It’s that time and LG (#sassythreeyrold) is well, 3 - so that’s means school. It’s all anyone can talk about. And actually, if she was going to get into a program that started this fall we would have needed to apply last August or around there. If I talk to my friends in the suburbs about this, they think I’m crazy. CRAY CRAY!!
I had the real opportunity to get wrapped up in this. There is a great traditional local preschool in our neighborhood and all the parents in our circle wanted to send their kids there. But, they take siblings, alumni children and the kids that live in the nearby apartments first. So on an average that leaves about 2-3 spots a year. It would have been a real shot in the dark to get in and instead of going for it, I went the other way. Sometimes, I can go either way. I can fight the fight and tell myself that I only want what’s best for my daughter. Thus inviting in the madness. Or I can say, ‘what is really right for her?’ and let’s start there. Well, thru a few different avenues, I discovered democratic education. And then I discovered Pono. Pono is an outdoor learning democratic learning center.
A few quick points about democratic education - It is child-led. The children as a whole decide what they want to do. And if they find that something isn’t working for them, they simply speak up. There are no tests. No grades. No report cards. And no homework. Crazy, you might say. But not really. We have all of our lives to learn facts and to gain knowledge. But one must build the foundation first. And that comes from being a balance, happy and well-rounded individual. One who is in touch with their needs and the needs of others. Kindness is the only real rule at Pono. That and be as much of a kid as you can.
We’ve been going since the Fall of 2011 and I am so impressed. So invested. So convinced that we have made the right choice.
Here are a few shots from our “school days”
At the American Museum of Natural History during our lunch break
Rowing a boat in Central Park