Friday, August 16, 2013

New School Plan

I was very excited shortly after arriving in our new neighborhood to learn about a public charter school that is homeschool-based. Once per week, students and parents meet with teachers and receive the curriculum to be taught at home by the parents. Also during the week, children attend elective classes at school with their peers. My excitement was short-lived when I found out that the children must be working at age-grade level to enroll in this school. Thus started a GRAND SEARCH to find something similar. It's time for my girls to be with others their own age in a positive, goal-oriented, fun setting -- separately -- but still do academics at home.

Ever since exploring our new neighborhood, I was aware of a private school affiliated with a church I don't belong to, but admire for their quality schools and medical centers. A lot of their religion is similar to my own beliefs, such as the heavy value and focus on Christ and family. Every time I saw this school, I had a great compulsion to turn into the parking lot and find out more about it. After going in circles for 45 minutes trying to find another charter school on my list, I finally couldn't resist and entered the school grounds.

The first person I encountered was a well-groomed, warm, open olderish woman who is the second grade teacher there. She looked like a teacher should, friendly and inviting and loving. I was immediately drawn to her. She walked with me to the office and introduced me to other staff members.

Long story, short, I spoke with the principal about our unique situation and he offered me a customized education for my children at drastically reduced tuition rates. I will be given the curriculum of the level my girls are currently working at and I will teach them at home. They will go to the school at age-appropriate levels for elective classes and extra-curricular activities! They also have other world-class programs that will benefit my girls and they are only about 2 miles from my home! This particular private school is very college-prep with an extremely high success rate, small class sizes, a large campus and more. It's a better education than I could have hoped for my children to be exposed to, meeting their individual needs and the needs of the entire family as we will need to travel for medical appointments, surgeries, etc. often. However, the tuition was still a little steep for me.

The next day, I found the charter school I'd been looking for and the women there were also helpful and accepting of us. It's a public school, so it's free, and they were willing to put my girls in an ESL program, but it was strictly a guided home-school, no interaction with other students, and I just felt that they didn't quite grasp the main learning issues my girls have. Language is not our main problem. Lack of life experience is our main problem, so the examples and pictures in textbooks are mostly incomprehensible to my girls at their age-grade levels. They were willing to test them and tweak things, but I had a feeling deep in my soul that this wasn't the right situation for us for many reasons. The biggest issue is that my girls should not be taught an ESL program at their level of English proficiency. All the educators on adoption that I encountered stressed that ESL programs are for children whose families speak their native language in the home and not English. Our primary language at home is English, despite the fact that it's a new language to my girls.

I phoned the private school back with the thought that my two oldest girls could enroll, thus bringing the tuition closer within a doable rate. He then said, "You can pay for your two older girls to come and your youngest is also welcome." There is no way I could turn that down, so I will come up with the money each month and I'm super excited for my girls to begin on Monday. I'm scrambling to get our school room ready. We can't wait for the new carpet and I really need lighting, because it's a cave in there, but it's so much more than our old home had so I'm eager to get going with our new school year!


kimjax said...

Wonderful, K! Love how God provides. :)

Sherri said...

I'm SO happy for you! Sounds like a dream school. I've looked for something like that here but they seem scared of a 15 year old who is doing 4th grade work.
HAHA on the trees. D did think they looked pretty bad :) but don't be hard on've had much bigger things than trees in your life lately! Believe me, we understand! It's actually encouraging to see parents, adoptive or otherwise, who put first things first.

Lisa and Tate said...

it is just amazing how doors seem to open for you by following the prompting of the holy ghost and being such an amazing mom to your girls.

Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

That's wonderful! Are they excited?

Lisa~~ said...

Just catching up on all your posts since you returned home. Congrats on your sweet little baby and your Bre home. I hope that the new school is a perfect fit for your family. Keep up the good work you're doing with your girls, it looks like they are thriving and doing great

jennebeker said...

I've been following your journey all along, and am watching the pieces all fall into place for you as you get settled into your precious family life.You are blessed for all of your faith and hard work, and I love seeing your happy family come together. I hope you're enjoying quiet peaceful moments in between the various workers and the effort of making this new house a home for you.

She Who Waits... said...

I know which church school system you are speaking of. I went to one K-9th grade and know I got a wonderful education. I also attended one of their universities and it was a fabulous experience. I pray that your experience with your daughters is similar. You are a rock star!