I woke up Monday morning with a sinking feeling in my stomach. I had just had a bad dream that it was 11 a.m. I had overslept and missed our appointment for the day. I also had a vague recollection of my pastor giving me a warning in the dream, but I couldn’t remember what he was trying to say.

Now, hold back the gasps when I tell you what the dream was about. I know you will NEVER guess that… once again… as always and everyday, my subconscious mind was full of thoughts about our school choices for next year.

Right now, we are considering everything. Home school. Private school. Public school. I realize it shouldn’t be this difficult. And I realize that for most people it seems to be a no-brainer. I’m starting to think we just have too many choices.

And Monday morning, we added a new possibility to our list.

The appointment I was dreaming I had missed was an open house at a nearby home-school co-op. We several friends who use this co-op on Fridays for supplemental stuff like art, music, PE and other fun classes. They also have an academic program on Mondays, offering core subjects, such as history, science, math and language arts.

I started entertaining the idea that if maybe I could “farm out” some of the subjects that are difficult for me — like science and history — that I could do a better job focusing on the areas where I feel I am doing OK as a teacher. I also like the idea of dropping off my children for some time each week, which might help me restore a little bit of sanity. I keep thinking that if I could have a break to go to the grocery store and clean my house, I might feel better about my life in general, and then I would be a better mom and teacher.

The open house surprised me in many ways. The first, totally unexpected way, was that we bumped into some old friends — friends who have done private school in the past, home school friends who were, like me, thinking of a new approach. It was like an unplanned family reunion on Monday morning!

I have to say, it felt good just to know that I’m not the only neurotic person on the planet who just can’t figure out the best way to educate her children! Goodness! How hard is it to drop them off at school every morning? Or just to make the choice to home school and then be OK with that? I usually feel like I’m alone in this struggle to decide what’s best for our family.

I also was surprised by the fact that this co-op introduced me to a way of thinking I had not previously considered. Yes, I could use it to help me with a few subject areas. But it’s also set up to be a form of schooling that falls in between private school and home school.

Since it offers all of the core subjects, the students get instruction on Monday morning and then assignment to complete each day of the week. If we chose this path, a teacher, other than me, would determine what we need to do each week in all of our main subjects.

This would probably make most home-school moms’ skin crawl. And yet, it felt like it could possibly be a good compromise for someone like me. It would give my kids some of the things I feel we are missing in a home-school environment: tests, report cards, teachers to impress, peers with whom to discuss subject matter and pressure to complete everything that should be completed in a school year.

Of course, with that, we would lose freedom to move faster or slower, depending on the child’s strengths and weaknesses. We would be under someone else’s control, in a way. It costs money… but not nearly as much as private school.

The kids all had mixed reactions about the experience. But my daughter, the social butterfly, would probably love it best. After about five minutes in the first-grade social studies class, she was already instructing the other kids on her superiority at shaking cream to become butter and helping them line up to play an old-fashioned bowling game.

“When can we sign up for that class?” she asked when I told her it was time to leave.

After the open house, we had a couple of doctor’s appointments and I took the kids to “Happy Hour” at Steak N Shake as a reward for not screaming during shots. As I was pulling out of the drive-thru, I realized I had a flat tire.

Oh, man. So, two weeks ago when I went to visit a school I came away with a speeding ticket. Now a flat tire? Is God trying to send me a message?

In the process of changing the flat, my husband realized that my brakes were nearly non-existant. The minivan is equipped with a sensor that is supposed to light up when it’s time to change the brakes. However, we did not get any warning that they needed repair.

Maybe this was why my pastor was trying to tell me something in my dream. My pastor also is my boss. I texted him to let him know we were going to miss a meeting due to all of the trouble. He texted back with some encouragement: “It’s a good thing u got a flat. God always knows.”

Hmm… Perhaps He knows the plan for our school year, too. Actually, I’m sure he does.

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