As E quickly approaches her kindergarten year, the reality and enormity of choosing how she will be schooled is pressing in. Basically, there are 3 choices- private (Christian) school, home school, and public school.
As some of you know I went to a private Christian school for 13 years and loved it, and was blessed by the sacrifices my parents made to send me there. The fact that we now live a couple of miles away from my school as well as another Christian school makes this option appealing to me. There is comfort in the thought of sending my kids to a school where the teachers are Christian as well as the families that attend. Also, it is familiar to me and so I find comfort in that as well.
When I was growing up, not many people were home schooled, but I remember at times feeling jealous of our cousins who were. They got to spend the whole day at home, their mom was their teacher, their school year was shorter, as well as the school day, it seemed great on those days when I didn't want to go to school. And now there is a huge home schooling movement. There is definitely something that appeals to the teacher in me. I can imagine themes, field trips, art lessons, co-ops, and flexibility, and feel like that would be a great choice. I also have several friends who are planning to home school, and it would be fun to do it together. Also, my kids would be under my watchful eye and I would know what they were learning and who they were friends with, and the families these kids were from. So there is also comfort in that.
The final choice, public school, was something I have always been interested in. Maybe it was all the Beverly Cleary books I read where the kids walked to their neighborhood schools and had friends from their schools living in the same neighborhood. I like the idea of being a part of our community and having our kids in the same school as our neighbors. Being able to walk down the street and know many of the faces we see, and be able to connect with other parents because we will see them on a regular basis. Plus, I can't escape the fact that it is free (in as much as paying our property taxes make it free). We are very fortunate to live in an area where the schools are excellent, and I want to be able to take advantage of those resources.
So there they are, the big 3. It seems so final making this choice for E, when in reality, if it doesn't work out, there are obviously other choices. We have thought about these different options, and really considered each one. But we keep coming back to public school. I feel like that is where God is leading us now. To be in our community, interacting with other parents and kids. To use hard issues and situations that come up to teach our kids how God wants them to show his love to their nonChristian friends. And so that is where we are. Kindergarten registration is a month away and I am both excited and nervous about this next stage in parenting. It is a new way in which I have to entrust the lives of our kids in God's hands, a new way to learn about his sovereignty over their lives and mine.