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April 09, 2008

It's Just So... Public

Stephanie I never thought I'd send my children to public school. I grew up in the public school system and did just fine- benefiting from advanced programs and classes- but when I became a parent, it just seemed the right thing to do would be private school. When my first son was only 6 months old I visited a private Christian school near our home. I was so sure that's where he'd go someday. I know no school is perfect, maybe even especially church schools. I attended one for a short time and kids are kids no matter if their parents are pastors or "Christians" or not. At the time I just thought this was what we were supposed to do.

As we had more children and the years went by and I continued to be a stay at home Mom, the reality of the financial aspects of sending two little ones to private school became more apparent. Well then, if we couldn't do private then for certain I'd just have to home school. Several families in our neighborhood home schooled and the homeschooling and "un" schooling community is quite large in our area. I grew up with home schooled friends and knew enough about it. Up until a month or so before Kindergarten registration I had my home school plan in place, complete with A Beka curriculum.

But it just didn't feel right. I had this feeling that, although homeschooling is very right for some families, I wasn't so sure it was right for mine. Hubby had a high opinion of our city's public schools and really wanted me to at least consider giving it a try. Just for this Kindergarten year- which was only half-day anyway- we'd try it out.

I anticipated a major hassle when we signed up for school because of our refusal to vaccinate. They didn't even bat an eye and accepted our own written exemption just fine. That first day of school I was ready for the littlest bad thing to happen so that I could take him right out and say it wasn't going to work. But the first week went by and things were going great. Soon we were into the next semester and all of a sudden getting ready for first grade.

I never saw this coming. This just wasn't in my original plans. I don't even know what I was afraid of in the first place, to be honest. But it was working out quite well anyway. I admit that I'm still on edge sometimes and annoyed by papers coming home asking the kids to sell something else this week. But I'm mostly ready in case something bad happens or seems like it might happen- whatever that may be. I think as long as I stay aware and involved, parenting children in the public school system can go smoothly even if you are an attached, natural, Christian Mama like me.

Original Chicago Moms Blog post.

Stephanie also blogs at Adventures In Babywearing and Close To Home.

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