I don’t know if any of you are in the same boat as us, where your oldest is about to enter their last year of pre-school, but that’s right where we are. And all year I’ve been stressing about the decision of where to send her for kindergarten. I’ve been going back and forth between my options trying to decide what’s best. Honestly, it’s been weighing on my mind a lot more than I thought it would.
Making School Decisions
So it was very nice back in January when one of my favorite blogs, Lil Light O’ Mine, did a weeklong segment on “Making the School Decision“. They addressed the topic from multiple angles (homeschool, public, private, and kindergarten readiness) and I have to say that this is one blog series that I’m (a) still thinking about and (b) have discussed with numerous friends over the past few months.
The biggest thing that I took from this series, and that I want to share with you, is to make your decision for this year. I was so stressed about picking an option that would see Charlotte and James through high school graduation that it was consuming too much of my time. I was losing focus of looking for what Charlotte needs right now. I don’t know what she’ll be like when she’s 8 or 12 or 16, but I do know how she is at almost 4 which is all that matters right now.
I realized that my kids are very different. Charlotte has a late spring birthday and might be one of the youngest in her class (she definitely is this year in her 3yo class and I’ve already seen how much she wishes she was already 4). James has an early fall birthday and will be one of the oldest in his class. I think that the way their birthday’s fall will be a benefit for them, but that means that the decisions that we make for Charlotte might not be the decisions that we need to make for James. And once I came to the realization that I didn’t have to choose a school path for both of my kids that will determine the course of our lives for the next 17 years, the decision didn’t seem quite so daunting.
At this point, we’re thinking that we’re going to keep Charlotte at the school that she currently attends for half day kindergarten. It’s a small class in a small Christian environment that she’s familiar with and we think that this will be the best place for her to grow before moving on to first grade. Now, where she’ll go in first grade? I have no idea! But I have another year before I have to make that decision so I’m not going to let that influence my stress level right now.
If her four year old year progresses and we change our minds, we’re ok with that. And if, in a few years, we don’t feel like this is the right decision for James, then we’ll choose a different kindergarten for him. We are choosing for this child, for this year and relying on God to help us make the best decision for right now.
I wanted to share the resource of the blog series from Lil Light O’ Mine in case you haven’t seen it and are where we are. And I wanted to share our story in case it helps reassure someone else that they don’t have to decide the next 13 years of their child’s education this second. Every option is going to be able to be changed if it turns out to not be the best and we have to make the best decisions for our kids based on our kids and where they are now, not based on the best decision that was made for someone else’s kids. In most situations, in our area, the education that they receive will be wonderful no matter where they go. We just need to decide which environment is going to benefit them, and our family, the most.