26 June 2014

The School Dilemma

Choosing schools for our children has always been a priority for us.

Since I was an early education major in college and Troy and I were both fortunate enough to grow up with fantastic public school systems, we have done extensive research about the options in our community.

I mean, I visited seven preschools when we were at the beginning of that journey. I'm sure that any one of them would have worked out fine, but I wanted to make the most informed choice for our children.

We chose to send Blake to Kindergarten at a school that I would have to commute to. There were many great things about the school and a few not so great things. I'm sure that can be said about any school. But we mostly loved the experiences he received in Kindergarten.

The biggest drawback was the commute. Last year, I only had to make the 40-minute round trip twice a day since Blake was in school half-day and the times coincided with Nash's preschool that was located around the corner.

But next year is going to be a different story. Blake will be in school all-day, every day, and Nash will be in school three mornings a week. That results in making three commutes a day on preschool days and somehow juggling two babies and their various nap times in the mix.

It just does not seem feasible.

We have been really concerned about what in the world we are going to do. We don't want to sacrifice our children's education, but I also have to consider the needs of our younger children at home (and my sanity!).

We looked into a few other school options that didn't pan out.

I emailed three other families that live somewhat in our neck of the woods to see if we could set up a carpool. Two of them already had arrangements set up, and I didn't hear back from the email I sent the third family.

Last week, I decided to call that third family and give the carpool option one last shot in case they didn't receive my email. I was shocked when they answered right away and were thrilled to be able to set up a carpool.

It was an answer to prayers. 

I'm still in disbelief that it's going to work out after fretting about the situation for months and months.

We've had so much thrown at us this year that has been completely unexpected and out of our control and it is such a relief to have one less thing to worry about.

We are really happy that Blake will be able to continue first grade in the same school he was at last year. When we attended his art appreciation night right before school got out, I realized what a good thing we would be giving up if we moved him elsewhere.

The halls and walls were covered with student art and the students participated in a myriad of interactive art activities.

The boys' favorite station was splatter art modeled after Jackson Pollock.
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They ended up covered head to toe in paint.
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They rotated to other stations throughout the school, molding and painting clay, contributing hand cut shapes to a Picasso mural, and participating in a variety of hands-on activities.
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We're so glad Blake is staying put for the time being.


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