Friday, May 27, 2011

Unexpected school plans

The past few weeks have been filled with many things. For some reason it's felt very full partly because we've been battling various illnesses such as stomach flu and now colds and of course my almost constant morning sickness and weird food aversions. Chris has been working very hard and recently received some nice accolades at work which were very welcome! He is really good at what he does and I'm always happy when he gets rewarded for it.

Another thing that has been taking up our lives is the decision of where to put Anders for Kindergarten. We originally were going to enroll him in the public school down the street. It would be convenient, free and close. all good things. His pre-school teacher has been pretty straight forward with us that she doesn't think that he is ready for Kindergarten and so the upside to our local school was that they had a transitional class to get kids more prepared for the rigors of Kindergarten. Apparently Kindergarten isn't what it used to be and much more is expected of kids academically nowadays.

We weren't so sure that we really wanted to hold him back a whole year but want him to excel in school and have the best possible experience.
While thinking through this process we remembered that there was a school down the street from our old apartment that seemed pretty interesting. I used to walk by there and the enjoyed talking to the security guard out in front. He had mentioned that we should come and have a tour some time.
Chris reminded me of this school and encouraged me to make an appointment for a tour. Even it it was out of our financial range (which we knew it would be) it would still be fun to see what it was like inside. One interesting thing about this school is that it was founded by Actor Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and originated from their homeschool group. Because of this it has a very homey small school vibe and seemed to be an interesting prospect.

I called up the school and found out that it was definitely out of reach financially but still "would I like to come take a tour?" Why not?
So off we went for the tour. Once there I got to see the class rooms and lovely outdoor eating area and hear all about the learning styles and class sizes. Generally between 4-10 kids per class. They serve a cold breakfast and a snack and the day starts at 9 and ends at 4.
The head of school encouraged us to continue with the application process and fill out financial aid info and just see what happens. It couldn't hurt could it?

Anders got to come and spend a whole day with the pre-K class to see how he fit in with that group. Of course he loved it and they loved him and it was a splendid day.

Along the way I have been specifically praying about a couple of things and those prayers were answered quickly. This helped me in my decision process as well.

To make a long story short we had a family meeting with the head of school, the school counselor and the Kindergarten teacher and it went really well. Everything went smoothly and we found out that it would be possible to send him there. After a week for me and Chris to discuss it we decided that it would be a great fit for Anders. He would be in level 2 which is the equivalent of Kindergarten but there would be more space for him to grow up and master the skills that he needs without specifically holding him back a whole year.
The long day will enable me to spend some quality time with the new baby knowing that Anders is having a fun and enriching experience. I'm sure that the schedule will take some getting used to but we'll take it one day at a time.

We are pretty excited about this opportunity and are looking forward to what next year has to bring!


Ariana said...

This is great news! I am thrilled that Anders can be in an environment that will work well with where he's at, and that you will have a nice amount of time at home with only one babe. Amelia has had such great school experiences, we never felt bad about the long day, since she really loved it.

Grandma Seelye said...

This surely does sound like just the right school for Anders. So happy it's working out!

ShackelMom said...

That is just wonderful! :-)

Friar Tuck said...

Good news

The said...

Happy to hear all the news - thanks for sharing. Sounds like you and Chris have given careful thought to what is best for Anders in the long run - as always demonstrating your devotion to being most excellent parents! The careful nurturing you're giving Anders tender "roots" today will be the strength he relies on for the rest of his life. Hugs and smiles to each of you Dear Ones.

Grandpa J said...

I think your making the right decision and I know you both gave this a lot of consideration. I am sure this will be very beneficial to his future development.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gigi and family. Just a note to say you are a very good writer! And thank you for the details behind your and Chris' decision to guide Anders. Love you 3 and the 4th in the hopper. Dad

mary said...

How nice that you found a place that will help Anders develop in his own time.
Sounds like he will have a great foundation for future learning.

Gypmar said...

What a blessing! I'm so happy for you guys.

Anonymous said...

I read this about that school:

Gretchen said...

Anon, thanks for the link. I think that I've read every article there has ever been written about the school as well as done in depth research into the curriculum that is taught.
We are really looking forward to sending our son there.