Wednesday, August 20, 2008

If I can just make it through the week

without my head exploding, I ought to survive.

yep. that good.

This week has been looked forward to, both with excitement and dread. The kids have been excited for school to get going again, though Alaina and Taylor have had minor reservations about the amount of curriculum that has arrived over the past weeks! I have to admit that I've experienced both sides of that too....I had no idea what was in store!

Malia had gone to our local school to meet her teacher and see who was in her class and was all geared up and ready to go. Then on Saturday we got a phone call from the district. Apparently they had decided to extend a pilot program to include another fourth grade class, and after pulling her test scores from last year they offered a place in that class for her. Yay! Honestly, my first thought was "Ha! I am a decent teacher after all!" I have to admit that it was a real boost for me that based on a test she took at the beginning of last school year (when she had experienced only a short amount of time in public school) her score was high enough that they offered her a spot in a program that you typically have to test into. We had only ever been told that she scored in the top 10% nationally, but have no idea just where she ranked in that, or how she measured up locally. This was good news! I have heard wonderful things about the A.L.L. program (Accelerated Learning Lab), and wondered if it was something we might have the chance to test for in the future. So honestly, the offer was great news. The bummer was when they mentioned we had two hours to decide if we wanted her in the program or not. Great. Less than 48hrs before school starts we are given 2hrs to make a decision whether or not to yank her from our local school to drive 20min each way to a different school to participate in the program. In our quick deliberation, and with Malia's encouragement we decided to go for it, figuring-worst case-if it didn't work out, we'd just put her back where she originally planned to be.

By 24hrs later, our brains had run through the cost of driving her each day (a full gallon each way, meaning 4 gallons a day at $4/gallon-*gasp, choke, cough*...goodbye budget, but lots of people live off of rice, right?), not to mention the logistics of her school starting at the same time as Jacob's (and now Jacob wouldn't be walking to school with her each day), and being pretty far away, plus picking her up each day in the middle of nap time, while I'm trying to school Taylor and Alaina at home.....*sigh* just wasn't looking promising.

Yet there we were at 8:45 on Monday morning registering her at said far away school. I was terrified for her. Though the adjustment to public school went fairly well last year, those first few days and weeks really had some rough spots. I had no idea how she would do having been yanked from everyone she knew, going to a new school, new schedule, and being surrounded by kids she's never met. As I sat out in front of the school waiting to pick her up that afternoon I braced myself (and my postpartum hormones) for the worst, reminding myself that if she came out in tears, or on the verge of tears, that I needed to be the one to comfort and encourage her, and help her keep going through this initial adjustment.

I was overwhelmingly surprised-and incredibly grateful-to be greeted by this sight:

A friend! And even better was the news that this girl lives in our neighborhood, and Aaron and I know her parents! Add to that the bonus that they carpool to school each day with two other kids from our area and were willing to work us into the carpool. Honestly, I can't even express what a relief that was! She loved school, enjoyed her class and her teacher, and made some new friends. Some of my biggest issues/obstacles were solved as well. What a treat!

So now Malia counts herself among the Saratoga Sharks instead of the good old Eagle Valley Eagles. It's not the most convenient thing, and the thought of driving carpool over there in the winter stinks, but hopefully it will be worth it. And apparently the only 4th grade class last year was in Highland, so it's a heck of a lot closer than that!!

Now if we can just get a little more settled in that whole online/home school thing with Taylor and Alaina, we just might make it. Thankfully today went much better than Monday (a nightmare) and Tuesday (less of a nightmare, but still not optimal), so hopefully we'll get the kinks worked out, get the kids running efficiently, and enjoy this whole process. One day my life will be boring again, right? maybe?


~LL~ said...

Awwww....that's a God thing...when it works out like that, you have to go for it :D

I was not (still am not) ready for 4th grade.....:( He changes classes. AWWWWW

Ashley said...

Wow! I am just tired reading your post, I can't imagine living are a strong, strong woman!!

Cindi said...


We really need to talk! I'll give you a call some evening (maybe, after kids' bedtime?).

I'm glad that the new school went well for Malia. We've also heard good things about the ALL program but unfortunately the 3rd grade program is still in Highland this year and way too far to drive.

Are you using K-12 Online? We looked into it extensively before deciding to send Russell back to school. The curriculum looked really well organized. I'd love to hear feedback from you about it.

Kelsey said...

Yay! A friend :) Of course she'd make friends, she is positively delightful.