Thursday, June 2, 2011

Once again...

I once again am faced with decisions about school for the boys.  Well, Noah at least.  I feel like this last year has been nothing but decisions about schools.  And they are only 4!  And of course I have to decide by tomorrow because there is only one spot left in the program he is currently in.  And M is not able to discuss with me (or as usual says whatever I decide is fine...ugh!).  So here goes...weigh in if you are so inclined...all opinions welcomed!

Noah has been going to the developmental preschool in the school system here since we moved here last summer (well, he started in the Fall of course).  I have loved his teacher and the aide there.  When it came time in February to find a school for Cameron for next school year (oh such a LONG story), I asked when he would be attending next year and they told me he would come in the afternoons, which meant Cameron would go to school in the morning and Noah would go in the afternoon. 

What?  No.  Please no.  That means I would never have a child free couple of hours here or there.  NEVER.  And yes, I was selfish and moped for a long while on that one.  But then I started thinking about all the good and positive things.  I would get to spend a great deal of one on one time with each of the boys and that was the huge thing.  Not just an hour here or there, but half the day for four days a week!  I actually started getting excited about it.  I really enjoy having one of them at a time what little chance I get now. 

So I really started embracing this and figured out how I was going to get them to and from because Cameron's would be ending at 1:00 and Noah had to be at school at 1:00 and since it was the lunch hour I could not drop him off early.  So I worked it out with Cameron's school that I could pick him up 10 minutes early and they would have him all ready for me to make a mad dash for him and get Noah to school on time. 

Yes, I moped from time to time since all this came about that I was not going to have any time at all to run errands or clean house without a child in tow.  But I reminded myself God did this for a reason and then I would get excited again and think about how much fun it would be.  How different both of my little guys are and that I could spend time just letting them be themselves for a change instead of constantly having to compromise because the other brother couldn't or wouldn't do what he wanted. 

Well, earlier this week I pick Noah up from school and when I get home and unpack backpacks I am greated with a letter for his new placement for the 2011-2012 school year.  And he will be attending XYZ school in the AM.  What???????  It's not the school he is attending now and why is he going in the AM?  Why can't he stay where he is and just follow what we had already set out?  Oh, and that this new school is year round and he would start on Aug 8th.  Cameron won't start until Sept. 1 or later.  WHAT??????

So I have spent the last 2 days trying (in vain I might add) to figure out which is the best for him...and for me.  But mostly for him.  So I looked at the year round schedule and see it is pretty different than the traditional calendar.  For instance...
  1. He would start almost 4-5 weeks (they usually start a week after the calendar for preschool) before Cameron and then be off the first 3 weeks of October while Cameron was in school. 
  2. Then he would be off from right before Christmas until the last week of January (almost 5 weeks!) while Cameron was only off a week and a half for Christmas and New Years.
  3. Then off again the last week of March and first 2.5 weeks of April while Cameron would be in school for 2.5 of those 3.5 weeks.
  4. Then Cameron would get out int he middle of May while Noah went until the end of June, then they would both be out until the middle of July and then would start Kindergarten.
So just typing all that out makes my head spin.  And I thought digesting one going in the morning and the other in the afternoon was a lot!  Do I really want them on that drastic of a schedule difference?

Don't get me wrong, I really do want the boys in year round school.  I think they will do SO much better on it. But to have one on and one not is a little daunting to me at the moment.  Oh, and since I really think the boys are going to have a hard time adjusting to all day school I had planned on trying to get Noah in 2 days a week where Cameron is going and that way he would go 2 days a week to a regular preschool and then go to the other int he afternoons.  Kind of getting him ready.  They don't have any openings so I knew it wouldn't happen (if at all) until later in the school year and I thought that would be perfect for him.

So here are my options. 
  1. Leave Noah in where he is going now and let him go in the afternoons.  They have 1 spot open (that is if it didn't get filled today or in the morning before I can call).
  2. Let him go to the new school and just adjust yet once again.
  3. And yes, there is a 3rd option which we are exploring which is a very slim one.  They have a newer program that is an all day but it is really hard to get in and they have to meet with our family and basically we have to be approved.  From what I can gather it is tough to get in so I am not really relying on that as an option at the moment.
I have gone back and forth in my head all afternoon.  Selfish me says yippee...they would both be in morning classes a few hours 4 days a week...when they are on the same schedule.  And it would be like now where it feels like as soon as I drop him off it's time to pick him back up again.  Then we have to wait for an hour before we go get Cameron and since it is too far from where we live for me to drive home and then back we  (Noah and I) end up going out to lunch or just sitting in the car waiting.  No fun!  So see, the only "yippee" moment is that they would both be on the same schedule about 27 weeks.  Then one on and one off the about half and half.

If one goes in the morning and the other in the afternoon I have a longer time between having to pick up Cameron and there is no time spent waiting in the car or driving around.  I would drop Cameron off at 9:00, pick him up at 1:00 and drop Noah off at 1:00 and then pick Noah up at 3:30 or something like that.  I could possibly even have Noah ride the bus home so I wouldn't be making 3 trips to the next town over. 

New school...Drop both off at 9:00, pick Noah up at noon and then Cameron at 1:00...when they are on the same schedule.  When on different schedule I would just drop one off at whichever time their school is...which is what I do now because Noah goes M-Th and Cameron goes M-W-F. 

I have been trying to embrace the new school and find the positives about it.  Not having much luck.  And so today I talk to the girl and find out at the new school there will be 6 kids at his developmental level and 6 at a lower developmental level.  At his current school it is 12 kids at about the same developmental level.  While I am all for mixing and having the 2 different levels, in all honesty I want my child to be in the lower developmental level because I know he is going to learn things from the higher developed children.  That may sound crazy to some but I have been having a hard time embracing this fact.  And in Indiana they had half typical developing children and half children with IEP's.  So I would rather see something like that than what was described to me today.  Sigh.  Which is what the 3rd option would be if we can get in!

Okay, I can ramble all night.  I still don't know what to do.  I almost feel selfish if I keep him where he is.  Is that wrong of me?  I just don't want to make the wrong decision!


Margaret said...

There really isn't a wrong decision; you do what you BELIEVE to be best for the boys and for your family. (and your personal sanity) You can't do something that you think is great, but might drive you insane. You don't want to pick something that would be awful for the boys either. What does your gut say, Lee Anne? I believe in the gut.

Michelle said...

What Margaret said about the gut.

Sage went to a preschool where half the class was higher-functioning peers. It did help, so I get your concern about Noah being the one in the "higher" group. It probably depends somewhat on how they run the program. Kids can learn quite a bit from helping other kids. He might have more of an opportunity to be a leader. And, of course, he's already familiar with it.

I have found that there is no perfect solution when it comes to school, which is how I ended up homeschooling. I wish you the best in finding the right solution for you and your family. Don't discount what's best for you -- you can go nuts with the logistics of everything if you don't watch out!

LauraC said...

Very quickly... with all the changes coming in Wake County school system, I would say go with what works the best for the upcoming year for the ENTIRE family. YES you want to do what is right for your kids but you need to be in that equation!

Cathy said...

My vote is Go for Option #3. But also trust your gut. I do like the enjoy of putting in Noah part time with normal kids. Last year, Chris was in church preschool 2 days a week, and 3 days a week at Developmental Preschool. He did so well, he 'graduated'. Of course, we're going right back into the system for next year, because we didn't keep both this year. I should've fought harder last year, when my gut said he wasn't ready to graduate. So I agree with your friend that says Go with the Gut. You're their Mama, and if it rubs you the wrong way, its the wrong choice. I pray it all works out.


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