Thursday, February 27, 2014

Theme Thursday - Fences

Going totally abstract here so bear with me… BIG TIME

Now what could these two pieces of paper have absolutely ANYTHING to do with fences? 

I was on the fence about Catholic school. In particular where to send E for pre-K. 

Here's the thing. Her preschool now has a pre-K class. The schedule works perfectly with my work schedule. She knows everyone. She has been going to Mothers Morning Out there since before she was walking (tear). It feels like family over there. 

So why would we possibly want to start her at the Catholic school when everything is AWESOME… and I mean it, at the current preschool. 

1. There is only one Catholic elementary school in the tri-county area we live in. (actually it is probably more like 10+ counties but you get the idea)
2. NC school vouchers go into effect this fall (maybe)

One of my biggest concerns about not enrolling E in pre-K is not being able to get a spot in the school for Kindergarten. No the classes are not maxed out currently but with the voucher program likely getting implemented in the fall I am guessing that enrollment will be seeing an uptick. Also, we are not parishioners at this Catholic church so we don't really have priority if space was limited. 

So no big deal… Enroll her right? 

WRONG. So wrong that it is not a big deal. With my work schedule I have been able to work it so that I drop the girls off and pick them up and work from home in the afternoons. BUT the Catholic school pre-K program starts 30 minutes sooner and lets out an hour earlier than the current preschool. Reality check: We'll have to leave the house 35 minutes earlier than we do now. I'll have R and M waiting in the parking lot of their school for at least 20 minutes before it opens. How am I supposed to pick up E an hour early than the girls? Praying for a carpool buddy. Then if carpool buddy does not happen I'll have to pick up R and M from school then drive to get E after she eats lunch at school which will put our van rolling into the garage at LEAST 20 minutes later. Then I'll have to pack E a lunch in the mornings. And forget it come Kindergarten year because pick up is SMACK DAP IN THE MIDDLE OF REST

As I have hopefully proven… Enrolling her at the Catholic school is COMPLICATED for my LIFE!

Now if you really want to hear about some craziness let's just say I was toying with the idea of HOMESCHOOLING. Yes you are reading that correctly I actually gave serious thought to homeschooling and so serious that I mentioned it to Lee. 

Why would I consider homeschooling? 

Common Core. 

I don't know everything about it but I have heard some less than great things about it. Plus I've talked to a few moms who are homeschooling and LOVE it plus just about every blog I read is about a Catholic homeschooling family. Plus isn't it our jobs as parents to educate our children? What could possibly be more important? Vocational crisis. 

Basically I was having a total crisis. T-O-T-A-L. Being a mom is hard, people! So where do I turn? To a mama who works and has all her kids in Catholic school. Thanks blog-o-sphere. And the biggest take home truth from that email is: whatever decision is made, it is not permanent. 

Feeling mildly more at peace with the idea of Catholic school or even any school for that matter… We press forward

Well in addition to the craziness that caused the blog shortage of last week, Lee and I toured the local Roman Catholic school where he happened to go to school for 8 years way back in his more youthful days. He really does credit his Catholic education to bringing him back to church after he had a bit of a hiatus in his teens (along with the Holy Spirit leading him back, of course). 

His Kindergarten teacher is the interim principal and I am kind of bummed she likely won't teach E - but maybe. She showed us around and to the pre-K room (and the other rooms of course). The pre-K teacher seems really great and has LOTS of energy as any preschool teacher requires. We learned about the specials and the kids go to Mass every Friday and they have field trips etc etc. So we sat down with the principal and my first question: "So what's the story with Common Core?" {that's not exactly how I worded it but you know!}

The short answer: Common Core is not a curriculum. It is a set of standards/goals that kids meet at the end of each grade. We teach every subject with Catholicism at the center. 

Next question, "Our kids have already been fully received into the Church - baptism, confirmation, communion - will that be an issue" {I knew that it would not be but wanted to toss that into the mix because the girls can receive Communion if the priest will give it to them Now there is one priest in the Roman Catholic diocese we live in who WILL NOT give Communion to Eastern Catholic children under the age of 2nd grade even though the Roman Catholic Bishop of this diocese will. That is neither here, nor there for the purposes of this post}

Back to the question, no it is not a problem. 

{E has not wanted to receive Communion at this church which is fine because we have not talked to the priest about it first and foremost. She will likely go to First Confession / First Penance with the rest of her second grade class unless she wants/needs to go sooner.}

Also, I was happy to find out that this school is accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 

So while I'm still not 100% sold on the Common Core answer; I cannot argue with the Catholic aspect of the education. And like I've been told - we can take it year by year. I have NEVER thought I have been called to homeschool but I cannot say I have ruled it out for the rest of my mothering years. I'll be listening for whispers in case we ever need to change our current course. 

As parents I think that teaching our children and passing down our beliefs to them is ever so important so the way in which they are educated - homeschool, public school, private school - should not be a decision that is taken lightly. 

Maybe we'll be on the fence every year. Hopefully we can be at peace with the decisions we make. 

I would LOVE to hear you stories/insights into schooling your kiddos!

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  1. I think staying open to God's plan is the only thing you can really do in your situation! If we had the money/time for it, I'd totally consider putting my older kids in preschool, but the dropoff/pickup is inconvenient and it would be an extra $10+ thousand dollars that we don't have... But who knows if we'll decide to enroll the kids in public or Catholic school some day!

    1. The whole Common Core thing is totally tripping me out/up whatever. I think I'm back on the school fence again - even after I boldly made this post!