Keeley is almost 4. The impending doom of choosing an elementary school is starting to weigh on Chris and me. Thankfully, other parents in our sphere are experiencing the same turmoil. We've been surveying other parents to get their take on the usual questions.
Do we take a chance on the oh-so-popular charter schools with the awesome philosophy and family focus? I know Keeley would excel there, but the chances of her getting in are slim, and other magnet schools don't guarantee sibling enrollment.
Do we be a light in our neighborhood and send her to the rough-around-the-edges school she is assigned to, even if there is no emphasis on the Arts and she wouldn't get to explore the electives that other schools offer?
Then I got that providential call from my friend. She had met with several other Fig families experiencing the same issues, and their solution really blew my mind.
What if we decided to be intentional, grow where we're planted and trust God's sovereignty in where He has placed us in our neighborhoods? There is great value, of course, to charters, private schools, home schooling, etc., depending on the needs of the child. But taking a good look at our neighborhood school has been completely removed as an option in most circles of parents with whom I've talked.
This has led to introspective, convicting questions. Am I afraid of the student population and safety, and why? Do I believe God will use our kids' lives more if they attend a higher scoring school? Would I feel a warm fuzzy by sending them to a school where the sins are not on display as much as some of the lower-scoring schools?
It seems like a simple answer: attend your neighborhood school in your district. No wondering if or when our kids will get accepted, or fearing that siblings or other friends won't get accepted. This is a sure thing. Built-in friends and built-in Christian families doing life together and pouring into our schools that are seemingly overlooked.
Having someone to hold hands with as we enter into this season of life is so comforting to me. And the fact that there are multiple families with children older and younger than my own makes me feel like there is a soft cushion on either side. This is still public school and anything can happen. But it is God's sovereign orchestration that is bringing these friends of ours together to make a positive difference in the school we choose.
This is the family I've been praying for. This is the bumpy road that forces us to lean into God and the relationships He's prepared for us. There are still conversations to be had and future blogs to write as we live out this journey. Keeley will start school in 2017, and other Fig families are starting this fall. The figurative ball is rolling, and we are so excited about this radical brainstorm that will hopefully change our children's lives for the better and change the culture of the school for Christ.
More on this journey in Part 3.