I volunteered to accompany DQ’s class on a field trip this morning.  This was one of the things I wanted to have time to do after I quit full-time work.  I decided to surprise DQ so I didn’t tell her I was going.  When she was getting ready to get off the bus, she did a double-take when she saw me.  Seeing her face light up was better than any bonus pay I got at work.

DQ was recently transferred to this school.  It’s a 5-minute walk away (the distance to our home school was too much for a little kid to walk and of course, we were .2 kilometres short of qualifying for a bus route).  She was at our home school for 3 weeks before we got the call from this school to tell us they had space for her.  So it’s interesting because we now have a point of comparison.

I really liked the home school.  I had a great vibe after leaving the orientation back in May and had come to accept that this is where DQ was going to be.  It had a reputation for being a great school, had a solid ranking with the Fraser Institute, and families moved into our neighbourhood so their kids could go there.  It’s nice to be where everyone else wants to be.

But when the call came about her transfer, it was hard to turn down.  A 5-minute walk versus fighting with a suburban traffic jam to drop off and pick up our kid?  This was going to be eight years of our lives.  So we made the jump.

And now I’m second guessing myself.

So far, I have to say I prefer the communication style of our home school.  They had a more collaborative tone, really made parents feel like part of a bigger team.  At the current school, I have not been impressed with the fact that the kids don’t seem to be allowed to play or run around in the play yard in the morning before the bell (never mind the fact that there is actually nothing to play with in the yard; the other school had lots more stuff and the kids were very active in the morning); they just stand against the wall waiting for the bell.

On this field trip, the communication was very poor as to exactly what parent volunteers were supposed to do.  All they told us was we had to transport ourselves there, which I did – only to see all the other parent volunteers coming off the bus when it arrived!  We were told the school would provide a cookie for a snack – it was Arrowroot cookies!  If I’d known that’s all the kids were going to get, I would have happily picked up (and donated) a few fruit platters!  There was no water for the kids, and by the end of the trip, many were rightfully complaining of thirst during this unseasonably warm day.

As a parent, you want to make sure your child makes friends with the right kind of kids.  Yes, I know it’s just JK, but you can learn a lot about kids’ personalities on a field trip.  And call me judgmental, but I can’t say there were any kids I met today who blew me away.  Not rushing to arrange play dates here…

So, I can’t say I’ve been that impressed so far.  Eight years… Did we make the right decision?  :8