Dreaming up the Perfect Elementary School

I mentioned a few posts back that amazing, unexpected gifts from the universe continue to appear since I started a regular practice of setting clear intentions and expressing gratitude for everything in my life.

Whenever I do the Power of Intention journaling exercise and write about my dream life, one of the lines that I’ve noticed I repeat every time is, “We have all the resources necessary for our children to attend any school that we like from preschool through college.”

What I would like for my girls to experience for elementary school?  Montessori.

As we inch closer and closer to Kindergarten with our Sadie Bay not yet having manifested abundance, I have been thinking that perhaps I need to let go of this dream and get comfortable with public schools. Our neighborhood school has a fantastic reputation and I do believe that with great teachers and supportive parents that children can benefit from the traditional model of education.

Just like the fabulous lyrics in Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine, I desire to roll with things more — to be good at being uncomfortable so I make the most out of what is.

But I’ll be honest. Here’s what I’m uncomfortable with regarding the traditional model of education:

  • Don’t dig the emphasis on competition and grades at such an early age — hello unnecessary anxiety and a lost opportunity to develop personal interests and an intrinsic desire to learn for learning’s sake!
  • Not a fan of the the almost guaranteed consumption of bad food.  Sugary birthday and holiday celebrations to add to all those on the home front.
  • Want to avoid the increased likelihood of media exposure at too early an age — the Internet, movies, television, etc.  I know that so much of the content developed today is sweet, innocent and educational and I still think it can wait.  The risk of media negatively impacting a child’s brain development is not something I take lightly with the history of ADHD in my husband’s family. Neuroscience studies have shown that television can harm the part of the brain responsible for self-control, moral judgment and attention. See Dr. Jane M. Healy’s article on Brainy-Child.com. Let’s read, play outside, explore our imaginations, learn an instrument, practice a sport — or just snuggle together instead!

Clearly, I’m holding on to the fantasy that my children could continue on at their current Montessori school — or even better, attend a Montessori school that incorporates some of the Waldorf elements of imaginative play and creative expression opportunities that I love.

Now…..would you believe I received a phone call last week from a friend who is principal at one of Austin’s outstanding charter schools asking if I would speak to one of his friends and colleagues who seeks to start a PUBLIC MONTESSORI SCHOOL IN AUSTIN and give her a sense of Austin parents’ receptivity to this?!!

Yes. UN-BELIEVABLE.  An opportunity for free, Montessori education?  If she is able to staff the school with highly experienced teachers, gain the funding necessary to keep the student-teacher ratio low and find a location that is a reasonable distance from our home — I will be the first to sign my kids up.

I’m on board to support her making her dream come to life within the next two years.  With her permission, I’ll share her name and her vision for the school in a subsequent post. God Bless Serendipity:  her vision is in complete alignment with my fantasy.

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9 Responses to “Dreaming up the Perfect Elementary School”

  1. amy says:

    oh how exciting! i hope it all comes together in time for you. somehow that power of intention stuff works out just in time. 🙂

    and, really, she is concerned about parents’ receptivity to a free montessori opportunity in austin?? i imagine there will be very long waiting lists!

  2. Louisa says:

    We are very blessed with a public Montessori school here in Des Moines, Iowa, and my kids love it. If our staff can be a resource for you, they would be very good at that. See http://www.cowlesmontessori.org for more info!

    • Thanks Louisa! I’m meeting with Sara (the woman wanting to start the school) next week. I will definitely check this out before then and let her know of the possible resource. Thank you!

  3. Audrey says:

    My heart leaped at this post!!! I hope it works out. I will be sending all my good vibes for you and the sisters

  4. Thanks Audrey! It could be a very cool thing for sure. My other fantasy is dropping out of school/life in Austin altogether for a year at some point and just traveling for education. 🙂 Thanks for the good vibes. We miss you!!

  5. Barbie says:

    Hey there Monica,

    Happy to hear of your acceptance and positivity towards sending the girls to a school near you (which you mentioned was very good), but, I have to say….I hope and am sending you a virtual crossing of my fingers that your friend gets somewhere with the school district and it can happen. I am sure you will advocate for children and families and capture the need/want of Montessori education at an affordable price/free.

    Hope you’re swell 🙂


    • Thanks Barbie! I am really inspired by what this woman wants to do. A little nervous about my girls being guinea pigs during the school’s early years should it take off — but could be a great experience regardless. 🙂

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