Kindergarten Bound

Next week, Ella turns five.

And a few days later, she starts kindergarten.

For years, I’ve gotten questions about what we were going to do with our kids for school, and I’ve never been quite certain. I was homeschooled until I went to high school, and Bart has always been enthusiastic about the idea of homeschooling our children.

Then, when it became fairly clear that Ella was reasonably advanced academically, I worried that she’d be pretty bored in kindergarten, and I don’t especially love the idea of her skipping grades, at least not in elementary school.

My secret hope was that we’d end up somewhere that going to school part-time would be an option. I think public school has a lot to offer, and I wanted to take advantage of that (not to mention get something for my tax dollars) if possible.

A month or so ago, when we determined where we were going to live in Arizona, I called up the school district to ask about part-time options and they said it was no problem for her to attend kindergarten as much or as little as we wanted.


Assuming everything goes according to plan, she’ll be attending our local elementary school every day for specials (art, P.E., library, and music), recess and snack, and then we’ll do a couple of hours of homeschool together at home, where we’ll doing reading, math, science, spelling, and social studies.

I’m especially happy because it means she won’t be attending school for nearly seven hours a day, which she would be if she went full-time since our district is a full-day kindergarten.

I am also really glad that it’ll give us more flexibility, that she can progress at her own pace in various subjects, and that Ani can be involved in doing more academic things with us.

I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about the first day of school. I think this is going to be the beginning of a great year for our whole family.

Ella’s pink shoes are from Famous Footwear. Visit their #ohsofamous style gallery and get back-to-school inspiration and share your own Famous Footwear style.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member ofΒ Clever GirlsΒ and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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  • Reply Tracy July 17, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    That is what I'm working on setting up. My question for you is are you doing the same schedule every day? Or is it varying to accommodate her "at school" subjects? Also are you using a specific curriculum?

  • Reply Kara Staples July 17, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I loved this post!! My son is 3, and I am in the exact same predicament. I taught kindergarten in Mesa Public Schools for a few years and actually had a few students who didn't attend full-day like the rest. Although, they attended for the academics (all morning) and then missed afternoon specials (library, music, etc). I do personally think full day is too much for 5 year olds. I do like how you switched it around though. Homeschooling is an option for us, and I hadn't even thought to have my son attend just the specials! I am so glad you posted. Thank you!

  • Reply Kara Staples July 17, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I'd love to know which curriculum you have chosen to use with her. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Heather July 17, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I just loved homeschooling my two youngest for kindergarten! Some of my very best decisions. Plus, avoiding the full-day kindergarten was an added perk. She looks so adorable with her huge backpack. You're all going to love school.

  • Reply Whit July 17, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I just wanted to tell you that I live in AZ and keep hoping that we'll be neighbors.
    If you need recommendations (especially restaurants) I love to give them.

  • Reply Brit July 17, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    How many hours per day will she attend? Do they just offer one 'special' per day along with recess?

  • Reply Meridith July 17, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Yay! So glad it's working so well!

  • Reply Paige Flamm July 17, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    I'm so excited that you guys got to do the exact school situation that you wanted! I'm really excited to see how well this all works out for you guys because It's something that I've thought a lot about doing with Kyle since you posted about your homeschooling experience last year!

  • Reply Janice Richardson July 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    I'm so glad you found what you were wanting! For us in Michigan the school said we could do a similar thing (at least for kindergarten, things got trickier with first grade on up) but with a teacher (small school, only one kindergarten teacher) who was not super supportive about the idea and a few other challenges we ended up pulling our son to homeschool full time after a few weeks of trying the split of both worlds. It was a hard year, but I don't regret it and am so glad he didn't have to do fulltime kindergarten which would not have been a good fit at all! Wishing you the best of luck!

  • Reply Jodi July 17, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Somehow I don't recall knowing you were homeschooled. And Ive never heard of part time homeschooling in this way, how nice! Full day kindergarten really is so long. I wonder if we'll go the traditional route or come up with other options. Homeschooling is definitely out for this first one. Trying to do at home preschool was a major fail. He is such a HANDFUL, knows how to push all of my buttons! But he does so well for teachers and other people.

  • Reply Emma July 17, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    I love hearing about schooling in other countries and families! Homeschooling isn't very common here in Australia (but is apparently getting more popular) and I don't think that sort of part time thing would work in our primary school system as the classes generally aren't very structured. e.g. in the equivalent of kindergarten I think they just do art mixed in during the day. But it's great you found a solution you're happy with! Would love to hear how it all goes.

  • Reply Melanie July 17, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    I'm so glad things are working out so that you can do school the way you want. School starts next week?! I'm hoping this is a summer school session (or is it just the homeschool part of kindergarten?)

  • Reply Laura July 18, 2015 at 4:59 am

    As a pre-Ani reader, it makes me crazy that she is going into kindergarten. Ack! I am getting old. Happy for her and can't wait to see pictures of her artwork from school! (And those cute first day of school pictures)

  • Reply Leslie Seror July 18, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    There are so many different options for schooling these days. I think it's wonderful that you found a combination that works for your family. I'm looking forward to following along!

  • Reply Ever Emma July 19, 2015 at 5:14 am

    That is so awesome! We are leaning towards doing something similar when Ellie is old enough for school. Luckily she is only a year-and-a-half at this point so I have some time to figure it all out! I would love to hear about you favorite home-school resources / curriculum you end up using!

  • Reply Bergen July 20, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Congrats on having an (almost!) kindergartener! If you are looking for ideas for future posts, I would love to learn what approach you took to educating your girls as they grew. I'd love to hear if you did any "curriculum" or just focused on play, activities, outings and reading as they your family grew. With your love of reading, background as a librarian and all around practical and cool πŸ™‚ Mom, I'd love to hear your perspective on this! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Lady Susan July 23, 2015 at 1:03 am

    You are lucky your state allows that partial attendance. Maryland does not. πŸ™ I would have liked that option. How long will she be at school? And I, too, am interested in what curriculum you will be using for the at home subjects. Prior to this post, I was wondering what you were going to do. She is so far advanced in what she already does in terms of reading, writing, etc. that it would be rather ridiculous for her to be stuck doing basic Kindergarten stuff.

  • Reply Lady Susan July 23, 2015 at 1:06 am

    You are lucky your state allows that partial attendance. Maryland does not. πŸ™ I would have liked that option. How long will she be at school? And I, too, am interested in what curriculum you will be using for the at home subjects. Prior to this post, I was wondering what you were going to do. She is so far advanced in what she already does in terms of reading, writing, etc. that it would be rather ridiculous for her to be stuck doing basic Kindergarten stuff.

  • Reply Aleta July 24, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I, too, would love to hear about how your days will be structured! My daughter will start kindergarten next year and full day every day just seems like so much! (We will do private school, but maybe could figure something out part-time, too, or hold that off until older grades.)

  • Reply Beth July 30, 2015 at 12:12 am

    At the California school my oldest went to for KG, they had 2 sessions a day, morning and afternoon. The neat thing was that the sessions overlapped, so the AM kids would do academics, then the PM kids would show up and the whole crowd would do specials (library, music, P.E), then the AM would leave and the PM kids would do specials. This would have been perfect for you! I liked it because it ensured they couldn't go to a full day, which I agree is too long for most KG's (definitely for mine).

  • Reply Sun Dry August 3, 2015 at 10:49 am

    The owner of Phoenix kindergarten is a very warm, caring individual who understood the emotions a first time mom would experience when leaving her child with a daycare facility.

  • Reply april August 10, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    you know, it never would have occurred to me to look into part time. For us, it's not an option because I work full time but it sounds like a wonderful option for you!

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