The End of One Dream; The Beginning of Others

by Jeannie :: Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

When I lived in Manhattan, I had a recurring dream that I opened up a closet and—lo and behold—there was a whole other room there I never knew about. My recurring dream when I lived in Mexico was that Whole Foods was opening a store down there so I could get all those little extras from the U.S. that I craved.

What has been my dream since moving back to Texas? I’ve had this vision that I would find this amazing little school a short distance from our house that would have great academics but a schedule that still allowed us to travel.

Of all these “if only” dreams I’ve had over the years, this seemed the most far-fetched.

But you know what? That’s the one that has in fact come true.

About a month ago, I found out about a school, literally 5 minutes from us, that has an insanely low student-teacher ratio (4 to 1) and with the small size, the classes can be flexible—accommodating students who are doing things like, I don’t know, traveling. They have the word FLEXIBILITY really big on their home page, which started me salivating.


The boys and friends playing in the newly filled creek at their birthday party.

AESA prep academy is a small school, grades 5 – 12, started 3 years ago by a former dean at one of Austin’s top private high schools. She felt that students there were a bit out of balance, with not enough time for family and sports and service and the things that make kids tick. With the small class size, more material can be covered in one session, which means less work pushed on to the kids in the evenings. (Yeah, we can keep our card games and old movies on weeknights!)

Anyway, the bonuses of this school, in our eyes, just go on and on. (The dual credit classes with the University of Texas made our eyes sparkle as well.) It seems to be the best of homeschooling and traditional school.

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So we’ve signed the boys up for next fall, Gus as a high school sophomore and Jeb as an 8th grader.

That means our official homeschooling days are coming to an end. In two weeks in fact. (Of course we will continue, like any parent does, to guide them—whether they like it or not!)

The boys have mixed emotions. They’re excited about the new school and are happy they won’t be driving all over Austin for classes, but they really got attached to some teachers at these one-day academies they’ve been attending and they’ve made good friends there too. But we’re glad they will have an academic home—that’s actually outside our own home (but not too far from home).

This also means that we are NOT moving. And what a relief. I would have cried if we had sold the house and then found out about my ideal school later. I think fate intervened by drying up our creek so our house wouldn’t sell (and making sure the two projects we tried to get in other states fell through). In fact, as soon as we took the house off the market, the rains came back and our creek is full again! If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is!

But it doesn’t mean we’re giving up our Kendrick World Class adventures! We are in the midst of planning our next trip.—to China and Japan.

As I think I’ve mentioned Gus has been taking Chinese this year and we think a trip there will be a good chance for him to use it and to understand why he’s learning it. (Happily, their new school offers Chinese classes so he’ll be able to continue.)

We’ll study up a bit on Chinese and Japanese history and geography in June and early July and then we’ll be off to

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a late date).

Jeb on the creek, doing one of the things he does best--having fun!

Of course we’ll be blogging the whole way, if I have anything to say about it–though I do anticipate an argument from the boys that since they’re not really “homeschooling” any longer they don’t have to blog; I will be prepared for that. Stay tuned.


P.S. Another cool thing about this school. They’re letting me teach a high school writing class (I realize that this raises a question about the sanity of the school administration, but hey, I’m rolling with it). It’s a whole new adventure for me; I’ve always loved the idea of teaching.

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30 Responses to “The End of One Dream; The Beginning of Others”

  1. Anne Trudel says:

    Hey, this new school situation sounds GREAT! And what a wonderful opportunity for you to teach writing. You’ll be awesome. Okay, I have now officially used the most overused adjectives to describe your new ventures, so I will shut up now.

  2. Great news!
    And I know that traveling offers the best type of education; rejoicing with you on your school “find”!

  3. Ellesor says:

    The planets have aligned for sure.

  4. Beverly Henry says:

    I am so happy that this worked out so nicely, and how wonderful it is that it is so close. Oh, you guys should have taken your house off the market sooner because we needed the rain some time ago!

    • Jeannie says:

      Yes, you know it was all our doing!! HOpe to see you soon. That was so nice of Ross to call Gus for his birthday. Meant to e-mail you about that.

  5. Kim says:

    Congrats. Amazing news. Love that you’ll be teaching. And why not? You’ve done a great job with the boys!

  6. Mark Bertsch says:

    I always enjoy reading your posts Jeannie! They are always happy ones. I realize that life is tough for a lot of my friends but reading all the “WTH” posts gets old and depressing. So glad you’re fulfilling your family dream and can continue living the lifestyle you are used to.

  7. Kay Denton says:

    hi all…happy y’all will not be leaving except for trips…hope paths might cross if you journey to Colorado…
    we will depart in a couple of weeks to stay the summer/fall …stay cool…glad your creek is running again…yay..cheers, Kay & Gordon

  8. Marilyn Sibley says:

    Great news, Jeannie! The boys will love it. Looking forward to seeing you and hearing about all your adventures.

  9. Cynthia griffin says:

    I love it! Passing along to my home schooling sister for the future. I remain a fan from afar. (Oregon).

  10. Tina Moody says:

    Hey Jeannie,

    Kudos to you, m’dear. I’ve thought about your CO move often as I hear folks speak of Ft. Collins. So happy (on so many counts) that you’re hangin’ out with us a while longer due to realized dreams. Love that win-win duo.

  11. Rosa says:

    hi Jeannie, me da mucho gusto resibir este e-mail de su parte. me gusta esa escuela, y tengo ganas de verlos por favor pasen a verme a El Buen.

    asta pronto! Rosa

    • Jeannie says:

      Gracias Rosa. Quremos vistar contigo. Te extranamos.. Vamos a pasar a El Buen!


  12. Claudia says:

    This is wonderful news! The school sounds incredible, and I look forward to hearing more about your China / Japan trip. This is a big win for Austin. 🙂

    • Jeannie says:

      Hey Claudia:
      We miss seeing you and the staff. I’m going to call you soon. I have some thoughts on a new project. Tell everyone hello. Big hugs–Jeannie

  13. mariana kerr says:

    Jeannie, couldn’t be more perfect. Just sounds like things have really fallen into place…..(and I’m glad to see you staying in Texas:):)
    Hadn’t checked your blog in a while,, but glad I did……………I’ll look forward to hearing about your China/Japan trip. Always interested in your adventures.
    Can’t “help” you with Asia,,, but don’t think you’ll have the “shakey” start as you did when we emailed toward the start of your last trip to Cairo and on to Europe!
    Best to you and your family with your wonderful new school, your writing class, your exciting life and travels!!


    • Jeannie says:

      Hi Mariana:
      Yes, let’s hope nothing happens in China the way it did in Egypt pre-departure. You were so helpful. Thanks again. Yes, we are so happy things have come together. All best–Jeannie

  14. Brooke says:

    This is great, Jeannie! So glad everything came together. That school seems amazing. We have made a similar lifestyle schooling choice for Anne Marie for first grade next year and we are excited about what that will hold for us. Looking forward to seeing you in July!

    • Jeannie says:

      Hey Brook!
      Can’t wait to hear more about what your plans are for Anne Marie’s schooling. It’s very exciting. There are so many new options out there. Big hugs to all 5 of you.

  15. mandy says:

    Random: met a homeschooling mom here in atlanta today who just dropped her 16-year old off in San Miguel for a month. I had just told her about your extreme-field-tripping lifestyle & blog, and it was mere coincidence that she’d returned from there just yesterday! They bought a piano for an orphanage where he’ll be teaching piano & working on his Spanish. Speaking of signs: hoping the universe is pointing my family to this lovely Mexican town?!

    Looking so forward to reading about China! We began planning a trip there this summer, but after some research, thought it best to wait ’til the 7-year old is at least 10. Your blog will be an invaluable resource, I’m sure!

    Good luck with the new school. Traveling is an amazing thing, but so his home/community/roots. This way, you get both. Good decision, imo:)

    • Jeannie says:

      Amazing. I do hope you get a chance to visit San Miguel, one of the most magical places on earth. There are so many good programs for student immersion in Spanish. I will write my blogs on China with you in mind, hoping I can be of help.

      All best to you–Jeannie

  16. Salty from the RiverChase Book in New Braunfels says:

    Hi Jeanne,
    As it is lavendar season again I was thinking about my book club’s visit with you last year at the Wimberly Lavendar Festival.
    I was wondering if you’s had moved to Colorado. Glad your staying in Texas and the school sounds fantastic.
    Our neighborhood garden club(River Chase Garden Club)is doing a “growing lavendar” presentation on September 6, 2012. We have recruited Tasha Brieger. We are looking forward to her presentation and those of us who met you last year will be remembering what a great visit it was.
    Looking forward to following your family on the trip to China and Japan.

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