Wednesday, February 27, 2008
"admissions interview" passed with flying colors
Some time ago, I learnt that Sophie has good self-esteem. This cannot be confused with being loud or rough. Sophie is a generally gentle and quiet child, yet she's definitely knows her own mind and will fearlessly go for whatever she had decided she wants, be it obsessive animal hugging/petting or going head first down a slide. Whilst this persistent behaviour drives me crazy sometimes, I now know that this is supposed to be a sign of self-esteem.
I was at Ivy Academy and I was with the admissions director (who used to teach pre-kindergarten) and she spent time observing Sophie in a group with other children, and talking to Sophie. It was not so much an "Admissions Interview" as merely a friendly chat for parent and school to decide what would best suit the child. For example, the school needs to know what personality the child has, and which kind of "multiple intelligence" the child exhibits to decide the class placement and teacher. Oh yes - I was also informed Sophie has music and math intelligence. I knew about the music one, but the math one mystifies me (probably her dad, but definitely not from me!)
Anyway, we had a good chat, and it seems that our home environment is very complimentary to the school. We have a "high self-esteem" environment because we have (1) fixed time-table (knowing what is going to happen next creates security for a kid) and (2) frequent praise directed at specific behaviour (e.g. "good share"! "thank you for waiting patiently" etc..) and (3) assumed competence and respected choices (e.g it's time to get dressed, which coat will you wear? The red one? okay, do you want to put it on yourself, or mummy help you?)
I was worried initially, because in my extensive research I haven't heard so many good things about Ivy Billingual (the sister school to Ivy Academy). However going to the school multiple times, with Sophie, speaking to the teachers, directors, and (most importantly!) a range of other parents, I decided that this is really worth all that extra money.