Those schools are considered speciality schools, because they have their own philosophy, which is NOT exactly the same as other private schools (both sectarian and non-sectarian).
Schools that care and educate the younger ones, some even have infant class.
A growing place: it’s located at Forsyth and Big Bend road, next to Washington U. Danforth campus. It’s a small school, but I heard very good things about them from two people (one montessori teacher, and one parent).
Faith Academy of Montessori: Housed in a historic 19th century train station in the heart of Webster Groves, Faith Academy is a Montessori preschool and kindergarten serving children and their families since 1982.
Hope Montessori: they have many campuses but our favorite is the original one Creve Coeur. Also noted the infant toddler community. My old daughter attended there for 3 years (from 1.5 years old to 4.5 years old; from toddler to preschooler). The only downside I can see is the cost, the environment and teachers qualify is the best in STL.
Kirkwood Children’s House: founded by Florence Kramer in 1985, is a Montessori preschool dedicated to the care and education of children ages 18 months to six year old.
Visitation Academy: Viz is an independent, Catholic school offering a co-educational Montessori program in Grades Toddler through Kindergarten…
RainTree school: emma reggio themed pre-school. I heard from my coworker. It’s a fairly new school, and they emphasize the outdoors (if you don’t mind wash kiddo’s clothes). Also they have some discount if you pay the whole year tuition in advance.
The Waldorf School of St. Louis: the only Waldorf school in St. Louis, located in a Webster Groves neighborhood (residential area). They also have elementary school.
Schools have elementary schools (or higher grades).
Chesterfield Day School: Beginning in our Toddler program through First Grade, Chesterfield Day School’s premier Montessori School bridges to a strong and distinctive secondary school preparation program with personalized methodologies woven throughout.
Chesterfield Montessori: “Chesterfield Montessori School was founded in 1981 as a private school serving children ages three to six. Today CMS is a well-established, non-profit school recognized by AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) offering authentic Montessori programs at all levels from toddlers (16 months) through 15 years…” Six years ago I toured the school on a sunny day after snow, a gorgeous view of the school, and wonderful facilities. I learned the “mixed ages kids in same class” from that visit.
Which school to choose?
This is very personal (individual family has to make this decision). Note there are many excellent public (Ladue, Clayton, Lindburgh, Kirkwood etc.), and private schools in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
To be continued…
Serenity started 1st grade this fall. Same school. I have some ideas on first grade, mostly around the homework, “more serious school” vs. the kindergarten which has more play time. I learned from fellow parents last year when they talked about it after MFS (I volunteered there).
Seeing is believing. Serenity now has been in 1st grade for over a month. Some impressions:
1) More work, either schoolwork or the work we gave her.
2) More seriousness, definitely, she got a tardy slip (her first) because we were late in the morning, we were probably late for 2 or 3 minutes (but still late, no excuse here), as I saw we were the only car in the car pool lane which is the only time like this.
3) More pressure, or expectations, besides on time, they were expected to listen more carefully when the teacher talks, and follow directions quickly, etc.
Those are my initial impressions, after a bit over a month school.
Talking about tests exams and realized I made a big mistake, this happens quite often when I was in middle school. My solution to that was not talk about or think about it after a test. But that did not work for Gaokao. As we had to estimate how we did after the test, then decided the schools we wanted to apply (or realistically speaking, they will accept us). In Chinese it’s called 估分和填志愿。
Working days 开始工作: leaving work and on the car thinking about the automatic job running could have issues, and don’t know where I can find a useful wifi hotspot (like this afternoon). This is a bit like second guessing myself, which in many cases turn out my 1st attempt was good (including this afternoon). This is also a bit like in an exam, when I had time to review and was not sure about the answer to some question, I could make some change and basically changed some “correct” answers to “wrong” ones. Also keep in mind even in a few cases it did turn out I made small mistake initially, the mistake was mostly harmless, excepting waste some of my time or slow down other teammate (one example was the integration job during ugs/Siemens days). On a related topic, about working after hours. Try to stay away from those unless absolutely necessary. I know we are knowledge workers, in a sense we never stop working, we can think about work related stuff all the time. Don’t. Don’t pull out work laptop and start coding (or something else) if we think of some good idea. Instead put a note to yourself on a phone. We can pick it up the next day. That’s called work life balance.
Other situations (family related), when I call my parents at regular time and they were not there, I would start worry: are you getting sick, or something; once I missed the call from my daughter’s school bus driver, I was really worried kid may have issue on the way from school to home. Other kids related topic, I recall once I dropped my daughter on the ground (on her back, or back head), I heard her cry, and was very worried and felt guilty did not holding her tight enough 很遗憾没有把她抓住. After talking to a doctor, she reassured me in most cases a kid would still be ok. 🙂
This reminds me for my on call (pager duty), many times when alerts go off, the wolf did not actually come. The real situation usually is not as bad as we initially thought 🙂
十几年前我回国在上海一般就住一个如家或锦江之星，挑一个离地铁比较近的酒店，这样上班办事都比较方便。那时候没有小孩，旅馆主要就是睡个觉，干净清爽就可以了。快进几年，有了两个小孩，住的酒店要求也稍有提高。托酒店信用卡促销的福，攒了些点数或是free nights, 我也升级了住的旅馆。在上海常住的旅馆有，徐家汇的万丽酒店（courtyard Shanghai xujiahui), 她家所在的楼叫西藏大厦，出租车司机如不清楚可提这个名字。另一家是浦东的喜来登福朋酒店（four points by Sheraton, Shanghai pudong, 又叫由由酒店，楼的名字），注意她家旁边有喜来登酒店（Sheraton Shanghai pudong, 5 star vs four points 4 star), 不要搞错。这两家的房间起价大概是800人民币左右。
最近一次有幸住了回陆家嘴的柏悦酒店（park hyatt），这个标价是大概300多美金，我用的是hyatt卡的开卡free nights. 看了下用chase ultimate rewards points 的话是2万点一晚。小孩很喜欢，因为有一些没见过的features. 我的头被淋浴喷头砸了一下。Uncle Major 进大观园。:-)
在美国最近住Hampton inn 比较多。还是觉得Hampton inn 接地气一些。这家Hilton 系列的中档酒店设计简单，实用，且包早餐。一般我这样小兵级别的人出差就住它家。对有小孩的家庭包早餐是一个挺有用的feature. Other hotels have similar feature include Hilton garden inn, holiday inn express and clarion. Last but not least, hhonors is the Hilton hotels reward program. Hampton inn usually costs 20,000 points (roughly $100).
Last but not least, tips. I know it’s a sensitive topic, but typically I gave $2 tip for the maid at Hampton (or equivalent hotels), put the note stating “for the maid” on the top of the bill so there is no confusion. Interestingly, in China I noticed the tipping culture is popular in Shanghai foreign brand hotels (4 star or above), I do give tips for people who handle my luggages (roughly $1 for a piece, which is similar to US standard). But in less developed areas, there is no such things as tip. People will laugh it off and give back the money.
上面这个照片是我在最近一次的去中国的航班上照的。来美国有快二十年，坐过很多次飞跃太平洋的航班，坐的最多可能是美联航的航班。从芝加哥到上海的直航也就13，14个小时，加上从圣村到芝城的一个小时再加上几个小时的lay over, 总共的旅行时间比我当年从宁波到武汉上学的时间（大概是37，38小时，包括两次中转的时间）还短些。当然还比当年的火车舒服些。飞机坐多了，难免会有这样那样的事。最吓人的一回是2004年夏天从旧金山走，说是飞机起飞时发现翅膀发动机有火花。飞机在海上把满箱的油放掉后返航。当时乘务员给大家出了一个题，多少油，多少钱一加仑航空油。我算了一下大概是30多万美元。随着航空公司这两年越来越追求利润，不知道现在还会不会这样做？
Serenity has 2 birthday party invitation today. Because we already agreed going to the first one, we cannot back out although serenity told us she wanted going to the second. She even says she likes gymnastics now. When did that happen? Last I recall I had to drag her to the gymnastics class, not literally, but her fear on the beam was real.
Things change as time goes though. That fear on gymnastics was 2 years ago. She may have overcome this now. Another example is I saw from kids math test. I volunteered at this program called math facts scholars. One thing I noticed, is 1st grade kid usually does the addition/ subtraction more proficient than kindtergardeners. It’s not across board, as I saw some K kids do very well too. But I can sense as kids progress in school, they just feel more confident on math and numbers. Again timing is important. Sometimes I was thinking is it worth to make K kids struggle while if we wait 6 month or 1 year, she/he will do it with ease? How about learning piano? Or ice skate? Or swim? I am just thinking out loud.
To be precise, it’s Spoede Elementary, about 5 mins drive from my condo. When I bought the condo 10 years ago, I was single and had no kids. But I knew Ladue is a good school district. That’s one reason I bought condo here. If things does not work out, I can rent out the condo to someone else who will like this location. Back to school.
We met the school principle, the 4 kindergarten teachers, one counselor, and one idea lab teacher (outside classroom?), a lot of parents from diverse background. The teachers gave a lot tips about transition kids to kindergarten, and I like what the principle said at last: we will treat your kids like our own. That is indeed what I felt at some of the school Yoyo already attended. And this is largely true in the post Newtown world. I recall some of the teachers lost lives trying to save the kids. Maybe a bit harsh but I think we need to think about gun violence and do something about it.
Back to school, we are really excited to see Serenity growing up, and we also like the ROCKS principle (Respect, Ownership, Cooperation, Kindness and Safety) of the school.
(Update 02-10-2019) Sophia started on Hope Montessori Creve Coeur last semester (August 2018). Same teacher as Serenity’s. We just celebrated Chinese new year at Hope, as well as holidays in December. It’s truly unique.
(Original 04-11-2015) We happened to stop by Serenity’s “old school” today, as we were playing at the millennium park this afternoon. Her “old school” was right next to the park. As we saw some kids were playing soccer there, Serenity walked over and took a look. The door (fence) of big playground (back playground) was open, and she just walked in. I know I know, I’ve been in the US for almost 18 years and legally speaking this is trespassing. In the US, private property is respected. But she is just a 5 year old kid. I just don’t want to hurt her feeling and say “no”. And in about 5 to 10 minutes, she seems found all the good memories. Really words can not describe her feelings there: it’s just right at home, she had been there for 1.5 years until last Nov. Here are some of the pictures.
sawyer and serenity going for special walk. serenity pick leaves. sawyer picked up egg and put in nest. sawyer pet chick to sleep. serenity bake some cookies.
serenity is happy. sawyer is happy. sawyer goes for medium one, serenity feeds the chick. Sawyer and serenity go to the park. goes to school in the morning.
plays ring around the rosie. there is one teacher her name is miss rachel. now it’s christmas, now serenity and sawyer at home opening the presents. serenity
got teddy bear, sawyer got tennis shoes. now serenity go meet princess (aurora sleeping beauty), sawyer go meets ninja turtle. sawyer serenity save their
presents. the end.
to be continued…
it’s 3 little bears. once upon a time, there lived 3 little bears, there is a daddy bear, mommy bear, and baby bear. bear are out side for a walk. the end.