2.29.2008

Release the hounds! The Kindergarten hunt is on!

So the Kindergarten hunt is on for the newest 4 year old. The state we live in requires children to be 5 by September 1st to start. Our kid just misses that deadline. Knowing this, we've been planning to try to get her into a private Kindergarten. We realize not every kid is ready for Kindergarten at 4 years 11 months. We think this one will be. Other people besides her father and I believe this as well.

So I started by making a list of all the schools that have a private Kindergarten in our area. I listed the ones near the house we currently live in and the ones near the neighborhood of the new house I secretly shop for on Realtor.com. That gave me 6 schools to choose from. One is boys only. Two make absolutely no no exceptions to the 5 by September 1st rule. And one of those was mentally crossed off my list before the chick on the phone even confirmed the no exceptions stance because she was such a raving wench. Which is so weird. Because what sort of school has a wench answer the phone? If they can't even do a good job picking someone to answer the phone, why would I think you can pick good teachers and treat my kid right? But whatever. They make no exceptions so it's a moot point. So now I'm down to 3 schools.

I went to look at one and it seemed nice and they could even take our 18 month old, too. Everyone at one location is gold but they only have Kindergarten. No first grade. We think she'll need private first grade too. And that's assuming we don't decide to keep her in private school forever. So this school will require extra switching of schools. I hate that. I believe strongly in consistency for our kids. I think it helps them feel safe and comfortable and confident. The newest 4 year old has gone to the same daycare for nearly 4 years. She's practically the mayor of the place and it's like a parade when she walks in greeting everyone we pass. I think that's priceless. So I think maybe that place is out.

That leaves me with 2 schools to choose from. One is close to our current neighborhood. The other is in the neighborhood of all the houses I secretly shop for on Realtor.com. The neighborhood we don't currently live in. The neighborhood I have no idea when we'll get to. I like to think it could be by the time she starts school in the fall. But I don't know. And the nice neighborhood school only goes through 1st grade. So we'd still have to switch her for second grade. Which would be fine if we decide to send her to public school for 2nd grade but who knows. The school in our current neighborhood goes through 8th grade so it won't require the school switching but moving to the neighborhood I secretly shop for on Realtor.com would mean having to drive across town to take her to school. Anything that increases my drive time sucks. Kind of like Kindergarten hunting. What on Earth.

I think I'll delay worrying about it until I go tour the last two schools and have the newest 4 year old evaluated. The chicks that answer the phones at every single private school I called felt the need to tell me repeatedly how rigorous their curriculum is and how most kids wouldn't be ready. One asked me if she's reading yet.

Too bad I never know what counts as reading. Obviously, she's not writing dissertations on the symbolism of Hester Prynne's scarlet A but she knows all the letters, the sounds they make and she's practicing sounding out words. She can also identify her name and recognize lots of simple words. But to me that just seems like memorization after seeing the words a lot. Is that reading? I don't know. I told all that to the chick on the phone and she made a point of telling me their preschoolers are all reading so if she's not she's probably not ready. But I told you I don't even know what counts. So shut up. Or I'll have the newest 4 year old memorize Kindergarten readiness exam questions so I can rub it in your "all our preschoolers are reading" face. Whatever. Who knew picking a Kindergarten would be so complicated?

8 comments:

no way said...

Amen, sister. Did you guess I'd be the first to respond to this post? I think I have it narrowed down to 4 potential choices-with one of them also being a private school that is in our "future" neighborhood. Two tours are on the burner, two are already down. Whatever. In the end, it's preschool, right? Kindergarten is a little more involved, being that your daughter can potentially continue her education in the same school. Thanks for sharing, and good luck with the making the final decision.

Chaotic Joy said...

I hear ya, sister! I would like my younger two children to go to a private school that I have already selected, but as you mentioned there seems to be a bias towards the kids that also attended my preschool which is not where my kids are and not really where I want them to be. It really didn't used to be this hard did it.

By the way, I have been avoiding your place because I haven't watched the finale of Project Runway yet and am trying to keep my head firmly buried in the sand until I do. Because Christian might not win you know. Ha.

Jerseygirl89 said...

When I walk through the halls of Ironflower's preschool, I positively gape at what the pre-K classes are doing - it's what my inner city first graders were doing!

I wish we would stop rushing kids. And as a former teacher, I heartily agree with your desire for continuity.

Shan said...

Boy am I glad we live in a district with a great public school.

Anne said...

We are going through the same thing; fun isn't it? Why are they so hostile? How intense can Kindergarten be? Good Luck.

a happier girl said...

no way - I'm glad I'm not the only one with a "future" neighborhood! I hope you guys find the right preschool. And yeah, it's just preschool. Good luck.

joy - I'm so sorry I ruined the surprise. I did the same thing to my mom! I'm going to give spoiler alerts from now on so people can stop reading. And I hope you can get your kids into the school you want them in!

jerseygirl - Thanks. Continuity as a priority takes effort. I'm glad I'm not the only one that values it!

shan - Oh, just rub it in why don't you! Just kidding! I'm actually really glad for each and every person that doesn't have to fret over this. Because it's just stress.

anne - Right! It's kindergarten. There's no need to be hostile about it on the phone! So off my list!

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