Monday, July 11, 2011
My Baby Girl and Starting School
Y'all, Ella starts Kindergarten in less than a month!!! I can't believe it! I know that I have had 5 years and 9 months to prepare for this, but I'm still not ready. I am having such a hard time with it.
She, on the other hand, can not wait. She talks about it all the time. She says, "Daddy, how many new friends do you think I'm gonna have when I start Kindergarten?" Today, we went to the school that she is "supposed" to go to and she said, "Momma, how long do you think we get to play out on the playground?" She is full of curiousity and questions. It makes me excited that she is excited.
I am mostly writing this to ask you guys to pray about the school situation. Not about me having a hard time with it (I suppose I will get over it), but about "picking" the right school. We have a school just a couple of blocks from our house that she is supposed to go to. We have visited several times, and mostly have just talked to the secretary, but every time I leave I literally feel sick to my stomach. There is just something about it that doesn't feel right to me. It is way different than any school in KY. Now I know that just because something is different doesn't mean it is wrong or is worse, etc. but I am having a hard time adjusting.
Let me give you an example: I told the secretary that I didn't turn in the transportation form for Ella to ride a bus because I am going to transport her myself. She gave me the weirdest look. She said, "Are you sure? Everyone rides the bus. No one brings their child to school." She then proceeded to look at Ella and ask, "Don't you want to ride the bus?" Of course she does, but I feel more comfortable with taking her the first year. I proceeded to tell her that and explain that we just live a couple of blocks over and if I have to walk with her to a bus stop then I might as well just drive my car to the school. It would take the same amount of time. She said, "Well, I guess that makes sense."
Another thing I am not "crazy" about is that they have to wear school uniforms, although I do understand the reasoning for it. Gold/yellow shirts and navy pants or skirt. AND, no flip flops allowed-only tennis shoes. We will be fighting every single morning over that one. If you know my child at all, you know that she can not stand any closed toe shoe or socks either. I'm gonna start preparing her now.
Last thing that makes me uneasy is the Kindergarten schedule. It is only for a half day and only 4 days. Of course, that means I will get to spend more time with her, but I wonder how much instruction she will get in only 3 hours. I wonder if she will be prepared for first grade. I wonder if she will be learning the same things that she already knows. I wonder a lot.
I asked the secretary today about having any kind of open house or meet the teacher night, etc. before school starts. She said, "Oh, that would be nice, but I don't think we'll have anything like that. We're really unorganized this year and I just don't think we'll have everything ready to do anything like that." I promise that is what she said. I managed to smile and walk away before I said anything that I would regret later.
So, Arizona is a state that is considered to be open enrollment. This means you can go to a school that is not in your district. However, you have to be approved and there has to be openings at the school. The deadline to turn in an application for that was in April. We didn't know that. So we filled out an application any way and took it to the district that we want her to go to, but they don't know when they will get back with us on that. It could be after school starts :( Seriously, I feel like we are trying to get her into Harvard or something.
I say all of that to say that although I don't know what is "right" at the time, God does. He knows where my sweet Ella will go to school and who her friends will be and who her teacher will be. He holds her in His hands. He loves her more than I do. So, I'm going to trust Him and be okay with what happens in the end. Will you pray for us as we make the decisions that need to be made? Will you pray that God will reveal His plan for Ella and that we will recognize it and trust it? Thanks y'all!!!