Monday, August 16, 2010

The Post That I've Put Off...

You may remember this post where I shared with you all how we were struggling with knowing which method of education was best for Clayton. We did finally make a decision. The decision making process was so, so difficult! We prayed and prayed and prayed some more. We changed our minds repeatedly. We researched and read about homeschooling, private schools, and public schools. In January, we were fairly certain that Clayton was going to attend the public school down the street.

However, our hearts were changed. In February, a friend invited me to tour a school with her. I had heard of the school, but dismissed further investigation because it was such a foreign concept. The school offers a classical, Christian education which combines a private school education with a homeschool component. I went with my friend to visit the school, and there was just a sweet countenance about the school and all of the people involved with it. I loved the way that the program is structured and how the kids learn. It makes so much sense to me. It just felt "right."

I can't even explain it, other than to just say that it feels like for this year and for this particular child (Clayton), I feel like this is what we are called to do. I fully realize that it could be a complete and total flop. And, if it is, we will do something different next year. We are only committed for a year. In my heart of hearts, I feel like it is going to be a good fit for us. But, if it isn't, we'll do something different for 1st grade.

I have put this post off because I know that people have very strong opinions about education. Most of our family and friends feel that public schools offer the best education. I don't disagree with them all. I wouldn't begin to debate public vs. private vs. homeschool, because I think that they all have pros and cons. (Believe me - I've made list upon lists of benefits and downfalls of all three methods!) I just know that Wade & I both have a peace about the decision that we have made for Clayton's Kindergarten year.

With all of that being said, I am really excited about this year and all of the changes that are about to happen for our family! Clayton will go to school on campus on Mondays and Wednesdays. Then the school will send home curriculum for us to cover at home on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Fridays, the school offers optional electives, which Clayton will not be taking this year. We look forward to Clayton enjoying the electives (Spanish, Art, Drama, Music, and an in-depth Science) in the future. Several factors just didn't make the electives feasible this year.

On the days when we have school at home, we will spend our mornings upstairs in a portion of the playroom that we are transforming to be our school room. I'm still not exactly sure how it will all work out, but I am excited about the possibilities. As of now, my plan is to do some "school" types of things with Drew while Clayton is doing his work. The principal suggested making a basket of books and manipulatives for Drew to play with while Clayton and I are working. That basket would be strictly reserved for school time and put away when we aren't doing school. I think that sounds like a good plan, but we'll see how it works out. I have a feeling that I am going to have to be very flexible. :)

Will this year be challenging? Absolutely.
Is it going to always be fun? I seriously doubt it.
Do I feel completely confident about teaching Clayton? No way. Actually, I'm scared out of my mind that I will fail.
Do I anticipate power struggles and feeling overwhelmed? For sure.
Do I have a teaching background? Nope. I don't have a single education class under my belt.
Do I feel prepared? Ummmm.... His books haven't come in yet, and we don't have a desk for our school room yet. So, I have A LOT to do this week!
Is this what I feel like God wants us to do? I am 100% certain that it is.

I hope and pray that I didn't offend anyone by this post. I definitely do not want to do that! I know that many (if not most) of our family and friends disagree with our decision, and that has been the hardest part of all of this. I don't want for other people (especially our loved ones) to be disappointed or to disapprove of our decision. However, Wade & I are on the same page, and we both feel that this is what we are called to do.

Thanks to all of you who have offered encouragement, prayers, and thoughtful insight throughout this process! We have valued each and every one of you who have shown genuine concern for our son.

School starts next Monday! I think that I'm still in denial, though. :) On Saturday, we were at the pool with some friends. I said something about how Clayton would start Kindergarten "in the fall." My pal was quick to point out that "the fall" was in a little over a week! Ha ha!

We have Parent Orientation on Wednesday and Meet the Teacher on Friday. It should be a fun week! Kindergarten, here we come!


Mrs. H said...

It will be a great year!

Matt & Cindy Fleharty said...

I can't wait to hear ALL about it! Sarah, don't worry about what other people think! You and Wade know what's best for Clayton (you obviously know that, but I know you worry yourself over this stuff). It's going to be AWESOME!!!!

Matt & Cindy Fleharty said...

I just wanted to add that even though I am/was a public school teacher, I would totally consider private or homeschool (or a combo like you have)! :)

Tara said...

It does sound like you have quite the challenge ahead of you but I have faith that you can do it, and do it well. You have to do what is right for your family. I can't wait to hear all about it!!!! Miss you guys.

Brent and Abbey said...

Who cares what other poeple think!... WHO CARES! This is YOUR child... noone loves him more than you and Wade... parenting is hard and as long as you put your full effort into it, at the end when you look back, there won't be one single "I shoulda!" Clayton will thrive this year, I just know it!

Ashlee said...

You are one of the most amazing mothers I have ever known. I pray that the people around you will not judge or make omments. If they do- hopefully they will keep their opinions in their heads! You go girl. To make that kind of commitment is totally amazing. Good luck and who better than to help teach your child but you?! That's always been my saying! Love you all and miss you!

Albus Adventures said...

I understand being hesitant to share parenting decisions and wondering about what others will think. Just so you know, not that it matters, Jeff and I think this concept makes a lot of sense and seems like a really good fit for Clayton. Plus, you have been doing a great job of teaching him there at home for years now. The curriculum and added support the school provides will just be really good tools to assist you.

Melissa said...

This year is going to be fantastic! You're going to do a great job b/c when the Lord calls you to do something, he equips you. I can't wait to hear all about it! Praying for you this next week as you start! :)

Holly said...

Where do I start? I'm so thankful that you and Wade feel peace about your decision. We've prayed for this and He answered!

Don't give others' opinions a second thought! The only one who loves Clayton more than you and Wade is the Lord and you are doing what He's leading you to do.

The Lord has entrusted you with this precious child and it is obvious that you take your role as parents and teachers very seriously and I admire that. It's going to be a great year!