Raising children is challenging. It is difficult to keep up and keep an eye on them at every moment. It is difficult when they raise a ruckus at 4:00am. It plain stinks when they get sick a public place - like say your favorite restaurant.
All of that is easy though compared to the big things like what are you going to do in regards to education.
DC has progressed beyond measure in the last 5-7 years in terms of the public education options that are available. They District has fully embraced the public charter school model with great success. You remember from previous blogs that getting into these schools involves participating in a District wide lottery system that we did not do that well in.
I was a little frustrated but Susann was . . . well lets just say she saw it as opportunity to use her well honed lobbying skills - she is, by the way, an exceptional lobbyist.
After a great deal of effort Robbie was accepted into one of the best charter schools in in DC. Great, right? You would think so and we certainly did. Robbie even attended school for a couple days. (See the first in the series of first day photos)
Here is were the fun begins - Robbie got accepted to another school the weekend before he started the 1st school he got in. While the school has a well deserved reputation for excellence it just did not feel "right". I am not sure why but it just did not.
This leads me back to the original paragraph. While all of those things list are hard in their on way, the reality is that there is not really a way to screw anything up to bad - certainly not in any lasting way. School/education is different. It does matter. It matters a lot.
Robbie starts his new school on Tuesday. It is Montessori school that is just starting and located in our neighborhood. Feel free to look up what Montessori is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montessori_education.
I had heard of it but I never took the time to understand what it meant and truth be told I still have a great deal to learn. The results for many who have been educated through the Montessori method are pretty darn good.
In addition, several of Robbie's friends will be attending. I would be lying if I did not admit it is going to great to simplify our morning commute - the school is 8 blocks from our house. Lastly - we spoke to several of our friends who have children who are currently attending Montessori schools. One of these friends, who Susann and I have a great deal of respect for, said that they felt like, "A Montessori education was one of the best gifts that they had been able to provide their children."
The reality is that, particularly as kids get older, there are fewer and fewer easy decisions. There is far less black and white and far more grey.
I hope and pray that we have made a good decision. I am confident we have. This little guy is to important for us to have made a mistake.
Stay tuned for the second-first day photos on Tuesday. With uniforms!