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.
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. 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 Beijing (we were so lucky to get frequent flier tickets to China at a late date).
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.