Welcome to our blog! This first entry is taken from the first email I sent out to a few friends, explaining my family’s journey to reach the point of this leap of faith to actually try to start this school, as well as the vision for it.
My husband Danny and I have three small children, ages 5, nearly 3, and nearly 1. A year or so ago, we began to hear the slow din of "Kindergarten is Coming." As a product of private Christian schooling K-12, and as a public school teacher for nearly 5 years, I've seen those two approaches to full-time classroom education. Both private and public schools have their strengths, and I would never judge or question anyone's schooling decision for their children. I wholeheartedly believe God can and does call different families (and even different children within the same family) to different schooling options. So again, please read this as our family's journey, and perhaps one that you resonate with too. And if it doesn’t resonate – that’s OK too!
I decided to keep our oldest daughter, Addie, home for preschool this year in order to try our hand at homeschooling, because I so value what it offers to family unity as a whole. The year has gone amazingly well so far, yet I can see how our social butterfly would really love/benefit from time in a "real" classroom next year. The day she turned 5, she got dressed and said, “OK! So do I leave for Kindergarten today?” Ha! However, when we really considered her being gone 5 days a week for 7 hours a day, that didn’t feel like a good fit for our family. Even at the age of 5, Addie recognizes that she doesn't want to miss out on that much home life, and I recognize that we all would miss her terribly, she would miss out on a lot of her younger siblings' lives, and we would all get the worst of each other at the end of each day, rather than our best.
It doesn't take much searching to find there is a lot of research that says we are a culture who overschedules, overcommits and over-pushes our kids far too early in life (if you’d like some resources to this end, please contact me!). I love the idea of kids just getting to be kids - learning, yes, and receiving a high quality education, YES, but also with lots of time and margins to play, explore, and imagine. With all of these thoughts swirling I wasn't 100% thrilled with any of the educational options available.
About 18 months ago, I learned about a collaborative school being started in Greensboro by a friend of a friend (http://thecovenantschool.org). "Collaborative" meaning a blend of traditional and home schooling: Two days of Classical-approach education on campus in a classroom with a paid teacher, and two days at home where parents continued teaching the same material sent home by the classroom teacher. EUREKA! I thought. This is it!! Then reality hit, because of course, nothing like that exists in our little town.
Having mulled over all this for about a year, I "randomly" met another mom in town, Jody, who had many of the same thoughts, and had actually moved here from Houston where her kids attended a collaborative classical school (http://www.tcshouston.org), which they loved. All fall, Jody and I (along with the patient support from Kyle and Danny) dreamed out loud, and even traveled to Greensboro to see the school in action and meet the founding families.
Around the new year, through a friend, we met our third “core family,” the Rosboroughs, who had also (providentially!) been dreaming of this very idea and were enthusiastically ready to jump in to continue the effort. Since then it has been full-steam ahead as God has given this team of three families who didn't previously know each other unified vision, energy, and varied personal gifts to work together toward this common goal. It has been wildly exhilarating and encouraging to be a part of this so far! We are also seeking counsel from a variety of individuals familiar with both collaborative and Classical educational approaches, as well as from TCS Houston and TCS Greensboro.
There are still many details to be figured out, and we hope that families who are interested are willing to embrace a bit of the ambiguity as we blaze a new trail, establishing a school the first of its kind in this area. The amount of work is terrifying and exciting but the core families believe in this enough to give it our all unless the door is firmly closed. I truly believe that if the Lord is building this "house," (Psalm 27:1) ALL of the details will be provided in His timing. Regardless, we feel great about putting forth the effort exploring something as valuable as our children's education.