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Friday, January 18, 2008

Kindergarten

I feel like we had a shotgun house purchase; similar to a shotgun wedding. I was pregnant and we needed a place for the baby to live. Our one bedroom apartment with two cats was not acceptable.

When making our first home purchase, it never occurred to us (or to me anyway), to think about school districts. We had just created a little peanut, who was a surprise, and all we cared about was that the place was nice and in a relatively safe neighborhood. I really did not think I would even live to see the day the little peanut turned five.

Now the little peanut is The Boy and he is indeed five years old and I am still alive to see it. And now he has to go to kindergarten.

For which neither of us is prepared (clarification: The Boy and I are not prepared; I think The Man is fine). About six months ago I briefly looked into elementary schools; both private and public, and mostly found that it was too soon to do anything. Come back at the beginning of 2008 is what I was told. That was fine with me. I figured that would give me six months to emotionally prepare myself for this giant transition.

Of course six months flew by. First there was summer, then Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and The Boy’s birthday. Whew. And I am (surprise!) not emotionally ready to deal with this. He’s my baby. He doesn’t want to go to kindergarten and I want to tell him that he doesn’t have to. He can stay in my arms forever.

To make matters worse, I have no clue what we are going to do. The day care he currently attends only drops off and picks up to in two school districts, and we do not live in either of those school districts.

If we went the regular route, he would attend the local elementary school which is down the street from us. Remember earlier I said that we wanted a relatively safe neighborhood? Well, our condo complex is gated and it IS relatively safe (plus or minus one drug addicted neighbor, but that’s another story), but the surrounding area is NOT. At all. So the public school he is supposed to go to is not an option.

Then I thought a magnet school would be great, especially this one that is a Spanish Immersion school. But then I find out that we are not in that school’s district. The Spanish Immersion magnet school in our district is in the next town over, which is inconvenient and impractical. And moving to that town is favored but not plausible. So the magnet school he could go to is not an option.

Finally, we pay so much in day care costs now, why free up our cash? Let’s send him to a private school. I have researched several and find that the extended care for many of the schools is exorbitant. I fear that the remaining few will be a “you get what you pay for” type scenario. We are going to explore those options in the coming weeks.

I did receive some useful information from the teachers at his day care. They said that this one district is pretty easy to get transferred into because they need students. If we are successful with that then he can go to a public school of our choosing (more cash in our wallets), the day care can drop him off and pick him up (convenience), and he will still see his friends and be in a familiar place every day (comfort). Wow, the best of all worlds. I know what I’m dedicating my prayers to.

And this is just kindergarten! I know whatever we end up doing, we will make it work, and The Boy will be okay. But I’m still stressed.

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