I did it! I registered Jack for Kindergarten. So many blogging parents I know go to great lengths to hide their identities. Ours is right there in the URL: chittisterchildren. And we use our real names. And now, I’m going to reveal where my son is going to school. Why? Because we are incredibly lucky. (And because we had a huge Internet footprint before we had kids, so, why fight it? Seriously, go Google us. You’ll find my college honors project.)
In August, Jack will be attending Antioch Charter Academy II. It’s a Montessori-based charter school. There are two of them in Antioch. ACAII, as it’s known, is located on the County fairgrounds. There were 1,000 applicants for ACA I, and many people who apply to I also apply to II. ACA II admitted approximately 20 kids who weren’t siblings of children already in school. Jack was #21 on the list. A family in Discovery Bay decided that they couldn’t do the drive every day, so we got lucky.
Jack has been going to a Montessori preschool since he was 2-1/2. For the most part, he’s been doing well. You know, aside from those behavioral issues he was having in the winter. *shudder* He started “Junior Kindergarten” last fall, and got a task card. That means he has 4 tasks he must complete during work time. He’s not so fond of it; he’d rather have free choice all the time. Can you imagine putting that kid in a standard Kindergarten? With desks and you will do this at this time with all of the other kids.
In Antioch, there are 5 things a child needs to be able to do by the start of Kindergarten:
- Know the ABCs.
- Count from 1-20.
- Write his name in upper- and lowercase.
- Sit quietly in a circle for 20 minutes.
- I can’t remember the 5th one, and the school district web site doesn’t have it.
- Jack has known the ABCs since he was at least 18 months old. He’s read the first 2 sets of BOB books.
- Jack can count to 999. He knows about 1,000 and 1,000,000, but not all the in-betweens. He’s doing multiplication for his math works.
- Jack has been writing his name since he was 3. Granted, he’s not all that good at it, but you can tell it’s his name. And come on, he’s only 5! My handwriting sucked until I learned cursive. (And now that I type all the time, it sucks again.)
- I’m not sure any 5 year old boy can sit quietly in a circle for 20 minutes. But, he’s been doing 2 circles a day for 2-1/2 years, and he usually gets through them.
You’re telling me Jack wouldn’t be bored out of his skull in traditional K?
At ACA II, he’ll start out with Montessori free choice and lessons. He’ll eventually have a task card. Each student has his or her own learning plan and goals. They don’t really have “grades” – kids are placed in groups for 3 different areas – language arts, math, and science.
They do cooking every Friday. And music and art.
I’m very happy that we got into this school. I think it’s going to be great – mostly for Jack, but also for our family. Parents are highly involved, and I’m looking forward to that.