picture to someone else!!! That made me laugh :) Good luck still on the home, and easter at grandparents is awesome!

Emily Foley said...

That pinterest thing is awesome! Occasionally Emilie will be walking through a craft store and see a picture of herself or a kid. I can't imagine accidentally happening upon myself like that.

Temples are awesome. That's so neat.

A new charter school opened in Gallup for this school year. Lots of my friends have their kids there and I was wishy-washy about signing my kids up. #1 Isaac had already moved schools once and it was hard for him, so I wasn't sure I wanted to move him. Plus Noah had gone to preschool at that school so I hoped kindergarten all day wouldn't be too big of a jump. 2) no playground--but the kids get to help design it as part of their curriculum. 3) I hear the food is AMAZING there, everyone loves to go eat lunch with their kid. 4) So far this year they've had 4 teachers quit (it's pretty intense for teachers, the kids get out at noon on Wednesdays so the teachers can attend a training on the curriculum--every week.) 5) The 3rd grade teacher (Isaac's year) is a brand new teacher and has no control over the classroom. Overall I'm glad I didn't move my kids, but maybe in a year or two when things settle down I'll think about putting Zoe in.