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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Top 10 Signs The School's Alright

I knew we picked the hippie right school for our son, but I didn't know how *right* it was until I watched the after-school circus class. In a timber-frame barn on hardwood floors girls and boys were strutting on tall stilts and spinning around on all sizes of unicycles. Balance boards and Diabolos were being played with in the sidelines. One polite boy asked me if I was using the unicycle that I was sitting near. "No, I wish," I thought to myself. My son waited patiently, hoping to get a chance at one of those one-wheel wonders. Eventually, a kindergarten buddy showed my boy how to get onto a unicycle, even helped lift him onto it. Any lingering doubts I had about our school choice dissolved upon watching this simple kindness.

My oldest child needs *a lot* to feel filled up at the end of the day — a lot of exercise, food, social interaction, and learning — a lot of just doing. He's a bit of a 110% kind of guy. After his first day of all-day kindergarten, he had a Tae Kwon Do lesson and a park date. When we got home he said, "It's sort of a do-nothing kind of day." He said this at 6pm, not realizing what time it was, or that his fun, active, and educational day had been *all* day. He kind of laughed at himself when I pointed out the irony.

All summer I had tried to find the right balance of physical, social, and down time for him without much success. More never seemed to work, and less *really* never worked. Apparently, spending six hours a day away from me was the magic answer. That, and, maybe the little guy just needed to join the circus!

Here are some other reasons that this school's alright (for him/us):

10: You walk over a bridge to enter the multi-acre campus.
9: The parental dress code is appealing.
8: Not only is there a sailboat to play on, there's a pirate ship, too!
7: There's more than one structure that could be called a hobbit house.
6: You can call your teacher a clown, and he is.
5: The lunch shack cooks and serves vegetarian meals — with salad bar — that my kid loves.
4: My child now knows how to feed an Emu and an Alpaca.
3: I instinctively knew that I should preface a food gift (tomato chutney, naan, and Indian Coleslaw) to the kindergarten teacher with, "These were cooked in dishes that meat has been cooked in. I hope that's OK."
2: The unicycles!
1: While one mom I know went out of her way to *not* send her children to a school where kids are running around barefoot with green hair, I'm happy to say that we spend good money to do that very thing.


P.S. I wanted to find more photos to link to, but I'm not finding the time. And, I still need to pick a name for the apron give-away. You have until tonight at midnight Pacific time to leave a comment and link. Thanks!!!!

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Anonymous Caroline said...


Thats me!!! I hope I win, because the last time I won something was when I was 9 and it was all Rick Astleys fault!!!

Thank you, thank you!!

Fri Sep 19, 12:40:00 PM PDT  
Blogger The Family Lawson said...

That sounds like the most amazing school ever. I'm very jealous you have an option like that.

Fri Sep 19, 01:32:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Blaize said...

You done did good. That kid is in The Best School for him.

Fri Sep 19, 01:47:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Regina said...

Sounds like an amazing school. I wish we had something more like that here.

Fri Sep 19, 02:07:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lauria @ Brackenbury Lane said...

Awesome! That sounds like a really cool school and now I want to go there!

Fri Sep 19, 02:43:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Amy said...

Good on you for giving little intensity what he needs. I visualize trolls in the bathroom and deskmates dressed like laura ingalls -sigh - ok, so that's my school fantasy...
funny how sometimes what suits them best it space from us. funny, sad, wonderful...

Fri Sep 19, 03:22:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Harpa J said...

This sounds like a great school!

Fri Sep 19, 04:38:00 PM PDT  
OpenID twolimeleaves said...

That's our kind of school!
(especiall the parental dress code - I'd fit right in)

Fri Sep 19, 04:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger kat coyle said...

oh, it sounds like a wonderful place for learning. i wish i was a student there!

Fri Sep 19, 05:57:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Cele said...

Wow that school sounds Amazing.My kids go to a school that is boring in comparison but there Dad is a circus skill tutor and performer so they get lots of opportunity to learn from him and our friends. I really think Circus is an amazing experience for children on so many levels and I'm sure your little one will love it.

Sat Sep 20, 05:39:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Lachesis Looms said...

That school sounds amazing. If we had anything like that around here, I wouldn't mind sending my kids to school either. Instead, when we have kids, we are pretty sure we wil have to home school to have our kids heads not crammed with useless and hurtful info.

Sat Sep 20, 06:10:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Waldorf school?

Sat Sep 20, 08:41:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous The Mommy said...

Ok, I just want to say that I'm using this school your kid's going to to base my homeschooling time on. It's fabulous and I want to go there too!!!

Sat Sep 20, 11:29:00 AM PDT  
Blogger emily said...

i love a good alternative education story. keep up the fun. i once visited a school where 4 children were piled into a shopping cart waving sticks, while another two pushed them around robustly. this probably would have gotten them all suspended at another *coughtraditonalcough* school.

Sat Sep 20, 11:30:00 AM PDT  
Blogger jek-a-go-go said...

oh wow! that's my kind of school...hmmm...are they hiring? :)

Mon Sep 22, 09:54:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Kyla Bea said...

WOW - Can I go to that school?

Mon Sep 22, 03:52:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Knitsonya said...

When I saw the photos on your flickr stream I wanted to know "What harvest fair?" because I wanted to go. Sounds like an amazing place.

Tue Sep 23, 08:07:00 PM PDT  
Blogger maplesyrup said...

Hi Michelle,
B spent a week at that school for "Peace Camp" this summer. He absolutely loved it! I think H will thrive and I wish my boys could go there too. It is just too far for me to drive-- 40 minutes from my house.....

Fri Sep 26, 08:21:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous ambika said...

Sounds like a great school--between the bejewelled, tattooed mom, the clown teacher & hobbit houses, I know I'd be thrilled.

Mon Sep 29, 08:46:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous dawn said...

Michelle, my kid-o calmly laid his head back and sighed as we left that cool school. "That was a great day," he exhaled, "and tomorrow we are making egg rolls for everyone, and I am going to dance in the Dragon Parade."

Hey, can you believe it, I am slightly commpoooter literate.

Tue Jan 27, 08:48:00 PM PST  

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