I'm looking at schools for Max for next year. I'm less than thrilled with the school he's in this year. Of course, there would be a new teacher next year, but still. Even without a new teacher, there is still the whole candy for good behavior stuff that feels indicative to me of the atmosphere of the school. It sort of says, "We don't really expect children to act right, so we'll treat them when they do." Not to mention that I think candy for rewards sets children up for eating troubles, which Max already has.
So, what are the alternatives? Well, the ideal alternative, for Max, would be The Arthur Academy in my opinion. It's very structured and good behavior is expected, not rewarded. It's very close to us, which would make pick ups and drop offs easy. They even have a dress code, which I appreciate for Max. It's a charter school, so we wouldn't have to pay tuition.
However, The Arthur Academy is full. And, while there are three stages of deadlines for the lottery for next year (for those few spots that might have opened up), we missed the first two. i guess I was slacking. Anyway, I did make the final deadline for the lottery, but I am not holding out high hopes of him getting in.
Of course, another alternative would be to find a private school that I like. Costly, though, and we're saving tuition money for when we send him to military school starting in middle school. Kidding. Sort of.
The two other charter schools that are near-by, but not walking distance, although one is conceivably biking distance, are MLA and Lewis and Clark.
MLA would be good for Max with the multisensory approach. And, basically, I just think that charter schools are a better environment. People there care about what they are doing and are more consistent across the class rooms. However, currently, they are about a 15-20 minute drive away and I'm not excited about that every day. At any rate, I've applied for Max and we'll see what happens with the other choices.
Lewis and Clark is a new charter school, starting up the coming up fall. It's a Montessori school. If it had been around when Davan was starting school, she might well have ended up there instead of homeschooling. Even if they were offering classes for her age, I'd consider having her try it out, but we're pretty happy with the homeschooling. I think she'd like it, but miss her days at home.
Anyway, about Max, though. They will offer K-2nd grade the first year and they'll add a year each year up and including 5th grade. They espouse many philosophies that I like and look for many traits in their students that I'd like to see in Max.
In some ways, it seems like a good match. There isn't much sitting at desks, which Max would appreciate. There are long, uninterrupted periods of time for doing long projects. Max doesn't like having to stop doing something to move on to another thing, even if the other thing is fun, too. Collaborating is encouraged. Some of what Max gets in trouble for at school is helping other kids because he's talking when he's supposed to be doing his own work. There is a lot of using of motor skills, which is also very good for Max.
The things I worry about, though, are not few. They want kids who are self motivated and don't need pats on the back when they get things done. They want kids who can follow class rules without threat of punishment. Kids who are super distractable might find a Montessori class room to be too much stimulus. Yeah.
It does look like Max would get in. I went to an information meeting last night and most of the parents there seemed to be there for kindergarteners. And there were not enough families to fill the school. Thus, it seems like Max going in as a second grader would be a pretty sure bet. They might not even need a lottery.
I've decided this. The Arthur Academy is my first choice for Max. If he gets in there, then that's it. My second choice is Lewis and Clark. And that will probably be where he goes. If things go very wrong, I can always pull him out.
Another upside is that they like kids helping kids, so Davan can probably volunteer, which she's dying to do. I have to volunteer - 40 hours for the school year between Anthony and I. That's okay, too. Being involved in school is a good thing if that's what your kids are doing.