Oh, what a rotten place to have left my blog over a year (and almost a half) ago… Sorry about that!
It seems like forever ago now that I struggled with the question of what to do for my boys’ education (particularly for my oldest, who had just been diagnosed with dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and severe anxiety).
Long story short (but not as short as experts say a story on a blog post “ought” to be)…
From just before I last blogged until about mid-March of last year, I tossed and turned, prayed and sought God, talked, cried, dreamed, and contemplated every educational option under the sun. Somewhere in that time my husband and I developed a strong urge to travel around the eastern half of the US and make it a year-long Civil War Roadschool journey – It sounded so dreamy and great! But… I just didn’t have peace about any of it. So, I blogged here and prayed A LOT. Many nights I would wake up around 2 or 3 in the morning and seek God on the whole issue. Then one night I woke up and prayed, asking God to please give me direction on what to do…
(Have you ever had one of those times when you ask God a question and almost immediately a thought pops into your head with the answer? One of my friends calls this “God whispering His thoughts to yours. That’s what happened…)
Immediately the whispered thought came, “Send the boys to the Key School.” Now, the Key School was one of the options we had checked out. And it was definitely NOT one of the options I liked. It was rigid and stiff. A school for children with dyslexia and other learning differences, which focused solely on academics and had no time or space for anything remotely “fun.” I knew that thought had not come from me… I mean, the Key School? No, thank you. But, the whispered thought was so strong that I couldn’t ignore it.
Soon after, in April last year, we signed our boys up for a 3 day trial at the “dreaded” school. I prepared them for how tough the days were going to be, coming from a Montessori-like project-based private school I figured the long day of pencil/paper, desk work was going to really drain them… to my surprise they LOVED it! By the second day my oldest was asking if he could finish out the rest of the year there… WHAT??!
I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears. He was beaming with joy at the end of each day and gladly gave up even saying goodbye to his former classmates and teachers to move over to this school. Because of the cost (which is more than I could ever imagine, but not too much for God to have provided), we only let our oldest switch schools at that time. It was tricky for our family as this new school was a good 45 minutes away, and a good hour between our youngest’s and oldest’s campuses. This made for quite a trying time as my husband and I worked together to shuttle boys around each morning and afternoon. Then, one evening I was woken in middle of the night again with a still, small voice whispering in my head, “Send BOTH boys to the Key School.” “Oh, God, if you want both boys to go to the Key School, you’re going to have to speak to Steve to let him know. Make it abundantly clear to him [as it is SO expensive].” I prayed a bit more and went to sleep. First thing in the morning, as I was in brushing my teeth, my husband came in and to my surprise said, “I think we need to send BOTH boys to the Key School.” [Once again…] WHAT??!
For the last month of the school year BOTH of our boys went to the same new school. Our oldest blossomed and our youngest started to wilt and I learned a wonderful lesson… as an educator I have known and taught how important learning styles are, but I guess I’ve never fully grasped the weight of the importance. My oldest certainly needed more structure and repetition in his learning and was drowning in anxiety at the free-spirited school we had him enrolled in. And my youngest – who I thought was so flexible that he could learn anywhere – my youngest one’s little free-spirited, creative heart was drying up and hardening. Thankfully, it was a short lesson learned for him. Too bad it took me so long to learn that lesson for my older one.
So, we did it. We obeyed God and sent BOTH boys to the Key School, which coincidently (if you believe in coincidences) used one of my husband’s stock photos to advertise in our local Child magazine… every few months over the course of the past several years we would get a copy of the new Child magazine and would see Steve’s photo advertising this little private school for learning differences called the Key School. And can you guess which model was used in Steve’s photo? Yep, you guessed it: our oldest son. Each time we looked in the publication we saw our son’s face looking at us smiling from under the banner of the Key School, just waiting for us to finally get the message that he needed to go there. ;) (Doesn’t that remind you of the scene in that Jim Carrey movie where he asks for a sign and the truck pulls in front of him saying “Turn left” or something to that effect…?).
Now, if I haven’t bored you to death, tune in soon when I tell you about how we decided to sell our home and move into a townhome in order to travel the nation… and how God taught us a little bit about His plan not always being the same as ours. :)
Oh, let me add that, after a year of having my oldest son at the Key School, I LOVE it!!!! And can’t recommend it any more highly for students with learning differences! God has used it to make a WORLD of difference in the life of our smart, formerly-frustrated, learner. Thanks be to God and Mrs. Key!
Another note: Because the tuition is SO incredibly high (and because God seems to be calling us to go somewhere with another learning difference school in the area) we are not enrolling our son in the same school this next year, therefore I feel comfortable openly sharing the name of the school he’s been attending. :)