Friday, August 21, 2009

The School choice ....

Cantaloupe started school this week and suddenly she is all grown in my eyes ! (* wipes tears of pride*)

It has been difficult on Cantaloupe to get adjusted to different schools we have put her in. There were several reasons for continued school / day care changes.
Initially we lived in a different town and after much enquiries found a home day care which we thought suited our requirements at that time. Cantaloupe was about 6 months ... the place was very close to our house and about 5 mins drive from BP's office. Within 2 weeks of her stay there, we realised it didn't work for us. The main reason being, we dropped her as early as 7:00am and picked her by 10:00 am and the day care provider would have just woken up around the time. So we moved Cantaloupe to a private day care institution. It was a Jewish center and teachers were very friendly and my dear daughter had got well adjusted to the place. We simply loved it. We bought a house and had to move cities.
We bought a house in the city where schools were considered "Good". We paid a hefty amount to just get ourselves 2 bed / 2 bath duplex .. reason being good school district. Anyways, we again changed Cantaloupe's day care. She was about a year now. But this time, we were more relaxed about her day care since my cousin provided home day care and she stayed in the same city as ours. Within a day or two Cantaloupe had gotten adjusted to my cousin. There were some older kids already coming there and she made great friends with them.
A year passed and my cousin was scheduled to make her bi-yearly India trip. She'd be gone for 3 months which meant, we had to find alternate day care options. Satisfied with our thorough research, we put Cantaloupe in a homely yet private day care center. Clearly Cantaloupe was not happy here ... she cried her lungs out when we dropped her... would be seated quietly in a corner and we went to pick her up, would hug us just start crying. It was as if she demanded to know why she was being sent to this place. Those tears broke my heart like nothing before and I was hell bent on changing her day care.... though BP thought it was initial periods of adjustment.
I stuck to my inner feelings and moved Cantaloupe to another place ... this time it was slightly further away from our house, but it seemed like a very caring place. There was visibly a large difference in Cantaloupes' moods within the first 2 days of her shifting to this new place. BP and I were greatly relieved ... Cantaloupe now spoke about her friends, her teachers and longed to go to her day care. She was two + now and was communicating very well. The teachers were so friendly, I couldn't have asked for anything more. It worked beautifully for us for the following year ....
And then we debated hard and long and finally decided to move her to one of the best pre-schools in town. Call it first time parents over enthusiasm ... but we did. The first week in this new school was not the best of her days. I had blogged about it here,
In a month's time, Cantaloupe just seem to be having a blast in the school. What was interesting was there were minor complaints about her occasionally about missing her afternoon naps or talking with her friends during circle / story time. But she seem to be one of teacher's favourites :) (The teacher took a break after the academic year ... but didn't miss taking a picture of Cantaloupe before we went) She moved from Pre school to Pre K in the same school.
We started talking to other parents about the advantages / disadvantages of Private / Public school. While it was clear Public schools were not too academic until 5th grade ... private schools which were a lot more like Indian schools with little focus on overall development. (read school I studied meaning "Academic focus") While I was not sure which one I wanted ( my reasoning being school focuses on academics, parents should focus on other activities including sports , music, arts whatever the child be interested in) ... BP was certain in his choice. He wanted "Overall child development" and not necessarily academic progress alone. His view was further validated by kids we saw who went to private and public schools. Of course private schools were a lot more expensive than public schools. (no fees as such, but donating school supplies and raising funds etc does cost) Another important point that BP had was the very reason we had moved to this area that being good schooling district ... so there was no point compromising on real estate and sending kids to Private schools.
So after much debate / discussion, we chose to enroll Cantaloupe in Public school. The public school "assigned" to us happens to be a decent school and is just 2 crosses away from our house. So Cantaloupe has been cycling to school :) (one of my dreams was to have my kids bicycle to school ... thats the way I grew up )
The first 2 days have been good ... the teacher seems efficient and knowledgeable and looks patient enough to deal with kindergartners. Only time will tell if our choice is wise ... till such time wishing Cantaloupe the very best in her new school :)

10 comments:

asaaan said...

I hope she has a wonderful year at school.!

My kids start next week in a new school as well. Long story(why a new school)

Kodi's Mom said...

thanks for sharing this - we keep having the public/private debate on and off. nothing's decided as yet.
Cantaloupe seems to have taken to all those early changes with such grace. maybe that's one of the factors that'll go into making her well rounded.
and the good thing for you is, when it is Junior's turn, you're better informed. (unless of course you move again ;))

utbtkids said...

Sigh....its never easy isn't it?! Imagine, 10 years from now, there will be an opinion from the child too :)

Biking to school? That is too cool!

Aryan said...

She will do great....CA

Aryan's Mom

Collection Of Stars said...

All the very best to Cantaloupe. I am sure she will do very well :)

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

@asaan: Good luck to your kids as well ... you must write about the school change story.

@KM: I'll wait to hear back your choices next year around this time :)

@UTBT: Oh ! Pls don't remind me the time 10 years from now ... I still can't handle a 5 yr old

@Aryan's mom / COS : Thanks for your wishes

karmickids said...

What a lovely post, it leaves a sort of ache in the heart that they grow up too soon...

G said...

My niece is just 4.5 months old and my sister is already complaining about her growing up too soon :)
I guess mothers will be mothers!

Hey! such a tiny tot cycles to school? I am mighty impressed (and lil worried) She is accompanied by one of you guys or is it a normal thing out there?

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

@G: New here ? Welcome :)
Of course one of us (usually her dad) accompanies her when she bikes. And we will do so atleast for the next 4 years :) (though she bikes pretty confidently)

G said...

@CA: No no. Me not THAT new here. Remember dropped in a comment few days back suggesting you to include junior's name in your description.

That's me. Nosey me. :)

Looks like confident biker is gonna keep her dad fit. When I learnt to ride a bike, I rode it pretty fast and Dad had to run around the whole society to keep up with me. Good fun! :D

 

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