On Wednesday my five-year-old began kindergarten at a small Christian school, just a short drive from home. He began his new journey with amazing confidence and a glowing smile. We are three days in, and he is still bursting with excitement.
We chose this school for a number of reasons. First, we feel confident that our family values will not just be tolerated but celebrated. This is so important to us, and we feel a wonderful sense of peace about our choice. But truthfully, the issue that prompted our choice was not entirely a decision based on faith. Our public school only offers full day kindergarten. This may be the best choice for many families, but it was not the best choice for ours. I believe strongly that at our son’s age and stage of development his strongest influences should be based in the home and the family, and I believe that the most effective learning happens through play. A full day of school would not allow me to share in the diverse, culturally-stimulating, play-oriented experiences that I want to provide for my children.
School is a wonderful place. When I walk into any school, I am overwhelmed by the joy and the energy of learning and discovery. Many of my most influential relationships and my fondest memories come from my school experiences. My husband and I both wanted to find a nice balance for our boy. Half-day kindergarten just felt right. Our son will have the rich experience of sharing with classmates, separating in a healthy way from his family for a time, and learning from new and interesting people, and then he can return to the place where we strive to grow and learn and discover together in our own home and our surrounding community. Yes, I know that “half-day” won’t exist for us in another year, but I am committed to always making our family a unit of learning. I challenge any readers out there to do the same.