I met with the principal at the local Catholic school today. Next fall Miss will be starting kindergarten. But since I homeschool my kids, you might wonder why I would bother to meet with a school principal.
I had started thinking about beginning the process of taking my girls to after school religious education classes in order for them to prepare for their first communions and confirmations. And then I thought about the descriptions I had heard from people who went through religious ed after school like that (none were good). And I began to wonder if there was some way I could have my girls do it differently.
I have a sister-in-law who homeschools her oldest son part time and sends him to public school part time. He’s in first grade. They love the arrangement they have.
Super Friend’s kids go to the Catholic school here in town. I have heard wonderful things about the school from her and everyone else I know whose children attend there.
I put all of these thoughts together, and I couldn’t help but wonder if I might be able to work something out where I could send Miss (and later her sisters) to the Catholic school part time, and still maintain our homeschooling for the rest. I figured I could still have her home with me most of the time, still be able to technically be a homeschooling family so that we aren’t subject to the attendance rules of the schools and could continue to travel as much as we want, and yet be able to derive many of the benefits available with a traditional school system.
My mind was swimming with the possibilities. I envisioned being able to send her to school for religion classes and then not have to send her to them after-school. Maybe letting her take art and music classes in school. I mulled this over in my head for quite a while, and finally I just called up the principal of the school and asked her if we could do it.
Guess what she said? “That sounds wonderful. Let me check into it.”
So she met with the people that needed to be met with. She sent me a schedule for the kindergarten class to look over. And today we met to see if we could come up with something that might work.
It. was. fabulous. The principal was absolutely open to all of my ideas and completely willing to work with me. She was open to trying to enable Miss to attend not only religion classes but the school mass on Thursday mornings, music, gym, computers, and art. I also asked that she be able to participate in some free periods like recess and “free choice,” so that she’d have a chance to play and interact and make friends with the other kids.
I am so thrilled with how the meeting went. As it looks now we will probably send Miss to school maybe for about a day and a half per week. She’ll be able to perform in the school concerts. She should be able to go on field trips. She’ll be able to have plenty of time playing and learning with other kids her age, but still be home with me most of the time. I’ll be in charge of the majority of her schooling. I’ll get some help in teaching her religion. And we will still be able to travel whenever we want and do all the other things that homeschooling enables us to do.
I haven’t talked to Miss about it, but I think she will be very excited about the possibility of spending some time at school outside our home. And I think it will be a great experience for her. I really think it will be the best of both worlds.