What we decided on school for the fall

Contemplating their futures no doubt

Contemplating their educational futures no doubt

So remember how I was obsessing about what to do with Henry for school next year?

We picked Option #4.  Henry’s last day of school was this past Friday.  The plan is for me to have the boys to myself for our last year.  Here’s why this made sense for us and why I’m excited about it.

What We Decided

We applied for Henry to have a spot at escuola materna, Italian public preschool, AKA Option #2.  Results came around.  We didn’t get a spot.  Womp womp.

Two months later, lo and behold, we moved up the wait list and were offered a spot.  They needed an answer within 24 hours.

We turned it down.  I think it would have been intriguing, but we decided against for a few reasons.

First, this is our last year in Europe.  We have a lot to pack in.  It will be nice not being tied to a school calendar.

Second, when we initially didn’t get a spot, I started envisioning our life without school.  And I was kind of excited about it.  More on this in a minute.

Third, we were accepted for full day.  This is what we applied for, but shortly after applying, I started to question whether full day was just too long.  We weren’t even sure when the day ended–it sounded like based on what the parents decided–but it would have been some time between 4:00 and 5:00.  I had reasoned that there was no sense to bring him home in time to bounce off the walls at Mac’s nap when we applied, but it just felt long.

Fourth, I still wasn’t sure what to do with Mac.  We could have tried for baby parking at Henry’s asilo.  The two schools are pretty close together and it wouldn’t have been the end of the world to do a double drop.

But there are changes happening at the asilo.  This is why we decided not to pick Option #3 AKA more of the same with parking for Mac.

Henry’s asilo is opening a new location that is farther away from us.  It isn’t impossible, but it would be more like 20-25 minutes to get there instead of 10.  We could have tried to stay at the current location, but all of Henry’s teachers and most of his classmates are moving to the new location.

Also, I could have discussed this with them, but I always worried that Henry had aged out of parking.  They told me Henry was the only one allowed to do it in his age group, apparently grandfathered in because we prebought a chunk of hours.  Would they let me re-up?

In addition, the school schedule was great for the days when I really needed structure, but it was starting to feel like too much going on.  Henry usually did school MWF mornings.  Then throw in a weekly playgroup on our other day, and we only had one free day that usually got filled up with a trip to the market.  And there’s the week.  It’s not a bad week, but there’s other stuff I’d like to do now too.

Why I’m Excited

It could be a terrible idea, but I’m pretty excited about our year together.  Here’s why.

First, our time at home feels completely different than it did last year or even the start of this year.  Take breakfast the other day.  Henry set the table while Mac beat eggs for scrambling.  They did some token cleaning up and then played while I finished up the kitchen and threw in a load of laundry while listening to a podcast.  I can even do things like take a shower.  It may not be long or luxurious, but we’ve come a long way from my dragging Mac’s high chair into the bathroom and throwing cheerios at him.

In general, the boys have started to play really well together.  I still get called in to help mediate, but there are times that they don’t even want me around.  I love that they have this relationship together, and it is very fun to eavesdrop on what they are doing.  I also love that this makes my life much easier.  They can be entertaining themselves in another room while I do things?!  Say what?  Granted, I’m not really able to do things like read, write, or touch the computer.  Still, it’s totally different.  Usually less stressful.

Second, I feel like we are able to do things together that I thought we’d be doing on Day One, but you know, didn’t.  The other day we took the tram to Explora and back.  When we went to Ludoteche Amelie, we took the tram there, sat down to eat, and took a bus back.  I’ve got a long list of things I’d like to try (which I promise to share as soon as I write it down), and I’m excited to tackle it.

I’m sure there will be moments when I question my life choices with this.  I am planning to investigate some daytime babysitter options as new folks arrive this summer/fall.  For the most part though I’m pretty stoked to spend some craziness in Rome with my little dudes before they are off to school before I know it.

9 thoughts on “What we decided on school for the fall

  1. Sara A says:

    Enjoyed reading this Melissa. You are my kind of decision maker too- weigh everything out. I think you will be SO glad in your decision! We loved having a more free schedule in Rome than at home with school, and the kids enjoyed the fun outings. And I’m glad your boys hit the sweet spot of playing together! It seems like it can just happen overnight. My 2 are great playmates at 4 & 6. Keep sharing your adventures.

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