Not every teacher becomes a parent, but every parent should be a teacher, wrote educator and Montessori Foundation president Tim Seldin. We asked our newsmakers to share their parenting experience and life hacks about schools, sections and kindergartens their children go to.
Julia and Vasily Smolny, founders of the Crazy Drying project It so happened that our family serves as a reference point for many parents. Zakhar and Serafim Smolny are a real team, a well-coordinated creative tandem, sometimes an organized criminal group. They attend the English kindergarten "Vzmah" on 10th Sovetskaya Street. We wanted to instill in children an interest in foreign languages from childhood, and we succeeded. It's great that they learn English not sitting at a desk, but communicating in it during classes, games, theatrical performances. Regular concerts are another story. This is pure Broadway! The elder Zakhar is 6 years old, and we can say with confidence that he is 100% ready for school. He entered the "Vzmakh" school, to which our kindergarten belongs - this is a private school, which is already 28 years old, every sixth of its graduates is a medalist, and in high school there is an emphasis on economics and business. One of the most common questions we are asked is: "How do you teach guys to play sports?" In fact, nothing. By our example, we make it clear that sport is an integral part of life. Guys sometimes participate in our workouts when we work out at home. When young, they perceived their mother's "jumping" and "ritual dances" on the fitness mat as a fun game. As soon as the elder had an interest in sports, we started looking for a sports section that would appeal to the young athlete, and then, possibly, his younger brother. The search led us to Liteiny, 11, to the Taekwondo-Spb school. We take the guys to training twice a week. Zakhar has been training for two and a half years and received a yellow-green belt in May. Seraphim started six months ago. There are no sparings at such a young age yet, classes are based on general physical training and working out basic elements and combinations. In addition to taekwondo, we take individual acrobatics trainings for Zakhar and Seraphim at Fitfashion Ginza. We train ourselves in this gym, and it is convenient for us to bring guys here. Acrobatics captivated them so much that there is an idea to send the children to a sports school: for the same acrobatics or artistic gymnastics. We have no idea of making them professional athletes (unless of course they themselves want to), but since they like it, it would be right to give them the opportunity to try themselves. A gymnastic or acrobatic base in childhood is an athletic physique, good metabolism, strength, flexibility, agility, endurance and a whole arsenal of all kinds of tricks. What is important for boys at any age. Zakhar and Seraphim attend the School of Young Architects. Literally in May, we learned from friends that on Ryleeva, 10, there is such a circle at the architectural bureau "Borshch". We went on exploration, and the Smolny brothers fell in love at first sight. In the classroom, children study architectural styles, watch educational videos, design layouts and present projects. In the summer, the School of Architects has a vacation, but Zakhar and Seraphim are really looking forward to when classes begin again. It is very convenient that classes are held on weekends, otherwise there would be no chance to fit them into our busy schedule."
Alexander Malich, TV and radio host My daughter goes to school, which my brother and sister graduated from at one time - Gymnasium 157 named after Princess Oldenburg on Lafonskaya Street, not far from Smolny. So we all knew about her and understood where we were going. The gymnasium is already 145 years old, and the world chess champion Boris Spassky, sports commentator Viktor Nabutov, actress Anastasia Melnikova graduated from it. My wife and I are happy with how everything works there. Our school is with in-depth study of the English language, and we are pleased with our daughter's knowledge of it. Masha has been playing the cello for several years, she chose this instrument herself and attends the music lyceum, which is located in the Kikin Chambers on Shpalernaya Street - almost all of its graduates continue their musical education at conservatories and academies. And she dances at the Effort studio: they have six halls in a mansion on Tchaikovsky Street, and they teach seven styles there - from street to classical."
Marina Gisich, gallery owner I was extremely pleased with the education of my daughters at the Mayak school of creative industries in New Holland. They were engaged in video blogging there for one semester - they learned to create their own pages. It was interesting for them, the school had a wonderful atmosphere. I can say that I, as a mom of teenagers, suffer from a lack of such programs specifically for teenagers. The daughters study at the 155th gymnasium with in-depth study of the French language, in the fall they will go to the eighth grade. Among the graduates of the school on Grechesky Prospect are actor Kirill Lavrov, director Alexander Belinsky, academician Natalya Bekhtereva. Since my husband is French and my children, respectively, are half French, I try to make them grow up with a cosmopolitan consciousness in a good sense of the word. I cannot say that I am satisfied with the school, and the point here is not so much in a specific educational institution on Grechesky Prospekt, which is already 120 years old, as in the program. A common problem for all Russian schools is unification. We are all driven into the same corridor, where teachers are especially important, who should captivate children. Meanwhile, our education system lacks spatial thinking and teachers who look at things broadly, not focusing only on their subject. The world has changed, we must perceive it in different planes. At the same time, I want to leave the children in a Russian school - I think that they will live in Russia."
Tatyana Bulanova Singer My son has a very good school - the 24th grammar school named after Krylov on Sredny Prospect of Vasilyevsky Island, the building for which was built by the merchant Alexander Eliseev in 1895. What she still lacks is the understanding that each child is unique in its own way and each has its own abilities. I would like to note that children's football schools are completely undeveloped in our city: there is the FC Zenit Academy, formerly known as Smena and educating Andrei Arshavin, Vladislav Radimov and Vyacheslav Malafeev, but all other schools are at the amateur level. This is despite the fact that there are enough people who want to study. But there is a personnel problem, which is explained by low coaching salaries. We need to develop children's sports, especially now - after the victories of our team."
Katya Klein, PR Director of the Center for Creative Freedom "Territory" My son Daniil studies at gymnasium 540. This is one of the best public schools in St. Petersburg, located in the Primorsky District, and entered the top 500 best in Russia. I can tell the parents of future high school students: if you choose this path for your child, be ready to study with him. Not a single nanny, not a single tutor can cope with all the tasks assigned to children by the most complex and rich training program. It is imperative to prepare children for school. And I'm not talking about some basic and self-evident knowledge like the ability to read and count. It is important to immerse the child in society in advance. Children who spend a lot of time only with their parents, relatives, tutors or nannies and do not have contact with their peers receive tremendous stress in the process of adapting to the team. And here, among other things, there are new teachers, requirements for behavior and further down the list. This can have a very serious impact on the psyche and behavior of the child, let alone academic success. The task of parents is to take children to preparatory classes, to various circles. Adriana sings from the cradle, and since the opening of the Center for Creative Freedom "Territory" she has been singing there. And he goes to a state kindergarten - after the unsuccessful experience of visiting a commercial kindergarten with my son, I clearly decided not to get involved with this kind of educational institutions anymore. It is important for me that Adriana is in society, because she is an extremely sociable and energetic child. Daniil perfectly swims, is very confident in downhill skiing, shows a great interest in science and drawing, and in the new year we plan to send him to the animation course”.
Anna Askerova, founder of the British club kindergarten Mary Jane I came to meet in many private kindergartens, and some pictures remained in front of my eyes forever: lonely crying children, children with bronchial coughs, a wide open window in 10-degree frost. I had to create a kindergarten according to my own requests - Mary Jane kindergarten in the "Parade Quarter" and in the Imperial residential complex on Kievskaya Street. The path is not the easiest, but now we are completely sure that children in kindergarten are good, comfortable and safe. For a quick and easy adaptation of a child in a new environment for him, educators should call children the same affectionate names they are used to at home. If a child falls asleep just hugging a favorite toy or to a certain song, it is worth keeping this ritual in kindergarten for the first time."
Irena Kuksenayte, artist and curator My son Ilya and daughter Katya attended the Hermitage kindergarten. I really liked the celebrations associated with different cultures that were organized there, and I consider this kindergarten on Fontanka, 24, a great place to start education. My daughter's school - 636, with in-depth study of foreign languages - suits me and Katya quite well. In it, of course, there are pseudo-patriotic orders, but I think this does not come from the school itself. What we are missing now is sports - physical fitness at school is definitely sagging. Katya goes to art school 1 on the Fontanka embankment, and I strongly welcome the traditional approach to teaching that is adopted there. My daughter also attended the film school "Kinoostrov" - a wonderful place, you can try all the film professions: actor, director, cameraman, make-up artist, stuntman. Children there themselves write scripts, shoot, edit films."
Vlada Smekalova, co-founder of Blueberry Nights When choosing a kindergarten for both children, my husband and I chose the state kindergarten 29 in Vasileoostrovsky district. It is 30 years old, led by a wonderful head Irina Ivanovna Sidorova, the teaching staff in it are the winners of professional competitions, and most importantly, the educators are loving children and creative people. Her husband, soloist of the Mariinsky Theater and choreographer Yuri Smekalov, noticed his daughter's data long ago, and from 5 to 8 years old Zlata studied at the children's ballet school of Ilya Kuznetsov - they work in it according to a professional method and consist only of teachers with ballet education. This year, my daughter is preparing to enter preparatory courses at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet."
Olga Marquez, CEO of the Ideal Body School #Sekta, vocalist of the Alai Oli group I would like to recommend our kindergarten "Vzmah" - I found it absolutely by accident. This is a whole network, but "we" visit the kindergarten on 10th Sovetskaya, and I can say that it is simply unreal! You pay 35,000 a month for a baby, but it's worth it. By the age of five, my eldest son Jerzy already reads, adds numbers, they communicate with children only in English, they have some kind of unreal community being built. Jerzy also goes to gymnastics in the state section on the same 10th Sovetskaya Street and to the Reasun pool - this is a huge water-health complex, and the coach Natasha, who works there with children, very quickly taught him how to swim perfectly”.
Alexander Grachev, Vice President of Biocad I am a Muscovite, and my family and I moved to St. Petersburg five years ago with our company. We had a prejudice that it is difficult to get into a public school, there are many students in the class, which means that everyone gets less attention. But it turned out that there was a lot of turnover in a private school: some kind of leapfrog began with teachers and a schedule. In our district there is a state physical and mathematical student 239, where the whole of St. Petersburg wants to arrange children, but only geeks can go there without preparation. We chose the 171st gymnasium for Artyom on Mayakovsky Street with a French bias, and we are quite happy with it. And Maria was sent to the gymnasium at the Russian Museum - she really likes it there. Separately, I would like to note the difference with Moscow, where I often visit and communicate with acquaintances who have schoolchildren - after all, the whole process of a child's organization and existence at school, like life in these two cities, is different. In St. Petersburg, he seems more human, organized - nowhere did I feel any kind of corruption, everything is honest, objective. Everywhere they talked to me frankly, from the representatives of all schools in the Central District, with whom we spoke, a very pleasant impression was left. For example, in the same Physics and Mathematics School, 239 they said that if you prepare, you can try to enter, but it is better to enter the 8th grade if the child has real abilities, because in their absence there is no point in torturing him."
Maria Cheblakova, Commercial Director Considering the need to combine the status of a mother with many children with work, I probably studied all the kindergartens in the Moscow region. In the end, the leader turned out to be not the most fashionable, but the most strict and correct kindergarten at the School of Spoken Languages on Pobedy Street, 21. One of my children had the experience of studying at the private school "Alma Mater", but still outweighed the desire to spend less time on the road from home to school. And the choice fell on the state English gymnasium. Nearby there is a park, circles and friends, which is very convenient when a child becomes (or thinks that he has become!) More or less independent and asks not to follow him everywhere. I strongly advise children's tennis at the Volna sports club at 150 Moskovsky Prospekt, although there you can also learn capoeira, aikido or cheerleading."
Zhenya Godunova, co-founder of the mapping company Illuminarium 3000 My goal was to find a school where a child could develop in all directions, being in one place: both musically and artistically. We do not have many educational institutions with a free education system, where children feel comfortable and confident, where they are motivated to learn. In addition, I was against several different circles that would complement school education - in my opinion, this approach is an echo of the past. And the school of our dreams was discovered - it is called "Quadrivium". This is a private primary school that prepares children for admission to the best gymnasiums and lyceums in the city. There are only 12 students in classes, and the main principle is education without humiliation and education without imposition. It is difficult to get into it, but we succeeded. We can "relax" for four years, and then we will try to break through to the 56th classical gymnasium or to the physics and mathematics school 239. I can recommend to everyone a completely free section at the physics and mathematics school 30 - this is an Internet club for math lovers. Every week you are sent a certain number of problems - you send back the answers, you get your rating. The tasks are very interesting! Not so much on computation as on logic. For a whole year we were solving them with the whole family, and this united us all - mathematics became the queen of sciences in our country”.
Ilya Stogov, the writer Tarzan was raised by monkeys, Mowgli - by wolves, and the entire modern generation was raised by social networks. What can I give my daughter? I know a lot less than Google. So he brings them up. No mugs are needed here."
Irina Loginova, founder of the American Kids Center kindergarten I opened a kindergarten for my children, who constantly move with me between Barcelona and St. Petersburg, as well as for children of foreigners living in the center of our city. I can say that AKCent is the British level of education, the Oxford program and love for children, and this is where it all starts."
Yana Zyablina, PR Director of PapMarketing Company My son studies at the Second St. Petersburg Gymnasium. It was founded in 1805 by decree of Emperor Alexander I, and the children of Pushkin, the artist Alexander Benois, the anthropologist Nikolai Miklukho-Maclay, and the composer Igor Stravinsky studied there. In my opinion, this is one of the best educational institutions - there is no special vector for advanced knowledge, but there is a good level of education, a great history and a special spirit. A special thrill is that the management and teachers of the gymnasium are always on the side of the children: the grades for the quarter are reported after the holidays, at meetings they remind parents “not to take out their ambitions on the children”, there are regular meetings between the principal and the students - a direct dialogue on how to the learning process is more interesting and effective. Even the school uniform in the gymnasium is beautiful - at one time a competition was held among young students-fashion designers to create it”.
Evgeny and Marta Tkachuk, founders of the VelesO equestrian drama theater Our daughter Eva is only three years old, and so far we are looking for a good kindergarten. We have already changed a few and are standing in line for a state kindergarten, because we have not acquired the most positive experience in private ones. You send your child for quite serious money to a kindergarten, which is replete with signs "premium" and "luxury", and you quickly realize that there are practically all teachers without pedagogical education, and the turnover of staff is very high. And there are no ratings by which to check these institutions. In state kindergartens, everything is more stable. We took our daughter to developing schools, and the leader of our chart is the Montessori School "Golden Bead", the very first in St. Petersburg. The method, developed at the beginning of the twentieth century in Italy by the teacher Maria Montessori, involves the free movement of children in the classroom, groups of different ages, and the child's independent choice of activities from the proposed options. Eva dances very well, and in September we are going to enter the Todes dance school. And of course, Eva regularly attends rehearsals of our VelesO equestrian theater - this is an outstanding platform on which a child can develop: acting and creative trainings, communicating with horses, and all this in nature in the Vsevolozhsk region."
Liza Savina Gallery owner and curator Danila went to Garden 74 on Maly Prospekt on Vasilyevsky Island, and in four years the teachers and nannies became practically a second family for him. In any case, it was not I who chose the school for the child, but the head of the kindergarten, who said that such a boy should study in a better school, and without unnecessary gestures on my part, decided all the questions of admission - so he ended up in the 24th gymnasium. I have no complaints about her, perhaps also because I absolutely do not want my child to be a champion of everything at once and learn everything in the world around the clock. His emotional comfort and general education are more important to me. He speaks English, writes competently, goes to school willingly, he has friends there - and I have no more requests for school. His son's best surprise was boxing at Johnny D.'s "Bottle" in New Holland. There is a small children's group there, Danila adores the coach, goes to trainings with pleasure three times a week. I strongly recommend that the club functions under the slogan "Boxing for Intelligent People", and I am ready to testify that everything is so: the right location, and the right get-together, and boxing itself. I would very much like to find him somewhere a course in the art of the twentieth century for adolescents, but so far I have not found this. Apparently, you will have to do it yourself."