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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Happy Catholic Schools Week

I used to be one of those moms that rolled her eyes when someone said their kid went to private school or they homeschooled their kids.

As a mom, I have learned that every kid is different.  Kids learn different and not all schools are perfect for every student.  I have learned to appreciate my homeschooling parents and understand that they are doing what is right for their child's learning ability.  I have forced myself to understand that public school may not be the best for every child (especially one that starts the students changing classes in 1st grade).  Here is a condensed version of the speech I presented at our school fundraising Gala last year.

"Have you ever wondered if you really truly belonged somewhere?  Have you ever agonized over a decision that would not only affect you, but your entire family? 

My husband and I have 2 boys attending Catholic School for the last 2.5 years.  Until a little over 3 years ago, I had never considered being the parent of children in private school especially a Catholic School.   I have constantly wondered if this is where we really belong. 
Moving our children to Catholic School  was one of the most agonized decisions of my parenting career, but one of the best.

 Every single time I walk out the doors of the school building I feel blessed.
Blessed that I was pushed by a dear friend to look at other options for my children’s education.
Blessed that my children know what it is like to have teachers, a principal and school secretary that truly care.
Blessed that there is a whole army of volunteers that help out and actually know my kids by name.  I hear they have really educated the staff and volunteers all about farm life while they were the ones that were to be educated. ;)
Blessed that a Catholic school allows my Protestant children to attend school to learn and worship right alongside your parishioners.
Blessed that I have friends from before we started  school and friends that we have made since that have made the transition easier.  Many of them offered prayers and concerns when we had a difficult situation last year on the farm and they were much appreciated.

While I have grown to dread texts, Facebook messages and phone calls from the boy’s teachers  (yes they use them all) they always told me what the boys were struggling with immediately…often before school was out.  I truly appreciated every single message. You see their communication has been vital in both of our boy’s transition and success.  While getting phone calls about missing assignments while driving a combine in harvest, is not what one would prefer, it was appreciated and beyond my expectations.

We have a school that provides teachers that ask the parents to help them find the way to let a child succeed.  I have had more than one teacher ask for help especially when the youngest was diagnosed with dyslexia.  The suggestions I offered were always implemented within the week.  These are teachers that truly care and will change lesson plans mid-week if it will help one student.  
Our principal has this open door policy that is amazing and I am sure she got tired of me visiting the first year, but I am grateful she never showed it and even asked me to come talk when I hadn’t planned a visit. 

The staff, volunteers and fellow parents have made our 20 minute drive to school before I drive back to the farm to work enjoyable for the last 2 years.  I no longer have a student that cries every morning before school, but instead I have 2 boys that willingly get up and are ready to go.  While our 5th grader hated that he had to leave his friends, it only took 2 months for him to tell me that he saw no need to go back until high school. 
Catholic School has given our family more blessings than I ever dreamed possible from a school. "

I am no longer that mom who rolls her eyes when another parent says where their child goes to school.  I say good for you!  It has taken me a long time to get there, but so many people have said the same to me...even public school teachers and people who don't have kids at all.  It has been a commitment of time, money and lots more time, but we don't regret the decision and are very thankful for those that have supported us on this education journey. 

Happy Catholic Schools Week!
-A Kansas Farm Mom (Not Your Typical Private School Mom)

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