"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Preschooler

My big girl started preschool this past Thursday!

One of my updated blogging goals it to do a little more editing in addition to my usual facts-of-the-family posts.  I have realized that part of the reason that I was losing my passion for blogging is that I just stopped writing my thoughts, opinions, and feelings down in the blog, and the result was, well bleh for me.  I figure if people don’t like what I have to say or I am boring them or writing too much, then they can scroll down or not read it.  I feel like my brain was broken with pregnancy, but now that Gemma is six months old and not exclusively breastfeeding, I am getting a little bit of my old spit and vinegar back.

So I have shared before that I have frequently been preoccupied with the how of Isla’s education.  My views have changed somewhat since she was a little blob of a person that could not object to my best laid plans. Like most first time parents of a small baby that I had already managed to make sleep through the night, I thought that I had every step of her childhood planned and figured out, from birth to the time she left for Texas A&M (maybe Stanford, maybe) at the age of 18.  I just didn’t count on ISLA in all my planning. Somehow in all my educational scheming, I completely forget that she was already a person formed by God with her own little bent exactly as He intended (and as long as that bent doesn’t involve t.u. I am going along in 100% obedience Smile ).

Isla has becoming nothing like I expected. Yes, she is very smart little girl, but she is also a little force of nature, my mom compares her to a hummingbird.  She is constantly moving, constantly happy, constantly thinking, constantly talking, constantly observing.  She is so active. Sometimes I don’t know if a traditional school setting is right for my busy little girl. I still want her education to be rigorous, and I still want her to develop her critical thinking skills, but I also want her to be always learning and have a passion for learning, even when she is done with her pre-k through senior year school, and I want to honor the person that God made her to be, not try to cram her into who I or ANYBODY ELSE thinks she should be, which means that I want any external educators and teachers that she has to share my point of view and goals for her.

I also always thought that I would very much enjoy having her out of the house at the ripe old age of FIVE.  I had big plans that involved Bikram Yoga, church volunteering, shopping, decorating, or sometimes they involved maybe going back to work.  I was so wrong.  I love having my little person around.  Love it. I’m even considering a homeschooling coop or at the very least a university style school (either way only classical). We put her in a Mother’s Day Out program this spring and it was perfect for then. I was so pregnant and/or recovering from the c-section, my mom was recovering from her foot, my dad and Nick were gone a lot.  She needed an outlet for all that Isla energy besides us, but that was then.  I started to think that maybe I didn’t want her to go to school now that we are in Midland.  She’s only three for crying out loud, and I make sure that she has plenty of play dates and doesn’t get lonely.  But Nick and everyone else thought that it was a good idea, and so I went along with it, but I vehemently did NOT want her in a preschool, only a MDO program.

I eventually decided on either the Lutheran or First Presbyterian MDO programs, both were highly recommended.  I really wanted the Lutheran MDO as I had become acquainted with the Pastor’s wife and 3 year old teacher, but Isla’s best little friend Kaylin goes to 1st Pres.  I was told by both that the MDO was very full with a long waiting list, but the list for the preschool was much shorter… I didn’t know what to think of this.  Both schools said that there wasn’t much difference between their MDO and preschool programs.  The Lutheran school laughed when I put her on the waiting list though and told me it was long. It didn’t take long for 1st Pres to call me back, so I went and paid the fees and Isla was signed up.

Then of course ONE WEEK LATER, the Lutheran school called me back with a spot.  I was so conflicted – I wanted to put Isla in the Lutheran pre school since I had heard it was less structured than the 1st Pres pre school and everyone loves it, but I had already paid the deposit and monthly tuition at 1st Pres and didn’t want to lose it. I agonized over it.  Nick pointed out repeatedly that Isla is only three years old, and I know that we can always move her or just pull her out or get added to another school’s list.  Finally we decided to keep her at 1st Pres for now.

Next year I may start Classical Conversations with her to test the homeschooling waters if I don’t like the preschool. I don’t know.  There is a wonderful classical, university style, Christian school here that starts at kindergarten that Isla will attend if we decide to go that route.

This post is already way too long, but clearly I am feeling slightly conflicted and stressed over the subject.  Don’t worry, the part that everyone really wants to see is coming.  The part where I brag on how well she did and how smart she is and show lots of cute pictures of my daughter. I am so proud of her.

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