We caught up with MUSE kindergarten parent, Stephanie Greenquist, about what brought her to MUSE, and how joining the school has shaped her son Jaxton’s development – academically, socially, and emotionally. Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing your #MUSEStory.
Tell us how you heard of MUSE, and what prompted you to bring your child here.
We started looking at public schools in our district when our son, Jaxton, was little – but with the large class sizes and for various other reasons, we decided to start looking at private schools. So, we began touring every private school in the area. We had heard about MUSE, but it was a bit far from where we lived, so it was one of the last schools we looked at. But once I toured MUSE, I told my husband, ‘This is it.’ When you come and see the campus and classroom environment, nothing compares.
I went to a very traditional school in Wisconsin. It was a good public school, and academically I was successful there – I even became my school’s valedictorian. But I never received the social-emotional education that is so crucial. I feel that MUSE does this better than any other school out there, and that was very appealing to me as a mother.
At that point, Jaxton was beginning the early childhood program and is now in kindergarten. What has his development been like since joining MUSE?
It was really his self-efficacy and confidence levels shooting through the roof that I noticed right away. For him to be able to explore his passions is a huge deal for him, too. And with the Process Communication Model (PCM), his teachers were able to identify his personality type, and that his process is fact-based and logic-based – to be understood as that type of learner has really helped him. There’s nothing he loves more than being asked granular questions about dinosaurs, and the MUSE staff knows how to engage him in that way, so he feels very cared for. Seeing him make so many friendships at MUSE, more than before, has also been wonderful to see. He has a variety of friends now that he really enjoys learning and playing with.
Speaking of PCM, how has it changed your relationship with your child?
I really took to PCM and believe in it so deeply. Being able to understand how he likes being spoken to is huge. The teachers will tell me he likes to be spoken to about facts, and that when he’s in distress he’ll likely become illogical. My husband took PCM training as well, and as a family it has helped us communicate incredibly well.
How do you see your child being more conscious of our planet, even at such a young age?
Sustainability is one area we are really growing in as a family, and I’ve learned so much since we joined MUSE. What a great reminder to have my 5-year-old telling me to turn off the water, and to have him be so aware of what we’re eating. We also have a compost set up now, because Jaxton was so passionate about the practice after learning about composting at school. He loves the gardening class, too – we have a balcony at our apartment, and Jaxton will come home and ask to grow herbs and flowers at home.
It’s so important to expose children to environmental topics early on – we’re in the red with climate change, and it’s so urgent that we do something. We’re all going to have to know this information to save the world, and so many jobs are going in that direction as well. Jeff (MUSE Global CEO) once said that although we don’t know exactly what jobs look like in the future, we do know there is going to be a massive need for people that understand what’s going on with our environment.
That’s another thing I love about MUSE – its emphasis on educating children to be gritty, passionate, self-efficacious, and communicative people – because those are the skills we’re going to need most for the future.
What surprised you most about MUSE?
Initially, academics was the pillar I found most interesting about MUSE before learning about everything else the school does; but by the end of his first year, more than anything, I always go back to the importance of the social-emotional component – that’s what has really struck me. Now he will be open with me, tell me whether he’s sad or content, and that helps me parent better.