Monday, September 29, 2014

schools

Colorado Springs has numerous school options.
For one thing, Coloradoans can "choice" their children into a different school district than where they live.
Charter school options are available within most school districts; "Charter" simply means a smaller sized, more intimate public school. Each Charter school has a particular focus. One concentrates on Classical Education; another focuses on all students learning foreign languages, etc., etc.   :)
At the beginning of the school year, both public and charter school advertisements fill newspapers and magazines, persuading why their school or school district should be chosen.
Oh- and I didn't even mention the homeschool options. One can choose to homeschool the traditional way, or participate in a Cottage school program where children "go to school" once a week (taught at home the other 4 days).  Numerous part-time schooling options are available for homeschoolers.
District 20- our school district-  has a Home School Academy with various one day a week programs up to grade 8 [The Arts; Technology; outdoor Science/Social Studies]. Space is limited for each program, and there's often waiting lists.
There are several Private schools, but they cost much more than what we paid for private schooling in Illinois, and didn't even consider them.
To participate in a Charter school, one should move to Colorado before their children reach Middle School.
A couple Charter School Administrators informed us it was "too late" for our 9th grader to join their schools.  Fortunately, a friend told us about a "High School only" Charter school, that focuses on gaining college credits in high school (dual enrollment). We've been pleasantly pleased with Colorado Springs Early Colleges so far. Even though it's 15 - 20 minutes away from our home, and Caleb utilizes their free transportation system (school bus), we feel that the experience has been worthwhile.
Caleb's beginning his 7th week of College Prep classes, and seems to have adjusted well; we just hope he can find some good, decent friends. Since Caleb doesn't have extra-curricular interests, we plan to help him find volunteer and/or job opportunities. Something more to put on my "to do" list.  :)

As for Antonin ... it wasn't too late to put him on Charter school's wait lists for 7th grade (months before our move), but by the time one of them had room for him, he was already three weeks into adjusting at Timberview Middle School, the school in our district.
We didn't want to confuse or further disrupt his life... so let him "be".
Right at first, Timberview's size had overwhelmed him (300 students just in his grade), but he has grown use to maneuvering successfully through the crowds.  :)
Yes, it's a large school, and difficult getting to know others (impossible getting to know other parents, I might add. They keep to themselves), but we have been very pleased with how the school is run.
Everything is on task and professional. No complaints.
Timberview is well known for its great band program, and Antonin's thrilled to play trumpet in one of the 7th grade bands. He's desired to learn trumpet for quite awhile, we just didn't want to pay for lessons. Now, he can learn for free... and the great thing about public school, is that band is incorporated into the day, so he gets out of school at normal time.   :)
Well .... except that he also wanted to participate in cross country, which meant that I picked him up at 4:30PM most days. Cross country season will be over this Wednesday, and then I'll see Antonin at 2:45PM every day. 
I miss my boys during the day and always look forward to seeing them!


 Because of our big move cross country, I thought it'd be a good idea to home school Ashlyn at least one more year. I've been a home school mom for ten years, so it'll take some time for me to give it up, you know.  :)
 Ashlyn's involved with District 20's Home School Academy "TRACKS", one day a week, and absolutely loves it! I only hear good things about time spent with special friends in Black Forest. :)
I think it'd be great to send her to a Charter School in the future, but we'll see what happens with the waiting list at Classical Academy. Should Ashlyn make it into their Cottage school program for next fall, I'd obviously be homeschooling her another year ... and then her chances of attending the actual Classical Academy in Middle School would be greater.  The Classical Academy is harder to get into past 2nd grade. We'll see what God works out for her!  :)
So many options ....   :)

By the way, the homeschool option is well-known and talked about in Colorado Springs- even a Public Library hosted a home school fair this summer! Yes, it was a large turn out.
It's amazing to see homeschooling listed as another schooling option among the advertisements in the papers.
There's an odd feeling that comes with knowing your public school system is supporting your homeschooling (I only pay for our curriculum; everything we do within the Home School Academy is free, including yearly achievement testing).
I'm still getting used to this feeling, but must say that more states should do this! :)
That said, the way Homeschool Academy is set up, parents don't have sufficient time to get to know each other. The children in the program get to know each other- just not the parents. :)
Most home school families still  need to join a homeschool support group for fellowship.  We didn't join a home school group with having our children in three different schools .... there's peace with living a simplified life.

Lord Willing, we will receive our fellowship and support through the church we end up attending faithfully!!
Yes ....  I'll need to share about our church hunt next ...    :)
 


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