Thursday, April 7, 2016

Preschool Panic: Kindergarten Edition

finding a kindergarten in LA

There is such a thing as Adult Peer Pressure.  Do you want to know how I know this?  Because tonight I am going on my first kindergarten tour, and it's entirely due to the fact that all of my Mom friends are doing it too.

As my Mother used to say, "if everyone else was jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, would you follow?"  The answer is a resounding yes, if it meant that my kid had a better chance of getting into a decent grade school.

Now, I know what you're thinking: isn't your kid only three, and didn't he just get into preschool?

Why, yes, both of those facts are true.  But since we didn't gain acceptance to any of the institutes of lower learning that also offer upper school programs (i.e. K-6 or K-8), I have to go through the exact same thing I just went through all over again.  Though hopefully without all the rejection this time around.

I initially had grand plans of spending the next two years enjoying the glamorous preschool life of volunteering to plant vegetable gardens and making cookies for various holiday celebrations.  But it turns out that once you get a spot at one of these local institutes of lower learning, you can't just sit on the sidelines drinking wine and patting yourself on the back for providing your kid with the foundation of a top notch education.  Oh no, you have to jump right back into the fray and start touring kindergartens!  God forbid a day or a month or a year should go by wherein you're not having anxiety attacks related to school admissions. 

If I thought the preschool tours were overwhelming, those had nothing on this elementary school mishigas.  Between the charter schools, the public school (yes, SCHOOL, singular, as in there's only one that's decent), the private schools, and the magnet schools, there are too many to count.  No wonder I need to start touring now; it's going to take me two years just to find the time to look at all these places.

So, tonight, I'll be in a room full of other anxious and desperate parents sipping lukewarm Two Buck Chuck out of plastic party cups.  I'll listen to the Headmaster's spiel, maybe hear some glowing reviews from current parents, and then head out on a tour of the facilities lead by a precocious eight year old.  I'll scope out the other prospective parents to see how many of them seem batshit crazy, introduce myself to the hot young science teacher, and then try to envision the Muffin Man walking the halls of this particular scholarly institute. 

Considering that my kid is currently unable to put his shoes on by himself or sit still for longer than five minutes at a time, it's going to be a little challenging to make an educated decision about which school will be the right one for him in two years, but whatever.  At this point I'm just trying to look at these tours as an opportunity to spend some time away from my children in the evening.  And Lord knows I'll never turn down a free glass of wine, even it is lukewarm and terrible. 

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