I'm trying not to be horribly disappointed that Jack's school does not do a Christmas program. Or a Holiday program. Or a Winter or Snowflake or Solstice or New Year program. As far as I know they do NOTHING, at least I think I would have heard about it by now. HUGE. BUMMER.
My THEORY is that the school is respecting its fairly large population of Muslim students and their families. With maybe a bit of liberal West Coast overcompensation in the Avoidance Of All Things Remotely Smacking Of Religion (though I should note, with a bit of honest shock, that Jack's school DOES do the Pledge of Allegiance.)
My other, more worrisome theory is that they just don't have TIME to put on a holiday program. SIGH.
Kindergarten has been a bunch of surprises for me. Surprise at how well Jack and I both took to this full day separation (ok, maybe not a TON of surprise about that). Surprise at how ACADEMIC kindergarten is. Weren't there TOYS in your kindergarten classroom? Maybe a kitchen and dolls? And plenty of arts and crafts? I thought kindergarten was one big poster paint session. But no, everyone says kindergarten is "the new first grade" and dude, it totally is. I can't believe some of the schooly stuff Jack is learning. I mean, I think it's GREAT and he likes doing it and handles it well and Phillip and I are BOTH so pleased and amazed by how much he's learned so far.
But there are no toys or "centers" and very little art. Jack's school does not have a music program or an art teacher. He's done a few art projects within the context of the curriculum, within his own class, but only a few. I know his teacher sings songs with him and there are heaps of intstruments for older kids to borrow for an after-school band, but there is no music otherwise.
And once a month I go to the meeting at church where I hear everything about everything, which always includes a lot about the parish school, and every month I wonder: what would THAT be like? An amazing art teacher. And OBVS a Christmas program, with singing, featuring the Baby Jesus. I LOVED the idea of Jack learning that stuff right along with how to read and add and subtract. There's a curriculum and there is OTHER STUFF.
At Jack's school they barely have time for science.
So. This is NOT a "I regret public school" post. I don't. At all. There are various little ways that I see how this was an excellent decision for Jack, for our family, and Life In General. I think it's awesome that there is a large percentage of Muslim students. I LOVE his teacher. She's fantastic. I would know this even without my mother, teacher extraordinaire, saying, "She sounds fantastic!" every time I talk about her. We've had a handful of email interactions over the last week or two that have resulted in more friendly and personal communication at school. The school has a focus on character that I really like, emphasizing kindness along with reading. I think their writing program is so great. Jack is really happy there and loves everything about school.
Still, I am sad - for HIM - that there is no holiday songfest, with freshly scrubbed and dressed up little kids, with parents holding camcorders, with the excitement of going on a stage. He did it last year, at the Catholic preschool. Maybe it was just such a big part of MY school experiences, and my parents always putting on shows with their classes, that I'm irrationally mopey about it.
I don't know. Maybe they do something in the spring. Maybe his own class will do a little something some day. Maybe he'll play the lead in the high school play and, vicariously, all my dreams will come true. Heh.
IS there a perfect school situation? I think mine would be a diverse Catholic school, within walking distance, with Jack's current teacher, with his current class, free, unhindered by a budget, with active yet laid back and friendly parents. Dream on, right?
When I was little my mom would put brown towels on my brothers' heads (the big one was Joseph, the little one was a shepherd) and blue one on mine, hand me a baby doll, and make us sing Christmas carols in front of our family on Christmas Eve. I have a boy, a girl, and an ACTUAL baby. We can put on our own Christmas program this year.