Thursday, August 21, 2008

A New School for Blondechick15

We had filled out the forms, paid the fees, walked through her schedule...yet Papa Rooster and I were daily feeling more uneasy about sending our formerly homeschooled, beautiful-but-headstrong daughter off to one of the largest high schools in the state of Wisconsin.

Then in prayer last week, the Lord called to my mind an option that we really had not fully checked out. Before we moved to Wisconsin, a blog reader from Kenosha emailed me, offering to sketch out the options for public and private high school as she knew them, which was so helpful! The most intriguing was a charter school that her daughter attended. However, it had very limited enrollment, and the lottery to get in had already taken place. So I made a mental note to check it out before next spring. Perhaps it could be a Plan B if High School A didn't work out.

Last week as I prayed for Blondechick, wishing there were some other option besides High School A and homeschooling, I remembered the charter school. I felt a strong sense that I should at least make a phone call to find out if it truly was too late to get in.

First I looked it up online. I called Papa Rooster and told him about it, and we agreed that it sounded great. I called the school, left a message, and considered it a fleece laid out on the ground. If somehow she got in, we would know it was the Lord's doing.

I had to wait and pray over the weekend, and then the principal himself returned my call early this week. He said that in the sophomore class, a number students had moved out of the district, and they had just been able to accept everyone on their waiting list. Blondechick was now first in line if there was another cancellation.

I said great; I have a few more questions. As we talked, it became clear that this would be a good fit on both sides. Then he said, "I hate to leave one student sitting there on the waiting list, and odds are that somebody's moved and forgotten to tell us, so--let me crunch some numbers in a couple classes and get back to you." Which he did, yesterday, to say that they'd love to have her!

Papa Rooster and I are just thrilled. Having studied educational philosophies in college and as a homeschooling parent, I am delighted by the wholistic, real-life, hands-on teaching methods this school employs, and its multi-disciplinary approach (e.g. when they study the influenza pandemic of 1918 in history, they study disease in science and read a historical fiction novel about that event and time period in English class). We love its emphasis on character (they get a character grade), the conservative dress code--no jeans, only collared shirts and blouses--and their emphasis on leadership development through wilderness-type experiences.

We love how small it is too. One feature that seems nearly Providential to us is that there are no upperclass(MEN)--it is such a new school that this year there are only freshmen and sophomores. (Another reason we didn't look too closely at first was that it wasn't an option for Bantam17, a junior.) And younger siblings get in automatically, so in two years, it will definitely be an option for Bantam13.

Understandably, Blondechick has been taken aback by this new development. She made friends at summer school, learned her way around the place and was excited by all the opportunities it offered. And the young man who's visited with her three times now at our house will be there--and she won't.

So things are a little tense here in the chickenhouse. This is one of those decisions that you know they'll thank you for later, but it's sure not popular right now.

I keep wanting to tell her more about the school ("And you know what else?") but then I remember that we're ruining her life by sending her there, so I bite my tongue.

I am genuinely sorry to switch things on her so suddenly, but I think even the timing was the Lord's. If I had called earlier this summer and been told there was a waiting list, I doubt we would have pursued it for next year at all. And while I am sympathetic to her emotions about the difficulty of making yet another transition this year, I just feel so much better about this school, I want to sing and dance! But I remain sober in her presence, and we're getting along okay as long as we stay off That Topic.

I'm calculatedly refraining from suggesting we go collared-shirt-shopping. Maybe by mid-week next week?

8 comments:

Linds said...

It is always tough for a parent to make unpopular choices, but I decided many years ago that my role was not to be the most popular Mum, but the best Mum I could be. If you feel God is leading the way, then relax, there will be many blessings ahead!

Kirsten said...

Hi, Mama Hen!

Just a note to say hi, and that my prayers are still with your family as I read your blog a couple times a week. I was really impacted by all that you had been writing about the former school for blondechick 15 (thinking--yikes! if I ever have kids what will I do in that situation??), and I'm so thankful with you that the Lord has provided another option. Blessings to you...and I'll pray that she soon sees the goodness, too!

-Kirsten Guidero

At A Hen's Pace said...

Linds,

Thanks for the great advice!

Kirsten,

So nice to hear from you! Thanks for your comment, your prayers, and your encouragement on this decision. It's great to know you're still staying in touch! Send me an email sometime and let us know what's new with you!!

~Jeanne

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

I have a feelin' BC is a "bloom where you're planted" kinda gal and will do wonderfully at the new school. Particulary considering God's hand in the planting.

M

mama said...

Oh Jeannie! This is wonderful news! I am so happy for all of you - Scott and I had been praying for you guys and the things we talked about last week. What a lovely answer to prayer. I know BC WILL thank you someday for this.

Peace,

Gabi

martha said...

Ah, this post brings back a tidal wave of memories. We did the same type of switcharoo on our (then freshman) blondy 10 years ago. We were very unpopular for awhile, and it hurt! But she now thanks us. I wish our girls were in the same city, a little Starbucks time might help.

This is all to say it seems clear that the Lord has led you, and you have obeyed Him. We'll pray that He'll turn her heart that same direction - soon.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Martha--

I wish, too, that our girls could get together to chat. BC looks up to your daughter so much!!!

Wish we could too! It brought tears to my eyes to hear about your similar choice--just to know you're not alone is such a relief and an encouragement. Thanks so much for telling me.

She is already adjusting. She went to the mall with a girlfriend and was telling ME about all the cute collared shirts she saw--in stores I can't afford! But still, an encouraging sign. :)

Jeanne

Jena said...

wow! That's great news. What a relief. I only wish I could live in your town and had more options. :) But as you say, it's the Lord's doing. He knows what's going on and why. Thanks for the encouragement!