School Days

I will always remember my third-grade program.  Beneath the harsh neon lights of the cafeteria stage I sang my heart out to the song “Calendar Girls”.  The stinky boy right in front of me told me I sang to loud.  I replied “too bad”.  I had a little solo and was so happy to sing in for all the parents whose faces I could only see in dark silhouette.

I also remember the busy cafeteria at lunch time and swapping fruit roll ups with my friends and safety patrol and p.e. and my friend Michelle leaving class early one day because her mom had a baby.  I was so jealous.

I read Sweet Valley High books and talked when I should not have and realized I needed glasses when I discovered that I could no longer see my teacher’s handwriting on the board clearly anymore (or for a while).

There was kickball and “student of the week” and the “pit” (a really neat reading area with fun pillows) in our school library and my class gathered around while Mr. Grote read to us in his amazingly animated voice. Third grade was also the year I cried at the end of “Where the Red Fern Grows.”

I recall all of these things fondly because I really loved school as a child.  I enjoyed being with my friends during the day and even learning and most of my teachers.  I remember being a bit distressed early on about math, especially fractions but otherwise school was my thing.

Maybe that is why I was so very nervous (at first) about pulling my boys out of their traditional public school and putting them somewhere different.  But we have taken a leap of faith and done just that.

A husband and wife teacher team here in town have offered up their skills and lives to teach my children and a few others in a home school-type setting.

I never mentioned on here that I considered home schooling at least Ben* at the start of this year. However, after much research and internal searching I felt like it was just not something I could or even wanted to do.  Is that selfish?  I don’t know.  But what I do know is that this new school shows amazing promise.  And it is not me doing it. Which I believe, is a good thing.

And, we are excited as a family to begin anew.

Part of me will really miss the public school environment, I won’t lie.  The school parties, the performances.  Even a boring-ish PTA meeting here and there.  But in the end I have to do what I feel is right for my children and at this time, this is it.

Praying and hoping for a great year ahead for all of our little students!

*just so you know, I believe that all parents that are involved in their kids’ education do a least a little “home schooling” even if their children attend school outside of the home.  I know we do…


  1. Wow! What an opportunity! I would think that you would have the ability as a parent to not do those things you feel you aren’t gifted at, but get more involved in areas where you can, as well as really see your child get personal attention. Public schools are getting larger and larger even in somewhat small towns like mine. The teachers just can’t keep up with remembering everything about every child because they have too many. It’s not their fault but with budget cuts and all kinds of crazy stuff our teachers just don’t get a fair shake. Which in turn means our kids don’t always get one. This sounds wonderful! I wish you all luck in the coming school year.

  2. They look excited, and I am so glad you’ve found somewhere that makes YOU excited and comfortable with their educational experience. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to find those “public” school social interactions, even if they feel a little different at first.

  3. I’m so excited for your boys, Elaine! I know they’ll do great.

  4. How exciting! I’m a huge believer in taking leaps of faith. I hope they had a great first day of school yesterday!

  5. Sometimes you just need to go with what feels right, right? Hope they enjoyed their first days – such great photos!

  6. That’s amazing! What an opportunity! Am looking forward to hearing updates on how this is going! Good for you for following your gut and looking outside the box of what you knew from personal experience.

  7. I know you had to have put a lot of thought into this. I hope your boys love it!

  8. I love a good leap of faith – I think it will work out great. I read “Where the Red Fern Grows” in 5th or 6th grade, I think. (why so late??) Not only did I cry at it once, I cried myself to sleep every night for a week and then ran out of the classroom bawling when they showed the movie version by filmstrip in school. Needless to say, I have never picked it back up again.

  9. It sounds like the right opportunity for your family but I know how change can be scary. Praying that the transition is smooth.
    Happy new school year at a new school! (hmm, that sounded awkward) 😉

  10. My, your boys are striking. I’m excited for your family in this new school. I hope it is everything you want it to be and they need it to be and more! xo

  11. I think the boys are going to do great and that this will be a wonderful experience for both of them.

  12. What a great opportunity for them!!!! I am really excited for your family. These leaps of faith are what parenting is all about. We do what we think and hope is best for our kiddos and then leave the rest in the Lord’s hands. Love you!

  13. I love that you went with this choice (and I am always all for public school, as you know). Your boys are going to thrive, I just know it! also, it’s a sign of a WONDERFUL momma who can put her own wants aside for what is very best for her kids :)

  14. 3rd grade was my favorite year! I also cried during Where the Red Fern Grows. And I’ve also considered non-traditional schooling this year. Unfortunately, my ex-husband was against discussing it. I was interested in the online K12 program that I’ve been seeing advertised. There’s one in the town we’re now living in and I thought it would be perfect. They even have the option of taking some classes at the school combined with online learning. But…doesn’t look like we’ll be able to go that route.

    I hope the boys have a fabulous year!

  15. How awesome that you found an educational opportunity that you think will be good for your boys. I once took that leap of faith myself and put my children in a very small alternative school. We never looked back. I thought I would miss all the socialization opportunities that came with having children in public school. In the end, I met many people that also had their children’s best educational interest in mind. It was a very diverse group and I’m so glad I made that leap of faith.

  16. They are going to do terrific!! Happy school year to you all.

  17. What handsome boys! Good luck to them in their new school; I hope they flourish!

  18. Any 1st Day of School experience can be nerve racking to a parent but I am sure with the decision you’ve made you feel a bit more but trust your instincts. I’m sure everything will work out wonderfully. You son’s are adorable and I love the idea of the pictures with the dates.. :)

  19. Good luck with there new school it sounds really exciting for all of you.

  20. Excited to hear about how this program is going to go! I don’t think I personally could home school either. If for no other reason than my math skills just really aren’t that great.

    You reminded me of all the things I loved about third grade! I also was safety patrol and read all the Sweet Valley High and Babysitters Club books. I’d read one in a sitting!

  21. That sounds like an incredible situation. I’m really looking forward to hearing how the year goes.

  22. Awe! Fantastic read and I agree that we all homeschool in our own way. :)

  23. Good luck to your boys! I’m sure you put a lot into this decision and made the right choice for your family. We’re fortunate to have really great public schools, but if we didn’t, I wouldn’t hesitate to look at other options.

    Also? My Where the Red Fern Grows memory is from 4th grade, when my teacher read it out loud to us and cried while reading, making the entire class cry :)

  24. I don’t know if it’s a generational thing, but it seems like everyone I know just agonizes over school. I’m positive it wasn’t this hard for my parents. They either didn’t worry about it because they felt the schools were great or because there weren’t really any other choices. So why get into a tizzy.

    Anyway, I hope everything works out for you. We have friends doing similar programs and they’re very happy.

  25. A big, big step! I’m proud of you for doing what you believe is best for your kids. That’s what really matters. xo

  26. I’ve always admired homeschooling parents. Their children seemed to thrive, because there are so many resources out there to make a homeschooling experience well-rounded. Also, you’ve hit the nail on the head with this:

    “I believe that all parents that are involved in their kids’ education do a least a little “home schooling” even if their children attend school outside of the home.”

    Last year our middle-school principal stood up in front of all the parents who took time to be at the back to school meeting, and after giving the entire auditorium his personal cell number, told us “We have your kids for 29% of an entire 365-day year. The rest of the time, you have them. We are not the only educators here.”

    How I wish those parents who weren’t there would have heard him say that.