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Candice MacDonnell Photography - Fort Leonard Wood Missouri Family Photographer
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One of the hardest things I've had to do for my child...

I cried SO much over the weekend.

Like, ugly tears and snotty tissues.

We decided to put Nora, our 8 year old, back into the public school system. Missouri has really good schools, and the elementary school we are assigned to is ranked the best out of the nearby ones. On top of that, my daughter and I have had some speedbumps with Homeschooling. She isn't interested and doesn't want to, and I'm not a cute organized mom who is good at playing teacher. Or explaining things very well.

After we got settled in to the house, I told the husband I was ready to talk to the school about her transitioning back in, and he agreed that I should go down and see what they recommend. Everyone was SOOO sweet, and they asked Nora to come in the next day (Friday) to take a few assessment tests and evaluate where she was compared to their students.

That night we studied a bit and she was SO EXCITED to go in the next morning. We got up early, dressed, and I dropped her off. I was told expect it to take about an hour and a half, so I went home and did house stuff anxiously awaiting the phone call.

After about 2 hours I was on pins and needles, so we just headed back to the school to wait for her. I always fear the worst- my number was written down wrong and Nora forgot it, or whatever.

She was just finishing up, and we were asked to return a few hours later to go over her results with the guidance and reading councilors and decide from there what we wanted to do. Nora was happy, we were excited.

And then the meeting happened.

Nora scored at a mid-second grade level on everything- not mid third. This blew my mind-- I figured she would be a little behind from all the traveling we've been doing, but I didn't realize that when she graduated 2nd grade in Hawaii she was almost a year behind Missouri's standards. They recommended putting her back into second grade where she could adjust to a different school system, new place, new routines, and not be completely lost halfway through the year. Especially since third grade is one of the big mandatory test grades, and the councilors were concerned that even with a lot of extra tutoring she might not do well on it and have to repeat third grade, after establishing herself at the school.

Guys, I lost it and was a hot mess at that point. I never really had to work to be an A student all the way through high school. The thought of my sweet smart girl being held back broke my heart. Tons of trivial, petty things crossed my mind. It took my husband holding me during a private conversation and reminding me we needed to do what's BEST for Nora now, so she can be successful from here on out.

After really thinking about it, and weighing the pros and cons (including her maturity level, past school performance, and the opportunity we have in the Midwest school system) we decided to do it. Later at home when we sat down with her to discuss the plan, she was initially confused but quickly agreed that it was best.

And guess what?

She had an AMAZING first day at school. She actually came home excited about her class and told me all the cool things they did - including a science test that showed the different levels of viscosity between oil, water, and honey.

She made friends, LOVES the free breakfast and multiple choice lunch options, and thinks it's pretty cool her school has hallways. Her "spark" is back (something that Montessori children often have- a love and wonder for learning) and I'm hoping things will stay this way. Going forward, we will definitely be researching school options before moving again to keep her in great curriculums and not let her fall behind again.

I'm so happy we decided to go back to public school and made the choice that was best for my little bug. <3