Maybe you read the excellent Dallas Moms Blog post “Whatever Happened to Half-day Kindergarten” ?? I totally agree with everything Lee mentions, as my husband and I have our own story of experimenting with different schooling options for our own outside-the-box first grader. We have been all over the map, both figuratively and literally, and since in Dallas we are approaching private school application due dates, I wanted to share several options you might not know about for early elementary education.
- Preschool Kindergartens – This is a great option for families whose Kindergartner needs to be in a transitional class. Ours didn’t (November Birthday) and we opted to do this anyway. Preschool Kinders tend to have fewer hours in the classroom without sacrificing the content many of us remember from our own Kindergarten days. We sent our son to Jubilee Junction at Trinity Fellowship Church in Richardson, which isn’t a transitional Kindergarten — but check your local preschool if you are hoping for a little more time at home with your rising Kindergarten student.
- University Model schools/Part-time programs – Programs like this host students on campus part time, and send home work for a parent to oversee at home on off days. Families who feel they don’t have the capacity to homeschool but want more of a voice in their child’s education are a great fit for a program such as this. Parents whose children are more active, or whose children are already advanced and could benefit from assignments catered to their individual level also tend to rave about these programs. Corum Deo Academy (only a UM school), Canyon Creek Christian Academy (offers part time and full time classes on the same campus), Wylie Prep (UM), and Lucas Christian Academy (UM) all offer programs such as this.
- One-room schoolhouse – Old-school as it sounds, the one-room schoolhouse has success because it allows children of different and ages to memorize and master information before they move on. Students are able to be in a different group for reading than they are for math (etc.), and therefore they are not limited by their age or class averages. They move through the material at their own pace and find confidence based on their skill mastery. Campbell Christian is a part time school where the parent’s responsibility is similar to that of any other school (10-30 mins of homework per day) but the actual class is part time, allowing for lots of time playing, on field trips, or exploring at the library.
- Homeschool Options (PATH, Where 3 Roads Meet, Classical Conversations, RHSA, etc.) Many women have thought they couldn’t homeschool, or thought it was terribly unappealing. And then they had to drive a kid to school 5 days a week at 8am and they reconsidered. There are so many options available to families now who want to keep their student around for a few (or many) extra years. It is worth looking into some of these creative and inexpensive options before you write off homeschooling!
Some of the above-listed schools have been part of our brave choices as we have journeyed through my oldest son’s education. And some have come recommended through friends or acquaintainces.
I know we haven’t mentioned everything — where should a searching family look for a creative school solution for a student’s early years?