This post has been sponsored by Trinity Christian Academy to bring you information on their Lower School programs.
We had our plan in place. We bought a house in a desirable neighborhood, were going to send our children to our exemplary public school, stay in the same house and school system for the next 15 years and be friends with all our neighbors. And best part? We would save a whole lot of money because we wouldn’t be strapping ourselves to a private education (be-cause honestly…how much “better” is that really compared to an exemplary public school?) We would be comfortable, our children would love their school, and life would go on just as I had planned.
Our plan didn’t go as we had hoped. And as I’ve learned before in life when things don’t go my way…there often comes a time when you look back and are thankful God had a different plan. This is one of those times.
Let me explain. I’m a Dallas native, oldest of four, graduate of…you guessed it – private school. Trinity Christian Academy to be exact. When I graduated, I said goodbye to the school I had attended for 13 years, as well as the city I had always lived in, with a promise to never return to either, and not because I had a bad experience. I had a great experience, but I was looking for some fresh faces and surroundings. I remember pulling out of town in August of 1999 in my red Jeep Grand Cherokee listening to Dixie Chicks sing “Wide Open Spaces,” and I kept up with them note for note and drove as fast as I could.
Fast forward — Now I’m 35 years old and have been back in Dallas for 10 years and am sending my two children to the same private school I never thought I’d return to.
I always knew that the school I attended growing up was a great place. But I really thought it was nuts to spend the money (especially for elementary) on private school when there were good free options available to us. My perspective on school was limited to my private-school background and some experience teaching in an underperforming public school, but yet I was convinced that a desirable exemplary public school would be great for my children.
Early into my oldest child’s kindergarten year, we realized that a good public school was not a guarantee to be a good fit for every child. He was not thriving in the public school environment, and we were at a loss because we had banked on this. But over the course of several months of struggling and wanting public school to work out, we became convinced we needed to consider other options.
Of course, at first I didn’t want to consider TCA because of my pride and my vow years ago that I had moved on. We visited other private schools in Dallas, but felt we still had not found the answer. As the months wore on, my husband suggested that we go visit TCA, so I begrudgingly accompanied him.
Early on in the tour, I struggled to hold back my tears, and I knew in my heart that this was the best place for my child and truly unlike any other school in Dallas. It had been a lot of years since I had walked the campus and the halls, and I realized that day that there are so many things I can appreciate about it now from a parent’s perspective, but that as a student, I was not able to grasp. Sometimes it takes some life experience for yourself to realize the full magnitude of the blessings you were given as a child. TCA was a precious gift that my parents gave to me, which molded me into who I am today.
Our oldest child began at TCA in first grade, and now both of our children are experiencing the greatness of this amazing school. Even though it comes at a financial sacrifice for our family, it has been worth every single penny. Let me tell you a few of the reasons why.
Trinity Christian Academy has two teachers in every classroom from PreK to fourth grade, and they have a 1:11 teacher-student ratio, which has an enormous impact on a child’s education because they receive so much attention from teachers. As a result, concepts are learned more quickly, more is covered, and the bar is higher. And year after year, there is no guessing if we will get an experienced teacher or the most exceptional education.
Physical Movement and Fun Factor
TCA understands the importance of physical movement in education and encourages it. Gone are the days of sitting still in a desk, getting fidgety and doing worksheets all day. The days are engaging, the learning is hands on, and the students get up to three recesses a day.
At TCA, they systematically use positive reinforcement that teaches good behavior rather than tracking behavior through a color chart. This type of positive reinforcement is motivating and focuses on virtues and the reasons why we should act a certain way. It is not shame-based, demoralizing, or embarrassing to the students and does not create a sense of comparison and arrogance for other students.
When I pull up in the carpool line each morning, my kids are greeted with comments like, “I am so glad to see you this morning” or “Good morning, darling!” My children are loved on like crazy.
Rules are taught and enforced in a grace-based environment and not in a militaristic one. They learn how to follow rules, but don’t always have to walk in a single file line. They have the freedom to be children.
There’s no question that if you want your children to have a solid foundation for their faith, parents must instill that at home. TCA is not a replacement for that, but it is an amazing partner for it. Above all, this is what I love the most about TCA. It brings me peace to send my children into a school where the truth we teach at home will be wholeheartedly and unashamedly reinforced in class, at lunch, and on the playground. For these formative years, we want our children to hear consistent messages, which will equip them even better to know and believe truth when they are older.
I often have people tell me that they want to send their children to private school when they get to middle or high school. I have the opposite view.
If I had to choose and could only send my children to private school for one season in life, I would, hands-down, choose lower school. These are the formative years, and the foundation upon which a person is built. That is why we make the sacrifice and will continue to do so knowing that there really is no better place than TCA to help us accomplish that mission.
To learn more about Trinity Christian Academy, visit their website at www.trinitychristian.org or join them for an upcoming TCA Lower School Preview (for prospective parents of children in grades preK-4):
- February 9, 2017 at 10a.m.
- March 16, 2017 at 10a.m.
- April 20, 2017 at 10a.m.
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Aimee was born and raised in Dallas and with the exception of an 8 year stint in Oklahoma, Florida and Fort Worth, Dallas has always been home. Always loving change and desiring to learn, Aimee has a background in all sorts of things including event planning, healthcare PR/Marketing, teaching, real estate and most recently has returned to the education field and works in the Office of Admission at Trinity Christian Academy. She has been married to Brandon for nearly 14 years and is mother to Griffin (8) and Lucy (6). Podcasts, good food, chimineas, traveling and laughter are just a few of her favorite things.