On Making Difficult Decisions

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My daughter's first day at the Mom's Day Out Program - 2008

I finally filled out and turned in all the registration forms required for my daughter to enter Kindergarten this fall. After getting over the fact that she’s about to reach this humongous milestone, I also had to come to terms with the fact that she won’t be going to a dual language school — at least not for now.

I can’t lie. It was an extremely difficult decision to make, but at this time in our lives, I’m confident it’s the right one. I mean, I’d like nothing more than to send her to a dual language school which would not only guarantee her fluency in Spanish, but also her literacy in her mother tongue. Not to mention being surrounded by children from all different backgrounds and cultures. However, we’ve chosen to live in a city which doesn’t really offer the dual language options that others do. Therefore, we’re limited to only two schools, Denver Language School, and Denver Montclair International School.

The latter was never an option because it’s a private school and we simply can’t afford it, especially taking into consideration that Vanessa has a baby brother who will eventually enter school, too. You probably remember me writing about this school in particular because that’s where I sent Vanessa last summer for French camp when we first started our trilingual journey. Absolutely love the school but, sadly, it’s out of our league.

So that left us with Denver Language School, a dual language charter school which open its doors last fall. I’ve heard rave reviews about this school and if you visit their site, it really seems like a dream come true. But it’s far from our home, especially if you factor weather and rush hour traffic into the equation, and they have plans of eventually moving even further north. Plus, the school’s schedule doesn’t really jive with neither my husband’s nor my work schedule at all.

Now, I guess I could’ve looked at it as a sacrifice we have to make in order to make sure our daughter become not only bilingual, but also biliterate. However, I opted for also remembering that Vanessa will only be 5 years old and this is only Kindergarten.

In other words, I keep on telling myself this is only the beginning and she already has to get adjusted to the idea of going to school full-time for the first time in her life. I really can’t fathom waking her up at 6 a.m., almost two hours before her regular wake-up time, and have her get back home 12 hours later -since she’d have to stay in the after school program until I get off work and pick her up – when the elementary school in our neighborhood is just 2 1/2 blocks from our home! Her Daddy is already looking forward to walking her to school every single morning!

A small part of me still feels terrible about this decision, especially after visiting the website of the dual language charter school, but I keep on reminding myself that she’s just getting started with her schooling. So as much as I want her to become biliterate, until our current living situation changes OR until the public school system realizes the importance of bilingualism, it’ll be one more thing that’s left up to me!

How about you? What do you think? Am I crazy for not making the sacrifice? Are any of you making a similar sacrifice? Why? Why not?

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