Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New 54 Day Rosary Novena, and Catholic school next year?

Yesterday, I finished up my very first 54 day rosary novena. It was for an intention very dear to my heart. Today in my Conversations with God meditation, the reading mentions the parable of the sower, and how we should plant seeds, but it is only God that can make that seed grow. We must practice patience and humility over time, because one never knows what that seed is doing at any given point, but we can trust that God is always there working and we should leave it up to Him. It was just so fitting, and really put me at peace this morning.

Today, I'm beginning a brand new novena. My intention this time is two-fold: I'm praying for Mike to find a good job in his new field, in this area (we have no intentions on moving; our family is here, I have a good job here, and we love the area) after he graduates in May, and for discernment regarding where Hank should attend school in the fall. Just as a brief rehash, Hank is currently attending the very reputable public elementary school in our neighborhood as a kindergartener.

My concerns are kind of wide-ranging. He's receiving an excellent education, no doubt about that, and I truly don't feel like he's experiencing any sort of negative influence. Overall, I just feel like I'd like him to have a Catholic education if we're able to afford it. I like the idea of our faith being integrated into his daily studies. As well, my worry isn't the elementary school, but the middle school, even though that's 6 years off. I haven't necessarily heard anything terrible about our public middle school, but I remember my public middle school, and boy do I wish I didn't. That's a tough age, and I would feel much more comfortable with him in a Catholic school with the same kids he's been going with for the previous 5 years. And I'd rather make the switch now, while he's little, rather than in sixth grade when he already is attached to a group of friends.

Interesting, I went to public school K-12, in a city school district even. My elementary school was great, but middle school and high school were rough. In middle school, I was so miserable, that my parents offered to send me to our parish's Catholic school, but by that point I was in seventh grade and quite shy, and I was afraid to move to a totally new place where I knew nobody.

Hank also is on the shy side, and I just think the best time to make a change, if we make one, is next year. And excitingly, Catholic Schools Week begins this Sunday in this area, and with it, a host of open houses. There are 3 Catholic schools in our district. I'd like to stick within our district, since they do provide the extra services, such as speech and fine motor skills (both of which Hank is receiving at his public school) in the Catholic schools as well, and I do have a high opinion of our district.

Out of the three, I have my eye on two of them. Both serve children in grades PreK-8. School A is the closest one to our house. When I mentioned Catholic school to Mike, he said that if we did decide to do that, this is the one he'd prefer since it's so close. Hank's current elementary school is even closer, and it's just so convenient, so location is a consideration. We know quite a few people that send their kids to this school. All have good things to say about it. I have heard a few comments about the principal being a bit "cold" and unapproachable, which could potentially bother me, but we'll see. The school seems to have a solid Catholic identity, holds monthly school Masses and trains all the children to be altar servers. Their open house is this Sunday afternoon.

School B is slightly farther from our house, but by "slightly" I mean that it's still well within 5 miles. It's really no big deal, it's just not right down the street. It has an outstanding academic reputation and has even been awarded a distinction by our state. I don't know anyone that sends their kids there, so no personal anecdotes like with School A. However, their web site just has a very serene feeling to it. I can't totally explain, but I have a really good feeling about this school based on my reading of their curriculum and faith activities. It just seems prayerful to me. Their open house is next Thursday evening.

We're going to go to both of them and see what we think. I decided not to pursue the third school. I think if we're going to make the leap, we have two other good choices, so need to complicate the decision further. We'll see how it goes, and I'll report in fully. :)

1 comment:

  1. Don't assume that the Catholic school will follow Catholic teachings, or teach the tenants of the Catholic faith. Usually elementary school isn't bad but when you get into middle and high school the schools want to be politically correct, inclusive and not anger anyone. Since they want higher enrollment they tend to water down the system and are sometimes worst than the public schools.
    My advice is to be very selective in your choice and make sure they are not a CINO (catholic in name only) school.
    I teach conformation at our local parish and find that the catholic school kids tend to know less about their catholic faith than many of the public school kids. Just a word of warning.
    But then again religion and faith tend to be taught at home so just as long as you stick to your guns you shouldn't have to worry to much.


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