Our Jedidiah will begin kindergarten in only THREE short months. It hardly seems possible that our little guy is old enough to be leaving the nest and entering the world in this new way. Needless to say, we are cautious and careful and prayerful and sometimes anxious as we work to make this decision. Jedidiah has some special needs that include his very sensitive and cautious nature (possibly related to a mild sensory processing disorder), which cause him to be overstimulated and overwhelmed easily. As he matures, he is learning ways to cope that help him to remain calm when he is overwhelmed. However, he is still easily affected by the attitudes and emotions of others. These factors, as well as a great deal of life changes at the time, caused him to have a somewhat traumatic preschool experience when he was three. We want his first experience in full-time school to be a positive and encouraging one for him.
Additionally, we have concerns about the “culture” of the school that will become a major influence on his life. Josh and I have been careful to emphasize such values as simplicity, peace, prayer, being in God’s creation, limited exposure to media and consumerism, and wholesome eating. Of course, no school will mirror our values perfectly, but we are concerned about how much some schools will work directly against the things that are most important to us. It’s all theoretical, and the truth is that we just have to decide at this point.
Right now, we are not leaning toward homeschooling, simply because we think Jedidiah might thrive a little more with a different teacher and a social environment. We may change our minds on that at some point in the future. We also decided that we would like to try a public school first. When we consider private schools from the perspective of people who care deeply about the poor and inequalities in America, we do not feel congruent in making that choice at this time. So, we have narrowed our search down to two basic options: (1) The local magnet school: http://kinglab.district65.net/ or (2) The local elementary school within walking distance from our home: http://lincoln.district65.net/. We have put our names in the hat for the magnet school, but the chances are low that we will get in. Finally, we are also considering a small Quaker school start-up that would be less expensive than other private school options: http://chicagofriendsschool.org/.
Please pray for our family and for Jedidiah in the coming months. We want this to be a joyous transition into a new phase of life for our creative, sensitive, imaginative, science-loving, eager-to-learn boy!