i was asked in a comment to talk about our choice of schools and how we came to the decision on where to start elementary school for our oldest daughter.

well gosh it wasn't easy.  we are in a great school district with strong test scores and our house is zoned for an elementary school that some of my friends are happy with, some not so happy.  in my gut i just knew we needed to explore our options.  austin is nothing if not adventurous and well educated, so there is not a shortage of education options.  from unschooling to private to charter to waldorf, we have it all.  and we have it all nearby.

i talked to parents at all kinds of schools.   i quickly in the early fall ruled out the most common alternative choice for our friends and community- a hybrid homeschool, university school that was classical christian education.  kids go to school just 2 days a week in kinder and do 2 days of homeschool.  my reasoning for ruling this out was that my own schedule and abilities just made it seem too far a reach for us.

we applied to christian schools, we entered charter school lotteries.  we prayed, i cried.  i panicked.

christmas rolled around and i told kevin, we should at least go to the homeschool/university school open house.  we rsvp'ed and planned to attend.  then the truck ran over our lives and everything was on hold indefinitely.  she was accepted at a small private christian school.  i thought this seemed simple, safe, yes.

as we emerged from the accident fog, things seemed to shift a bit.  we went to the late spring university homeschool open house.  we knew that night, it was right.  it was our school.  i was terrified and peaceful at the same time.  this meant a lot of change, a lot.  change.

we applied and then held our breath.  the longer we waited the more i knew i would be positively devastated if she was not accepted.  then when we were lucky enough to be accepted i panicked that i was not sending my kids away 5 days a week.  haven't i been waiting for a chance to be the one with a place to send her kids 5 days a week for nearly 6 years?!

i made the choice to close a portion of my business indefinitely to accommodate this change and have cut back my work hours roughly by half to make space in my week for the homeschool days that we will have starting with the school year.

since making this decision about her schooling i have felt freedom, community, and am excited but also intimidated by the coming year.  i think she and i both have so much to learn and i am thrilled that we will be growing together.  we will be together.  this makes me the happiest mom.  i know it will be a stretch for both of us and i adore that we will go through it all together.

we have also decided to make our education decisions one year at a time.  this is our choice for this year and this year only.  we do not know what the future holds and will cherish being an active part of our daughter's kindergarten year.


Amanda @ Life in bloom said...

Wow, I can't imagine having so many education options! What a huge decision. I guess it makes me relieved that our only option was homeschool or public school.....and since I have been waiting for the time when my kids are old enough to be in school all day, well it works because I am working now too! Hopefully you will continue to write about the new school experience, it's sounds really interesting!

The Writer Chic said...

Mollie, thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading as much as your feel comfortable writing about in the coming months. Good luck to you both!

Larisa said...

thanks for sharing. I totally agree about deciding one year at a time - so much changes each year, it's impossible to say what will be best in following years.

CALawMama said...

I saw your pic on IG, but when I went to facebook we aren't connected anymore. Anyway, good for you guys! I am glad you have discovered something that works for you, and I am an ardent supporter of homeschooling :)

Jennifer R. said...

Thanks for posting this. We have a similar school option in our area (MN) that I am kind of drawn to but didn't look into it in time for last year. My Lillian is in K at a public montessori school this year but this fall/winter we will be evaluating all our options for 1st grade. I can totally relate to the panic and overwhelm with so many options. It's nice hearing about how you felt after you made your decision, and how you shifted things in your life to fit around this. If you don't mind, I'd love to hear more as the year goes on about your experience with the hybrid homeschool option.