1) What is your opinion of this: My daughter has been in a Montessori school all of her school days. This is a tiny school, very green, very um...feelings oriented. (When you have an argument with another child, you present them with this plastic red rose to say you are sorry and then you hug....I know, I know...it is probably swell but frankly it makes me feel a bit gaggy every time I see it.) Her class is very small, but several grades (3-6) are in one room, so about 30 children. Liv is used to being a classroom with no desks, only working tables and a lot of work is done sitting on the ecologically heated floors. She has never learned in a classroom setting. She has learned in small groups or one on one and parts of her day are spent sharing her knowledge with younger children. Mentoring. They all do this from day one. She (and most of her classmates) score off the charts in standardized tests.
But, her school only goes up to 6th grade. Which she is in.
So, we have spent the last year touring junior highs. We went to our neighborhood public school and I was less than impressed. Some of the public schools in our city are incredible, others not so much. Our school is in the not so much category. The classrooms seemed huge and out of the over ten teachers that I met, I only really liked one and she was a behavior disorder teacher....so Liv will not be in her classroom. Liv wasn't impressed either.
We went to the private school just a block away from our home and we both detested it. I think it may have had something to do with the way the word PRIVILEGE screamed out everywhere. From the notice boards offering massage for toddlers to the child who came sauntering into the office while we were waiting to meet with the principal and sullenly asked the secretary to break a hundred dollar bill for him. His dad had given it to him FOR LUNCH MONEY. I looked around at the designer dressed girls who all seemed to be whispering rudely behind their hands at us and decided that I hated this school. Liv didn't like it either.
We toured two other Montessori schools that went through high school, but I did not think that Maria Montessori's core philosophy was adhered to, plus the schools were so far to the west of the city that it would be a 45 minute jaunt every day. Liv was disappointed in their science labs, so it was a no for her too.
At last we started touring parochial schools. I went in looking for problems. And found some. But, two of the schools seemed beautifully run and although the classes were large (32 in most classes), they looked like a clean, happy, safe place where a child could learn, albeit in a classroom setting, which Liv would have to adjust to. Liv was bowled over by one of the school's robotic labs and loved the math and music wings.
She settled on St. John Paul Elementary School (most parochial schools here go up to 8th grade.)
So, now...she has decided. And I am sort of unsure of this. A CATHOLIC SCHOOL? Where it is MANDATORY that she attend mass every Friday morning? And wear a uniform?
How does a girl with two mamas fit into this school? How can I? How can Bing? How can our family? And am I a hypocrite?
Liv and I have talked a lot about this. She maintains that she will approach the whole mass thing as a learning experience. ("I don't know much about Catholicism and this will be a good chance to learn, don't you think?")
I have told her about the Catholic church's stand on homosexuality on abortion. Liv rolled her eyes. Suggested that maybe it would take several families like ours to change some minds.
"Somebody has to go first and I am pretty sure we aren't the first family like ours to go to Catholic school, Mama!"
My pragmatic, practical daughter.
I have arranged a meeting with the principal (A PRIEST!) tomorrow. I am not sure how many cards to lay on this particular table. Liv has already been accepted, so that worry is over. But, they could rescind this. Liv thinks I should just be totally honest and let things play out.
What do you think and what do you think of this whole situation? Am I a hypocrite? Be honest? I wanna hear....