Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thoughtful Thursdays

This post kills a few birds with one stone. It's an announcement, a line item on the list, and thought provoking at the same time. Well, at least thought provoking for Dave and me.

Ready?

Here goes!

Tonight we had Adam's Kindergarten visitation, and we enrolled him at St. Mark Lutheran School for next year!!!



Check it out at http://www.smls.net/


This has been a decision in the making for the past two years while Adam was in preschool. As many of you know, he's been in the public school system while in preschool since he needed some speech and developmental support through the ECSE program there. Since then, I have all but lost sleep over the decision we had to make when it came to where Adam would go to Kindergarten.

Even with Dave and I involved in the church, this decision was still a leap of faith. I tell you that this was well thought out. Dear family and friends, we have heard your solicited (and unsolicited) advice. We've heard your comments and your criticisms, and we've appreciated your support as well. So, lets work through the "comments", shall we?

-- Money: yep, that's a big one! However, we fully utilize the SCRIP program which gives us tuition credit based on ordering gift certificates for stores we shop regularly at anyway (i.e. gas stations, family fare, home depot and rite aid) In addition, there are scholarships available for families in need- if necessary. Basically, if there's a will, there's a way. Will this delay the addition, oh yeah. Does this affect our ability to take any vacations for the next 10 years? oh yeah. Does this affect our financial ability to have another baby? yep. All things I'm willing to go without. (I guess this also means I need to stop whining about my living situation, but I'm willing to drop that too!)

-- Transportation: yep, that's a big one too! I must say that I have thouroughly enjoyed the bussing that Adam gets to and from preschool for the past 2 years! A one-way trip to school (on a good day) takes 18 minutes. Round trip with one red light takes 40 minutes. In the winter, it's been known to take us up to 35 minutes to get to church. However, I'm sure I won't be making two trips every day. There are a few others in this area that also send their children to St. Mark, and I'm sure there will be calls made regarding car pooling. However, if that doesn't work out- it's still worth it. A question worth asking myself: am I willing to sacrifice his spiritual education merely for my convenience? not really.

-- We live in one of the greatest school districts in MI, how could we NOT take advantage of that?: Well, let me tell you... The children at St. Mark have tested comapribly to the FHPS kids. So, I'd have to say that the academics are pretty top notch as well. The way I think about it, the teachers potentially see our children for more awake time than we (parents) do during school days. Don't I want that person - who has more face time with my child- to be openly talking to him and disciplining him with God involved? And if he's constantly in an environment where its not ok to talk about religion, what is this unconsciously (or consciously) telling him about how to live his life? Dave and I can instruct him verbally all we want, but it is the daily examples Adam sees that he's going to notice more. **



-- Adam needs continued speech therapy. Can a small school like St. Mark really provide him with everything he needs? St. Mark works with the Kentwood program and brings a speech therapist in once a week- the same amount of time that he would have seen the speech therapist in the public schools. We will still meet yearly for the IEP (plan for his therapies). It's basically the same throughout the state- just insert a different therapist per school district. In addition, the smaller everyday class size will really benefit Adam. In many of the reports home, Adam's preschool teacher has noted his shorter attention span. She has stated that a smaller class size would be beneficial for him next year. Right now his class for next year looks to be around 8-10 kids. In the public schools, its guaranteed to be 20. Plus, St. Mark offers all day/ every day school versus the public school only offering a half time program. Adam has already been part of a half day/everyday program for the past two years. He's really ready to take that next step. We feel those extra hours of instruction will be beneficial to him as a great springboard for his elementary school years.



** Please don't think that we are casting judgement on any of the teachers that do teach in public schools. We're WELL aware that many of them are Christians and good people providing top notch educations to the students in our area. However, every family is different, and this is the route we're choosing to travel for our family.







Let me tell you, in talking to the principal at St. Mark (awesome guy, by the way!), he basically summed it up in a few words: "Sandy, St. Mark is your home." So true. So, so true. St. Mark is our home. The people at St. Mark are the family we have chosen. This is a ministry we choose to be a part of- and all that it entails.


The way Dave and I see it, Adam and Colin are God's children. They don't belong to us. But they do belong to Him. If He's trusted us with the awesome task of raising them here on Earth, why wouldn't we want to surround them with others that love and trust Him? Others that Dave and I can work with as a team to raise them in His Word.


So, now we leap. And we trust that God has pulled, pushed, prodded, nudged, and towed us in the right direction. This is a decision that I'm so at peace with, and I'm so grateful the decision is made.

5 comments:

Mom said...

Grandma Connie and Grandpa Ken are thrilled. Being a product of Lutheran schools since first grade and having taught 32 years at a Lutheran school, I praise God that Adam will experience God's presence at home and at school. It truly is awesome.

Lesley said...

That is so awesome Sandy! I'm so happy for you guys that you were able to pray your way through this decision...and uh yea, we will carpool! Grant will be soooo excited!

Rach said...

Sandy, this is fantastic! "am I willing to sacrifice his spiritual education merely for my convenience? not really." Way to make the leap. St. Mark & friends will help make it happen! Thanks for sharing your thought process for this huge decision!

Sandy Hop said...

Awh, I love you guys! Thanks for the support! Les, I asked Adam if he wanted to go to school with a friend from Ada, or to school with Grant- he didn't even have to think- he said, "I want to be in school with Grant!" It was really cute!

Kathy said...

YAY! I'm so happy for you guys! :)