Parenting is seriously the hardest.job.ever.
Especially when it comes to making decisions for your kids and constantly wondering if you are doing the right thing. Here's our story of one child and three schools.
Four years ago I was teaching first grade at Delaware Elementary in the Southeast Polk district. Rebecca was going to turn 4 on August 31. Was she ready for Pre-school?? She still seemed like our little baby - and she really was - our only child at the time. I wanted her to go to pre-school, but still couldn't imagine it. Delaware had a new PreK program and we open enrolled her. At first we were told there was no room and I tried to be okay with that, but then 4 days before PreK was to start, we got a call that they had room. Rebecca was in Mrs. Alberts' morning PreK class just down the hall from my first grade room. I really loved having her at my school and it was only slightly inconvenient to transport her to daycare over my lunch break. *On a side note, Blake was born in January of Rebecca's PreK year and she only went to school once a week while I was on my 12 week maternity leave.
At the end of PreK, we agreed with her teacher that she was ready for Kindergarten, even thought she is young for her grade. She started Kindergarten at Delaware in Mrs. Kuebler's class. She had a pretty good year and loved school. I liked having her close, but it did make my day more hectic before and after school as I tried to do what I needed to do as a teacher and yet have Rebecca hanging around. (If you know Rebecca, she is not one to sit quietly with a book or the Ipad and let me do my thing every well ;)
|First day of Kindergarten at Delaware.|
|By her classroom door, Mrs. Keubler.|
As she was ready for first grade there were two main reasons why we felt that she could not longer stay at Delaware. #1 Transportation - we knew that we were expecting our 3rd child and I was again planning on taking a 12 week maternity leave. How would Rebecca get to school for 12 weeks while I was home? (Delaware is 25 miles from home). #2 Teachers - did I really want Rebecca with me again especially as I taught the same grade that she would be in? Therefore we decided to send her to Pella Christian. We both believe strongly in the importance of Christian education and as a bonus - the PC bus came right past our house. A lot of families from our church attend PC so Rebecca already knew a few kids in her class as well as her cousins that attend. Rebecca had a great year at Pella Christian - great teachers, classmates, and school atmosphere. The only draw back really was the 2 and 1/2 hours on the bus every day.
|First day of 1st grade at Pella Christian with Mrs. Howerzyl.|
Rebecca never complained about the bus ride, but it was a big concern. An extra 2+ hours away from home above and beyond the school day is a lot. And what about as she gets older and wants to be involved in extra activities? How many trips to Pella would we need to make in a week? A year? This is where the hardest decision we've had to make comes in. Weighing the pros and cons, which school comes out on top - the Christian school 30 miles away or the public school 3 miles away?
After much prayer, advice from others, sleepless nights, and yes, even a few tears, we decided that for now, the local public school would be the best school for our kids. I hated leaving PC because it was such a great place for Rebecca, but we pray that she will also grow strong academically and personally at PCM.
|First day of 2nd grade at Prairie City Monroe.|
|Our silly 2nd grader!|
|Now her bus ride is less than 10 minutes.|
So that is the story of 3 schools in 4 years. As a teacher, switching schools often doesn't sit well with me because I have often judged families that I saw move their kids around so much. But our hope is that our kids will have great school experiences regardless of where they go and what the future holds.