Unwanted: last minute changes

Summer vacation’s over and just when I thought things were doing great, I find myself faced with a huge challenge that I could certainly do without. It was early Monday morning this week when I was awaken by a series of text messages from my younger daughter’s school, saying that their class schedule had changed from morning to afternoon. My reaction? I literally freaked out. I started crying out of sheer disappointment and anger. (Okay, so that makes me a drama princess, I guess.)

I sent the school’s assistant directress an impassioned message in response, explaining how unhappy I was that they had to change their decision at the last minute, and explained in detail why the new schedule would not work with our unique family setup, especially for a stay-at-home mom like myself without a helper and relies on public transportation to get to one place from anouther. Not to mention that I do not only have one child but two, and their class schedules are simply opposite.

This may seem such a small feat, but at that moment, all I could think of was how was I supposed to go out and run errands in such as small time frame like, traveling all the way to Manila and back home to Laguna in two hours? For someone like me who often experiences migraine due to the heat, how am I supposed to go outside the house everyday just when the sun is at its meanest? Of course, I got the standard apologies, but their decision was final and would no longer change. On the other hand, nothing they said could convince me that they were sincere either.

I contacted my eldest daughter’s school to check if they could accommodate my younger daughter, but the morning prep class was already full. I’m not sure if the school official I had spoken with was simply being difficult, considering that my husband and his two siblings all attended their school, from elementary to high school, and they were all achievers, especially my husband, yet we could not receive a single favor from them. What is one student added to a class of 12 pupils? One smart and talented student, with good grades to show and had previously attended a Montessori school that boasts of a highly competitive quality of education?

I must be the most distraught parent at that time, as if the situation was a matter of life and death. My next option then was to enroll our little Z in a homeschool program. I had initially made contact with some schools offering such programs in 2009, but because they require full payment of fees upon enrollment–which could mean a lot–we couldn’t push through with it. I must say that my whole heart and mind is now into it, and I am very confident that I am fit for the job. I would really love to homeschool my children, especially my younger one, since I’d be able to monitor her progress all throughout, and yes, I’m more than willing to take up the challenge of educating her in all areas her student life may require. Surprisingly, my daughter’s excited about being homeschooled too.

I started looking up homeschool program providers again and had finally decided on one. The process of acquiring information was rather difficult though, since communication’s done online and I was usually out the whole week, running errands, that I couldn’t check my email anytime as much as I wanted to. Contrary to what my husband and I had thought, we won’t be able to enroll little Z next month at the latest, but on September at the earliest. First, because of the full payment policy that we just can’t afford right now; second, because our area is not considered remote or provincial, we could only enroll at specific dates or months.

So what do we do now? Our options include the following:

  1. Wait for September, and while we do that, I shall tutor Z and make sure she learns to read well by then so we could enroll her instead in Grade 1 level instead of Prep. That way, we save a year of educational expenses. At the same time, I will be able to take on a full-time home-based job again to help with our family expenses;
  2. Re-enroll little Z in her old school and hire a nanny, who will go with her to school and back home, even if I honestly think that hiring one would only mean unnecessary toll to my monthly budget, not to mention a possible repetition of the bad experiences my children and I had with some of our previous helpers;
  3. Simply sacrifice, i.e., accompany little Z to school at 12:45 pm myself, go home and wait for my eldest child to arrive at 3 pm, then pick up Z with her sister at 4 pm;
  4. Beg another school official in my eldest child’s school to accept her in the morning schedule, so they could go to school together. That way, I’d still be able to run errands smoothly while they’re in their respective classes; and lastly,
  5. Enroll little Z in another school, which could usually mean two things: a cheaper one with a competitive quality of education but with poor facilities, or a much expensive one with an average quality of education but with nice facilities. Really, finding one that is good in both areas is such a feat these days! Oftentimes, such schools are miles away from us or their fees are so dear.

Right now, I am at a loss and so is my husband on what we should do. If only my younger child’s previous school had been more considerate and wise in making their decisions. Apparently, I’m not the only parent who’s bringing her child to another school because of the same issue. I could have had more time to look for another school for her if they had made their final decision sooner. (I honestly would love to train them in the area of managing clients’ expectations.) If only my eldest child’s school had also been considerate, the transition would have been smooth (no, there isn’t a need to use a comparative adverb). If only homeschool programs do not require full payment of fees upon enrollment, then everyone in my family’s happy now.

Really, I’m the type of person who’s usually open to changes. Because of that attitude, my husband used to ask me if there’s any thing at all that would ruffle my composure. Well, obviously not this time, and definitely not this kind of change.

A good advice is most welcome right now.

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