>One of the things on my mind most these days is what to do this fall when my oldest enters Kindergarten.

Until about 6 weeks ago, I hadn’t thought too much about it. We had planned on sending her to public school and it turned out that she would attend the same elementary school her Daddy did.

But then I learned some things about the public system where I live: students are not allowed to have Christmas parties. Halloween parties? Fine! Valentine’s Day parties? Sure! But not a party or school program one to commemorate Christmas.

I was surprised, shocked nearly, that her pre-school wasn’t going to have a Christmas party or program. She goes to pre-school at a church, the same facility where she attended daycare when I worked full-time. This year, though, they partnered with the county for their pre-school program. They use the county’s curriculum and receive county money; therefore, they must follow the county’s rules about Christmas.

I was floored. Maybe this sounds melodramatic, but listen, it was only 12 years ago that I graduated from high school and back then, we had Christmas parties and programs… when I was in high school, the Christmas program was a big deal, actually. While I didn’t go to school in this county, I would assume that it’s the same since it’s the same state.

At our next gymnastics class, I asked one of my neighbors who has a child in the system about this and she confirmed that students aren’t allowed to celebrate Christmas at school.

It’s not the Christmas party or play per se, it’s about the notion that talking about or celebrating Jesus is not ok. It’s about being able to talk about our faith. It’s about religious freedom. I’m not sure I want my child in an education system that teaches her, either passively or out-right, that her faith is unimportant, not ok, or is a myth.

That’s when Hubby and I began talking about what to do. While I realize that as parents, it is our job to raise children according to God’s Word. While I believe that providing an education is part of that, and that in some ways public school is a great way to go, I give pause when I learn that she’s not allowed to celebrate something that is so foundational to her family, our beliefs and even our culture.

The big question is, can we afford it? Right now, we cannot. While I had wanted to wait a few more years before re-entering the full-time workforce, I am wondering if perhaps me going back to work is the best option for us. In many ways, I’d rather not because the days of my babies being small are limited. I’ve missed so much with Hannah and want to be there for both of them more than just a few hours in the evenings and on weekends.

I am hoping to pursue a work-from-home opportunity that someone we know has used, so I know it is legitimate. I am praying that we find a way to both pay for private Christian school and allow me to continue staying home with the little one until she is a little older.

I knew that giving birth was the easy part to becoming a mother, but never realized such big decisions would come so soon.

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