Posted by: Tricia | January 6, 2013

Elliott starts Kindergarten!

The decision to go ahead and put Elliott in Kindergarten this year was not one that came easily.  Purposely delaying Kindergarten for a boy with a summer birthday is all the rage these days.  Especially in Texas.  Most of our closest friends have chosen to do so.  For David and me holding him back was never an option in our minds until we got closer to having to make a decision about what to do.  We (mainly me) wavered from wanting to make the transition because I believed that Elliott would do well, and holding him back because it was what everyone else was doing.  It wasn’t until I allowed myself to filter out everything and everyone else but what I knew to be true about Elliott that I really had a good feeling about it all.

Elliott has always been interested in learning new things and he picks up on things quickly.  He loves structure and he has grown to love being with friends.  His teachers at church have come to us on more than one occasion to tell us how much they appreciate how attentive he is during story time.  He is like a little sponge, soaking up whatever new knowledge he can about a subject.  We feared that he would have more problems in school if he became bored because he had been held back.  Like most parents of 5 year old boys, we were also a little apprehensive about how he would handle sitting still in a classroom for the majority of the day.  This boy does not stop moving all day long!

Along with the decision about whether or not to move ahead with Kindergarten came the decision about where he would attend Kindergarten.  This did not come easily either!  We had long since decided that our neighborhood public school was not a good option.  Private school would not have fit into our budget, especially with 2 more boys following not far behind.  After touring a couple of our city’s public charter schools we were really impressed with one and decided to enter Elliott in the lottery.  From what I understood he had about a 50% chance of getting in.

But, after an interesting evening of conversations while having dinner with some friends it became clear to me that David was leaning more and more towards homeschooling our children.  Needless to say, we had a lot to talk about after we left that night!  I remember saying to him, “You had better start praying now if you want me to homeschool these kids!”  and his reply was, “What if I already have been?”  Although I have enjoyed teaching Elliott over the years, homeschooling full-time has never been a desire of my heart.  The curriculum planning alone is enough to make me stressed out, not to mention the thought of having to deal with two other small children as well.

Over the course of the next few weeks we began looking around at all of our options again once more.  In the process we came across what appeared to be a very good option.  A sort of homeschool/regular school mix!  It seemed perfect online, but I was skeptical.  We signed up for the informational meeting and all the while I was wondering what we were going to do and praying that Elliott would be chosen for the charter school.

I never imagined how impressed we would be walking away from the meeting at what would be Elliott’s new school!  The principal and other staff there did a tremendous job explaining what the school was about and it seemed like the perfect fit for Elliott and for us.  They relieved all of the fears we had about homeschooling and we left feeling more encouraged than ever.  It didn’t take long for us to make up our minds about sending Elliott to the school.

A few days later we received the letter in the mail stating that Elliott was not selected in the lottery to be a student at the charter school.  God had been gracious to us once again!

The school that Elliott attends is a university model school with a classical approach to education.  He attends school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we do curriculum at home on the other days.  The teacher sends home all of his assignments and books (we don’t pay for books!).  Now that we’ve been at it for a while I have a better idea of how to best get the work done.  Because we have two other small children at home our schedule may not always be the same each day.  We try to fit the work in when it works best for everyone.  Some days that means getting started right after breakfast and others it means trying to get a lot done while the littler ones are napping.  Elliott can complete a lot of the assignments by himself although I am usually not far from him, in the kitchen doing dishes, etc.  And, others we have to work together to get through it.  I could go on and on about how great the school is and what a perfect fit it is for us, but I will stop there.

Elliott absolutely loves school!  Sure, there are days where he doesn’t feel like going, but he always has a great day and comes home excited to show me what he’s been up to.  His teacher is fantastic and he has made many new friends.  Every day a different student is “student of the day”.  He loves this.  And, the kids also rotate seats periodically so that they are not always sitting by the same people.  They have been studying animals and have had many different class pets!  Elliott has learned to read and he cannot seem to get enough of the books that they send home for him to read and answer questions about.  He also really loves learning about history and science.  He is quite good at math, but it is his least favorite of the subjects.

First Day of Kindergarten!!

k1

Settled in at his seat

kinder7

kinder8

I did not cry when I was leaving him and I attribute it mostly to the fact that he’s only in school 2 days a week.  I took a blurry picture of him blowing me a kiss…that I will never forget.  It won’t be too long and he will be so embarrassed to do such a thing!

All done with his first day!

kinder10

Doing some work at home

God has been so faithful to us throughout this year to help us transition into having a child in school.  Benjamin was just 3 weeks old when we began this adventure and I could not have asked for things to go any smoother!  Even though it can be quite chaotic with three little boys, it is so wonderful having Elliott home as much as we do.

 

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Responses

  1. I adore this post! I am just so happy for you to have such a sweet smart boy and it is obviousl that he is exactly where he belongs.

  2. FAB!!


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