First Day of School: Take Two

So, I officially unenrolled Caden from of his school today.

I don’t know if you remember or not but I was none too thrilled with Caden’s kindergarten experience from the start.  As time went on, I was becoming less and less enthused.  I realize that this may make me sound like a bit of a snob, and you are free to leave comments telling me so, and I am free to delete them.  Ha.  However, I’m always transparent on this here blog, so I don’t intend to stop now.

In the last couple of years the district has done some boundary changin’.  I’m assuming there were certain schools that were performing way below proficient.  So the district’s solution was to spilt up the kids that were going to these schools and bus them in (in groups) to schools that were performing well.  It would actually make sense if they took the kids that they bussed in and spread them out equally among the different classes, so as not to bombard one teacher with a lot of low performing students that don’t know english.  But at Caden’s school, that was not the case.

There was one kinder teacher that was the star, and everyone knew it, except me, so they requested her.  There was another teacher who was a little less of a star than the first, so I’m assuming once the first teacher’s class filled up, she was the next to be requested.  Then there was Caden’s teacher, who was perfectly nice, but coming down from 6th grade, which is a huge leap into kindergarten-land, so no one requested her.

How do I know this, you ask?  Because at the end of the day when I would pick up Caden the teachers would let the bus riders go first, and hardly anyone left for the bus from the first two classes I told you about.  Caden was left with five other students who did not ride the bus in his class.  Five out of 33.  Meaning 28 were bussed in.  Not cool.

I spoke to the principal, who was nice, but did nothing to remedy the situation.  I started getting a stomach ache taking Caden to school everyday.  It’s just not the kindergarten experience I had envisioned for my kid.

I know some of you are crying racist (although I did marry a man who’s part mexican), or socioeconomic-status-ist (have I mentioned we’re going through a foreclosure?), but unless you’ve been a teacher in a low-income area, I really don’t know if you have much ground to stand on.  I have.  I have taught in a class where there was a room full of low performing students that struggled to learn english.  And there were always about five of those students who were already fluent in english, and you know what happened to them?  They were forgotten.  They understood the language so they naturally performed higher, which made them able to work more independently, and you bet your bippy I took advantage of that, so I could teach Maria how to speak english… and then eventually her ABC’s and sight words.

I wasn’t about to stand by and watch my kid get forgotten.

So, I enrolled him in a charter school where he goes to school three days a week and then I… gulphomeschool him the other two.  Honest to God, I never thought I would homeschool any of my kids.  I mean, I guess I had contemplated it, but realistically I just couldn’t imagine it.  I was certain that if I took the leap into homeschooling-land it would be a very slippery slope into long jeans skirts and I just couldn’t have that.  Not to mention, I was afraid I would end up killing one of my kids as I was teaching them how to read.  (Honestly, that’s still a fear, but I think I’ll overcome it.)

But the school I am sending him to is amazing.  There is only one class per grade level and while the classes are just as big, they have teacher assistants.  And the fact that there is only one class per grade level, just makes the school seem small townish, like Stars Hollow.  I love that!  Plus, the philosophy of all of the teachers is personalization.  So, when we registered last Friday, we met Caden’s teacher and she chatted with us for 45 minutes… on a Friday afternoon… until 5pm!  That’s unheard of!  Not only that, but I have her cell phone number.  Her personal cell phone number.  She said to call her or text her if I have any questions.  He’s in class full day now, but the principal said that if it feels like too long of a day for him, to just let her know and I can arrange to pick him up early.  (I don’t think I’ll do that, but amazing that the offer was even put on the table!  Amazing that I’ve even spoken to the principal on three separate occasions now, when I don’t even have a concern!)

And the homeschooling part isn’t even that scary.  Caden’s teacher sends home some work, but there is an online program that has all the lesson plans already made up, and I just have to follow them, and it’s fun stuff!  I got to go to CM today and buy a calendar.  (That’s how you know you’re a teacher at heart… you get excited to goto CM.)  Going to tee ball practice counts as PE!  Math is totally hands on fun, and so is science.  He’s actually going to do science!  He picks a goal every week, just to learn, like “Why can’t I touch a meteorite?”  I’m lovin’ this stuff!  I really, really am.  I’m so glad we found this school, and even though it’s only 10 minutes from my house, I really can’t see putting him somewhere else even if we end up moving.

So, I had to take a new picture of him this morning before he left for the day.  So, here he is.

First day of school: take 2.

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18 responses

  1. great Erin! It will be such an adventure. I love homeschooling and I dont wear jean skirts! My favorite part about homeschooling is I dont have to wake up any of my kids, get them dressed and into the car just to drop someone off at school. Another thing i like is that I know that my kids are enjoying what they are learning and can teach them all i want about JESUS… side note… if you let him go on the computer http://www.starfall.com is great for them to learn to read! I feel horrible… i didnt even teach my daughter how to read that website did and i had no idea… One day she started spelling and sounding out three letter words…I was shocked! Everyone thinks I am such a great teacher because she is already reading… but only a few know my secret… hahaha

    • Haha! That’s funny! Caden learned a lot of the alphabet from Sesame Street and Jacob picked up a lot of math skills from Team Umi Zumi. Who says that there’s only trash on TV? 🙂

  2. I was wondering how school was going. We’re in a similar situation with our school… I need to get serious about what my solution is going to be next year. Glad to hear he’s in a new school that you love 🙂

  3. I am proud of you. I’ll be honest, I generally think homeschool is the last resort option, but this school sounds amazing! You will do absolutely fabulous, I just know it! And since you’re doing great, he will also do great! Great, great job, friend.

    • You actually got my wheels turning the day I talked to you on the phone and you told me about Stef. I really thought I was out of options and I was just going to suck it up for a year and then move him. So, thanks for calling that day! 🙂

  4. Erin, I am so excited for you all. You will find joy in it. My heart is overjoyed by this! I can’t wait to see how your homeschooling evolves over time. You are a marvelous teacher and a phenomenal mom. With Jesus by your side, this is going to be amazing. Isn’t it great how every thing we do in day to day life can count toward schooling?! Love you.

  5. Erin,
    Wow, I am so sorry that your kinder experience was not a fun one! What a bummer! I am glad that you are enjoying the new school/homeschool! I know that you will be great at it. If you ever need anything, I have a whole garage full of stuff that I would be happy to lend your way if you need it, although I am sure you have plenty of stuff! Happy teaching!

  6. Ha! Long Jean skirts! Too funny! We are actually considering homeschool as well (only because our military/moving situation) and I’m happy to see someone (a pro no less!) has the same fears I do.

  7. What an awesome solution! And he got not just one, but TWO first days of kindergarten (in the same year…no repeats!). The homeschooling aspect sounds awesome – the school has it all laid out for you? That is a cool way of doing things. Do all the kids go on the same days? How do older grades work?

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