Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Teachable Moment

I have not checked the wait lists, but the absence of a phone call to congratulate Grace and Lilah on acceptance to Six to Six Magnet is a sure sign we did not get picked in the lottery. I have also learned that a high placement on the waiting list is not a reassurance either since I have it on good authority that #1 on the waiting list does not mean you will get in come September. Families that are accepted, stay accepted.

Because only 6 Stratford students are accepted per grade level and I had no idea how many were already in grades 1 and 3, I looked at Catholic Schools as well. I found one I liked and thought would be a great fit for the girls. The catch is that in order to afford tuition without a change in our lifestyle, I need to go back to work at least part time. I began to search for a job.

Back to my title of this blog – teachable moments. A teachable moment is a moment of opportunity, a chance to take a situation or event and learn something from it, or teach something through it. I was fortunate to find a job in a short period of time that seemed to fit my family’s needs as well as my own. But things are rarely what they seem. Despite the best circumstances, one sick child is all it takes to throw things off balance. My teachable moment is to question the reality of what life will become and weigh it against the perceived benefit of private education…..is the grass really greener? Is a different location really “better”? Is the stress of having Mom work when Dad is gone all week worth it? What is the true price of education? Is a happy balanced home life worth more than the ability to relinquish the once-a-year hassle of CMT testing in favor of smaller class sizes, values I believe in and a K-8 placement? If getting children used to me working is so difficult, how challenging will it be when I add before and after school care (in a school setting rather than a home setting) and add that they must be there at 8:00 to allow me to be at work for 8:30 and stay at school until approximately 4:30? How upset will they be when their lessons must be scaled back and scheduled on Saturdays? At what point is it worth paying for a private, elementary school experience? These are the issues I ponder and reflect on and ultimately will have to act on. Do I accept a permanent position or do I accept the status quo of public education and re-examine when they are ready for Middle School?

Monday, April 20, 2009

What to do?

April 20, 2009

I have not been very active with my pledge to take on the Town Council. Honestly, I lost some of the drive to do it. After my intense budget review feelings subsided, I was hit with the month-long test taking nightmare that is otherwise known as the CMTs. That experience literally left me lethargic. I again questioned my faith in public education. Despite being an educator, I did lengthy research on home-schooling when my children were younger. I know that someday I will look back and will have regrets that I did not educate of my children. I know that the “primary teachers” of children are parents, but I also know that the influences and experiences they have when they leave my home are out of my control. Yet, I am the one that must do damage-control. Because of my faith based conservative views, I have pulled my children out of the Good Touch Bad Touch program. I have pulled them from dental screenings. I have pulled them from field trips and I have openly questioned videos shown in school. I have never questioned myself about knowing what is best for my child. I do question how well I would do managing my children’s polar opposite personalities in a home school setting. For that reason alone, I signed my oldest child up for Kindergarten. Yearly, I have an issue that makes me question if the decision to enroll was the right one for us.

So this year, I have begun to explore other options that are available to parents. I have spoken with parents that home school their children. I have applied to 6 to 6 magnet school and cross my fingers and pray daily that the girls are accepted. I have visited several catholic schools and begun to explore job options so that I can pay for tuition - if that is a decision we make as a family.

On that back burner of all this decision making is the carpet issue at school. I don’t want the role of public activist if I am going to withdraw my children from their school at the end of the year. So for now, I look at my signatures and I wait to see how the next few weeks progress.

Don't You Just Stay Home All Day?

It’s funny because last night at youth group some of the kids friends were discussing homeschooling and really truly felt that we stay home...