Suri Cruise's Scientology School Isn't As Freaky As It Sounds

scientologyPoor Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are getting attacked again. This time, it seems, they've signed 5-year-old daughter Suri up for private school. Which sounds pretty typical for famous parents. But of course being the Cruises, this particular institution is a Scientology school.

And you'll have to forgive me from diverting traffic from the "OMG, Suri's parents are morons" train when I say this, but it doesn't sound ... that bad? Described as a co-educational, secular day school, the New Village Leadership Academy in Calabasas actually sounds pretty normal!


I poked around on their website and tried to see what was different from my kid's school. The truth is? Not a whole lot.

Suri's new school has "individualized reading" -- which sounds a lot like the "guided reading" method that my kid's public school prescribes too. Kids develop at their own pace. Ditto the "individualized math" program that New Village has. I found out just a few weeks ago on Meet the Teacher Night that my daughter's first grade classroom is piloting "learn at your own pace" math in her district. New Village even has some rules that make my nerdy heart swell like making kids look words up in the dictionary if they don't know them (rock on! high five!) and using the "real object" whenever possible for hands-on learning. That's just how homework gets done chez Sager.

Being private, of course, they have all sorts of things my poor rural school district doesn't, like iPads for the kids and technology instruction on individual laptops instead of making all the kids switch off in the same computer room. There's also a longer school day so kids have less homework and more time to hang with the fam.

So I've got ask, what's so freaky about this place? Because they let the kids use clay during the day, and no one gets a bad grade? OK, except ... my kid did art projects almost every day in kindergarten last year AND you had to majorly mess up to not get at least a "check" on your worksheet. Or is it because they have the kids chart their progress with a graphing system, which bores the people at LAist? Dudes, we moms have been using reward charts for potty training and reminders for chores for decades. Not that new, really.

And while the whole Scientology thing is a major turn-off, we see people sending their kids to religious-based schools all the time because it's the best educational option, even if the core religion sucks. I've got to tell you, if I had the money and lived in California, I think I might just send my kid to Scientology school with Suri Cruise. How about you?


Image via Anya_/Flickr

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