Decisions are relative with many variables that determine whether they're truly wise or not. An obvious variable is time. As we say, "time will tell." This resignation of sorts is no consolation when you're choosing your child's school. This decision is impactful and there's no real do-over. All things considered, I think we made a wise decision this year by putting our oldest daughter in the Butler Lab School, IPS Magnet school 60.
Now I'm going to sound like an old man here, but when I was growing up you just went to the school in your town. I guess that's less a factor of time and more a factor of where I grew up as it's still the same there today. One school, that was it. As many of you know, that is not the case in Indianapolis circa 2013. We have been "blessed" with school choice.
I'm permitted one tangent per blog post (my own rule), and here it is. I recently read an interesting piece on the relationship between freedom and choice, from the Buddhist's perspective:
Most people equate choice and freedom. It seems so reasonable. Freedom means you are free to choose, right? It means you are free from restrictions. If you can’t choose, then you are not free. And it would seem to follow that the more choice you have, the more freedom you have.
But it doesn’t work out that way.
The more options you have, the more energy you have to invest in making decisions. Which shampoo? Which car? Which dress? Which restaurant? Which movie? Your energy and attention are consumed by these decisions, and you have less left with which to live your life
We totally experienced this earlier this year because for too long, we obsessed and analyzed and contemplated to the point where it was overwhelming us. Yet we persevered and chose the Butler Lab school and a couple of months in, we both believe it to be a wise decision. The school is based on a method from some Italian academic I've never heard about using a project based approach I've never experienced. Yet I'm really confident in our decision. This comfort level is based on the culmination of a lot of events and developments including:
- Our daughter's teacher came to visit us at our house before school to introduce herself and the meet her new student. We love us some Miss Bowers.
- The classroom environment is very inviting and encourages exploration and learning.
- The class size and diversity is at a comfortable level.
- The evening parent nights have food trucks and at least 6 people checked in on FourSquare, so I know I'm in good company.
- There's a chess club and our daughter knows the basic mechanics of the game. God only knows how they found somebody to voluntarily teach chess to kids as young as kindergarden.
- Most of all, our kindergardener is reading at a surprising rate and is doing basic math with ease. Neither my wife nor I can picture either one of us accomplishing this at her age.
So, there's my wise decision for the year. Let's not screw it up when we get to high school.