Most families, I think, send their children to the elementary school closest to their homes. And there they stay until they move on to their district's middle school and then high school. No questions. No special considerations. But that's not how our children's education has worked out.
For the entirety of my children's education they have either been homeschooled, in my class, or just down the hall from me at our Christian school. But now the time has come for a change. Our private school goes through 8th grade this year, but we're not sure what grades we will have next year. Josh will be in 8th grade next year. Adam will be in 7th. Chances are, this is the last year that we will all spend our days in the same building.
Also, this year the boys are in the same class since their grades are combined. That's a challenge for them since it means that they are together all day every day. They wake up and fall asleep in the same room at home. And they spend all day in the same room at school. That's a lot of time for anyone to spend together. Most days are okay. But some days aren't so much.
Those two things lead to the conclusion that one or both of the boys needs to do something different for school next year..
And therein lies the dilemma. Where do they go from here? Both boys are really smart and get good grades. They are well-behaved...mostly. They could be successful anywhere they went.
So, here are our choices and the pros and cons of each.
A local charter academy
Pros: Science, technology, and math centered curriculum. Just what both boys like best.
It's a relatively small school which is what they are used to.
No tuition since it's a public charter school.
Monday through Thursday schedule. Fridays off is a huge selling point for the boys...especially Josh.
Cons: Limited availability of spaces for new students.
Class size of 30, which seems really big to me.
Only goes through 8th grade so Josh would have to move again the following year.
Pros: No tuition.
Lots of opportunity to make new friends
Cons: Big schools.
Surrounded by worldly influences, teachers, and peers.
Teaching that most likely will not match our spiritual beliefs.
Josh would have to change schools two years in a row.
Another Christian School
Pros: Christian staff and curriculum.
Small school and class sizes.
Extremely convenient location and hours.
Monday through Thursday schedule.
Goes through high school, so the boys could stay there until they graduate.
Arrty's alma mater.
Cons: Monthly tuition that would be very challenging to our budget.
Uncertainty about open spaces for new students.
My ideal choice would be the Christian school. The boys don't have much of an opinion since they don't know anything beyond where they've been. (Actually, Josh's choice would be to not go to school at all and spend his days fishing. And Adam is fine anywhere as long as there's not a lot of homework.)
So, here we are at a crossroads. One that has come way too fast. And one that is so very important. I've researched. I've been praying. I've asked advice. So now I will wait for guidance. And like with all of my parenting, I'll do everything I can and hope for the best...and a lot of grace from above.