Oh, what a week. School trouble everywhere.
My youngest just moved to a new school. My eldest will be advancing to high school next year :-O and we're investigating magnet schools for her. And my brown-eyed girl is graduating to middle school, so we're investigating her options, too.
Rather than taking up the front page space with my family decisions, I explain what's going on in the rest of this entry. Read on, if you're interested.
Kayla has trouble sitting still in school. Academically, she's doing fine: she reads far above grade level with fantastic expression, she enjoys writing (although she really wants to learn cursive), and her math is slightly above grade level. But her attention wanders, and she just can't muster the discipline required for public school.
We think it's because she's so young; she was born on the cusp of the school year, so we chose to put her in school at the earliest opportunity, to match her academic ability. We figured her maturity would not be greatly behind her classmates', and that as school progressed, the gap would close quickly.
Alas, her behavior at school didn't match public school's design constraints. We could have left her in a school system that didn't suit her, and just ignored the letters and warnings from her teacher (and eventually, from the administration). Instead, we chose to move her to an environment where she could manage her own time, advance at her own pace, and move when she wanted: the Montessori school just down the street.
All was fine for the first two days. Today, though, she "misses her old friends" and wants to go back. We've promised to contact them and set up play dates, but this morning Eri actually had to carry her inside the school. It's heartbreaking, but we have to do what's best for her.
Melissa isn't completely avoiding trouble, either. She'll be moving to middle school, and although we love the middle school Tatiana is in, we can't guarantee Melissa will go there: Tatiana was a capacity transfer, and they're not having that same problem this year.
So we're investigating alternatives for her. She's "gifted", and advanced in both math and language. We brought her to a Montessori school as well, which she loved. We figured that decided it, but nooooooo. Melissa wants us to check out the magnet schools for her, too.
When I asked what she wants that she can't get at the Montessori school, she said she just wanted to keep her options open.
Well... as inconvenient as that may be, I think we have to make the effort. After all, we have to do what's best for her, too.
Tatiana is looking for a high school that can keep up with her, too. Mathematically, she's very advanced. She's also talented in art, drama, and writing.
When we discussed Tatiana's future with her, she said she wanted to design and build things. I know that mechanical engineers don't often get to build anything, and the ones who do don't generally get to design them. Although electrical engineers get to build their devices (at least the prototypes), she wasn't happy with her introduction to electronics. I mentioned that architects get to design their buildings, then build models; even if they don't get to build the actual buildings, they generally supervise the projects.
Tatiana latched on to it. She wants to be an architect.
Last night we went to the IT magnet high school. In its favor, it's 100% magnet students; other magnet schools are part magnet, part regular. That makes me uncomfortable, because it smacks of segregation. With a school full of students who want to be there, you'll get more education done.
It also teaches Chinese, offers AP courses, arranges paid internships, and offers industry certifications. And they provide a laptop for every student.
On the other hand, there is no drama department, and the only art offered is graphic design and computer animation. There's also no Mu Alpha Theta club (although Tatiana swears she'll start the club if she goes there). The big concern is that it's very directed: all students take an "Introduction to IT" course in their first year, which consists of various modules, and the module they like best determines what coursework they'll be taking later on. This scares Erica to death.
And of course, the school doesn't offer an architecture program. Perhaps graphic design will be a good lead-in. We'll check out the other magnet schools and see what they have to offer.
And then, like the other children, we'll be doing whatever is best for Tatiana.
Of course, we stayed out late last night touring Tatiana's school. Melissa and Kayla both got to bed late. Perhaps that's got something to do with Kayla's recent reticence about her new school. Melissa doesn't seem to be feeling it... yet.
In any case, we'll eventually work something out. But it's going to be busy for the foreseeable future.