December has felt really busy around here. With the addition of Christmas crafting and advent activities, we have had less down time than normal. Also, Josh and I have been visiting schools in the area to begin our decision-making process for where Jedidiah will go to kindergarten in the Fall. Jedidiah is very excited about this big step in his life, and we want to choose a place that will be a good fit for his needs and personality. Since neither Josh nor I grew up in this area, we are not familiar with the Evanston schools at all. We both wanted to see what our options were before simply choosing the neighborhood public school. Evanston also has a public magnet school with a focus on the arts. There is Montessori school just blocks from our home that goes from Pre-K through 8th grade. There is also a Catholic school only a few blocks away where a few friends from our church have sent their children. We are also only a mile or two away from a highly esteemed Waldorf school. And, there is a neat Christian school in Chicago that we wanted to see. So far, these are the schools we have visited:
King Lab – We loved the focus on the arts at this school. We also loved the diversity, the small class sizes, the community feel, and the fact that it is a public school.
Chiaravalle Montessori School – This school was absolutely gorgeous. It is a small school, very close to our home, and it has a special community-type feel. I love that the students learn daily living skills as a part of their curriculum all the way through. I think this would help Jedidiah who tends to get overwhelmed easily.
Chicago Waldorf School – Let me just say that this school was amazing. Every person I talked with was exceptionally genuine. The education offered at this school is incredibly well-rounded – from science to athletics to art to music.
Daystar Christian School – This school is a unique Christian school that is located in the heart of Chicago. The school takes advantage of their location by doing many, many excursions to museums and locations in the city. They have worship services, small classrooms, and caring teachers. Major downside: it is at least a 30 minute commute each way.
Honestly, I would feel good about my child attending any of these schools. They have all been great schools with clear philosophies that help children to learn and grow and develop friendships. And, all of these schools go through the 8th grade, which I think is so much better for children developmentally than changing to a new school during the fragile early adolescent years (although, we don’t really plan on living here that long). Of course, the private schools are expensive, but one thing we have learned is that financial aid is always worth a try…you just never know. We have not made any decisions, yet. But, the process of seeing the schools has been encouraging and enlightening. I have come home with many new ideas to enrich our home environment, as well. All of this makes me excited about this next phase of Jedidiah’s life. I will be sad to send my little boy away for several hours each day, but I think there are many beautiful adventures in life and learning ahead of him. I would appreciate your prayers as we make this big decision.
One more cute story: Jedidiah has not gone with us on any of the school tours until today. He was so excited that the school (Daystar) invited him to come along that he decided to dress up. He wore a tie and vest and looked oh-so-cute and handsome. It was great to have one-on-one time with him and both parents. I think it made him feel really special. 🙂