This Friday is Olivia’s French school interview. Olivia will be interviewed separately so I won’t know how she does *I’m not worried about her at all*. I know being nervous is silly yet I have terrible butterflies in my stomach. I have been waiting for almost two years to get this interview. I feel so much pressure since this is our top choice school for her and once she gets in, she’ll be there all the way until she graduates in 2028!
|Only fourteen more years to go!|
Everyone keeps telling us we are gonna get in with no problem but it’s really nerve-racking. I thought it would be a good idea to share our thoughts behind choosing this school for Liv. It is very expensive but also reasonable in comparison to other private school tuition in Los Angeles.
French Immersion Program
This isn’t your regular “Repeat after me.” French lessons. The curriculum follows the same system taught in France yet it also embraces some American methods. There are no French lessons yet the teachers speak French all day. Liv will pick up the language by immersion. Most pupils who start with no French language are fluent by 1st grade, I love it! The teachers do not assign tons of homework. Their philosophy is when you go home, it’s time to spend with your family and rest, they do most of their work in class. The fun part is, when they do get homework assignments, they are done via video chat. It could be reciting a poem, or singing in French and Mom & Dad are welcome to join in! I also think being bilingual will only bring benefits to her future. This school offers a International diploma program so when she graduates, she will be eligible to go to any university in Europe* ahem, La Sorbonne!*. There are fun things to do as well such as art, music, dance, science, yoga, cooking, horseback riding, and performing arts. I am really excited to enroll Liv in fencing class when she’s old enough. I totally hope she is an nerd like me and participates in many activities. She will be the female version of Max Fischer!
This school is my Rushmore.
Every student has an iPad tablet at school which is perfect since Liv uses ours most of the time. By the way, here are my favorite apps for toddlers.
The Human Body – Super cool interactive app! We scored it for free but I would have paid for it. I love the functionality and the art is beautiful. The first time Liv used it, she told me, “This is my lungs.” and took a deep breathe. Five stars!
French for Kids – I have tried several language apps and this one has an easy to use format and she retains the words and pronunciation best *I use Duolingo French app*
Endless Reader – This is a must have app for kids at the verge of reading. It’s so well done and I’m really impressed with the graphics for a free app. She is able to sound out the letters, spell words and read full sentences. Best free app! I would follow up with the Endless Alphabet app too.
*I have to share this deal with you since it expires in a few days. Groupon is having a half price special on a Baby Lit book set. We have Alice in Wonderland and Dracula already and love them! Liv can read the words, she identifies the colors and Dracula is a counting book. The art *by Alison Oliver* is so rad! My favorite board books for preschoolers.
Team Umizoomi Math: Zoom into Numbers – Liv is really good at this game. She never lets me help her. She is going through a “I can do it by my own” stage. Good game!
Toca Games (Doctor/Robot Lab/Tailor/Hair Salon) – These are cute easy to play games. My favorite part is she doesn’t have to ask me to unlock additional features and she is really good at creating robots.
Olivia is really into dressing up and playing Princess, so she is always asking us to download those kind of apps. The problem is, they are free upfront but in order to add features, you have to pay individually and the apps have annoying ads. I’d much rather pay upfront once for a quality game that I know she’ll enjoy. Plus, I find the music on those games to be annoying.
Clumsy Ninja – I admit, this is an adorable app we all play. It’s really cute but Liv seems to enjoy throwing her ninja around. I feel sorry for her little dude.
Doc McStuffins Time for your checkup! – Liv is really into Doc and I like that she can identify medical terminology. She tries so hard to say “stethoscope” but she’s still working on S-words.
Fish out of the Water – I downloaded this game for me but Liv loves playing it. I like games where you really can’t lose but it’s still challenging enough for them to not get discouraged. She hasn’t mastered how to play angry birds yet but this game is perfect for little ones who want to play a game similar to Mommy. Plus the fish are really cute.
The Presidents of the United States – This is one of Mom’s favorite learning app. I have always wanted to memorize all the presidents. I’m close but those three dudes after William Henry Harrison always trip me up. It their own fault for not doing anything notable! The artwork is impeccable and Olivia has five Presidents memorized so far! *My five favorites of course!* We also have a President mat I’ve been using with her since she was born.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Rooftop Run – Honestly, Liv is better at this game than I am. She really loves the ninja turtles so this is a fun game for her. It’s really addicting.
*She used to love the Hello Friends! Yo Gabba Gabba app but now she says she’s a big girl so she doesn’t play it anymore. It is really cute and you can watch Yo Gabba Gabba videos.
I adore Olivia’s preschool but it isn’t very diverse. Liv, of course, doesn’t notice at all but she has said to us, “I’m brown!” and we tell her about her mixed heritage. Her new school is a melting pot, so she will be exposed to all different nationalities. That is one thing I never experienced in my school years. It’s so obvious the kids at this school are so much more tolerant of others and friendly since they come from different parts of the world. They are taught to be citizens of the world and I want Olivia to grow up with a global perspective. When you walk into the preschool classroom there are photos of the children all over the room. They identify their county origin and are very proud of where they are from. I am certain that gives them a stronger sense of who they are which promotes confidence early on. We met kids from Haiti, and also same-sex couples when we went to the school carnival last year. I love that Liv can grow up in an environment where being different is embraced and the norm. Beginning in secondary lycée *10th grade for us Americans* every student is required to complete volunteer service before they can graduate. I love the idea of community service. Imagine if public schools started that?
When I first heard of a French school, I assumed, sweet Nuns taught the children French and they wore adorable uniforms *similar to Madeline*
Turns out, it’s so much more than that. The school doesn’t really have an uniform policy *I wore a Catholic school uniform for eight years and loved it* so I was a little disappointed but since it’s free dress, we can adopt our own version of a uniform. I’d like her to wear navy jumpers, white shirts with Peter Pan collars, a cardigan and these shoes. She can also have a free dress day once a week like I did, but I’ll see how it goes. The dress code of the school is pretty strict which I love. When I changed from Catholic school to public school in 7th grade, my jaw dropped when I saw girls wearing midriff tops and hoochie shorts. How you dressed at my school was pretty competitive and I was always trying to keep up with the more popular kids but I was really a surfer, sporty girl at heart. I pretty much wore tie-dye shorts, t-shirts and Vans everyday. I went through a period of doubting myself and pretended to be someone I wasn’t during my teens that I pray Olivia never has to experience. I am really conscientious about Liv developing in a positive environment. Lucky for me I never did drugs or anything like that but back in the nineties, girls in my class were having babies like crazy.
The Staff & Campus
One of the main reasons my Mom took me out of Catholic School and put me in public was the lack of facilities. As nice as a non-secular education was for me, it was a pain in the ass to wear our gym clothes under our uniforms and the boys would have to leave the room while the girls got dressed since we didn’t have an actual locker room. We also didn’t have a field so we played all our sports in the parking lot. My Mom would grumble when I would come home with scraped knees from playing volleyball on the asphalt and I now understand why it was more appealing to send me to a school that had better facilities. This school is beautiful! It’s historically preserved and has 6 acres of land. There is an organic garden and a huge field of grass for sports and they even offer Tae Kwon Do.
What makes our decision to send her to this school is best summed up in this video made by the eighth grade class. I have lived in LA all my life and it’s very rare I come across young people like these. I want that cultural diversity, the accepting heart and confidence in my daughter. I can’t wait!!