I never expected to send my daughter to preschool. In fact, when we moved half-way across the country we initially looked into various daycare situations only to find that they were all really academically oriented preschools in disguise, which served to strengthen our resolve to homeschool.
I now work full-time while dh is the stay-at-home-dad who — while he supports the whole homeschooling “thing” — isn’t the least bit interested in being the primary homeschooling parent. He’s also finally decided that he needs to rejoin the ranks of the employed, but we can’t do without my income while he’s settling into a new career.
We checked into a private school that is literally a block from our home, and while they’ve never heard of Charlotte Mason, they seem to do a good job of emulating her! Their 4K program is exactly what I was looking for in a daycare — get the kids outside to play, don’t push academics, and let them learn whatever they can at their own pace and in their own way. The primary focus of the teaching in 4K is “socialization,” and in talking to the teacher, this is basically instilling good habits: sharing, kindness, good manners, respect, etc.
5K is essentially an extension of 4K with a slightly more academic focus: they get “homework” once or twice each week, which I gather is primarily the parents reading to the child for a few minutes.
Overall, the school seems like a dream come true, given our situation. It’s very small — maybe 30 students total in grades 4K-8. They do a lot of multi-age interaction, they spend as much time outside as they can, they individualize instruction for each child, they don’t use grades in evaluating student progress, they’re within walking distance of home, and they play in the park that is essentially our own backyard.
So why do I still feel like I’m doing my child a disservice by putting her in school at 4 years old? I started regular kindergarten at age 4, only a month older than my daughter, and I loved it.
And by enrolling her in such a wonderful place — which, by the way, she has already claimed as “her” school — I feel like I would need a super-good reason to pull her out for homeschooling should our situation change for the better.
Am I just whining because I don’t get to keep my daughter’s education all to myself? I nearly cried as I flat-out told the teachers that I was jealous to be handing her education over to them. I know she’ll love it there, and it’s a much better situation than we ever expected to find; we are very fortunate to have them so close by. I just feel so conflicted.
I will be praying for you. Your first concern is your own relationship with the Lord. Pray that He will protect your heart from any bitterness and blaming that may come. When issues come up regarding your daughter in this school, thank the Lord that He is in control and you are going to be thankful and honor Him in all situations. And you will obviously pray that there will not be issues!
Next will be your marriage. You do so well to honor your husband in this! God will honor that submissive heart; I hear it so clearly in what you have written. As you pray for your husband and your daughter, you will be amazed at what God will do in you all. I have found through the years that the very best place for me to be is the place where I cannot provide for my own agenda. As I lay it down, He provides a much better thing (doesn’t typically look the same as my picture of things, but better nonetheless :)).
You do not have to be jealous! (Though I can understand it perfectly.) Scripture says to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and work with your hands. As you settle into a routine with your daughter, you will keep her close and have her work alongside of you. You will do all the things that you would do were you homeschooling her. You will still cuddle up and read great books and spend time outdoors. You will still be her greatest confidant and strongest ally. Yes, it will be abreviated, but God promises to redeem what the locusts have eaten!
It does sound like this school is gentle and that is a huge blessing. God knows your heart. He will be with you every step and this can be a wonderful time of growing in Him and learning the true meaning of praying without ceasing! Our trials are His tailor-made gifts to us.
Thank you. You have spoken directly to my heart with my favorite scripture of all time. And I am gently reminded that I did, indeed, hand the whole situation over to God about a week ago. I was driving home from work and just spoke aloud, telling him how much I wanted to be the one to teach my daughter, and that if it was not to be, then he needed to be very clear because I can be very stubborn about my own ideas. I guess I was just so sure he would see it my way that I didn’t recognize the answer, lol!
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