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Where does one begin with so many choices but unsure of the best choice for you and your kid(s)? First, we didn't decide on where Benjamin is going to school until the last week of August. When we finally decided where he was going, for many reasons we knew that was the perfect choice.

Meanwhile, there is another issue concerning prioritizing school with family vactions. We wanted to plan on going up north while the weather was still nice because my fiancee who owns 12 achres of land up where we want to go, has been unable to go there for a long time and resents putting it off any longer. We have disputed between the idea of him going alone so Ben doesn't have to miss 5 days of school at the beginning of the school year, or just the two of us going up there while Ben stays home with a prepaid babysitter to make sure he gets to school everyday, at the same time while Mommy and Daddy can get away for a week to take a break, or the whole family going and risking Ben's school attendance. When a child has so many days to miss out of the school year, technically he/she can be expelled according to MI state law, outside of excused absences due to illness, etc. We have argued back and forth about just how far to "push the envelope." I like Benjamin to have structure when it comes to school and his education. Mike, my fiancee, on the other hand prefers a certain freedom involved in educating your child, in this case it would be giving Ben the opportunity to travel and experience things away from home and outside of your everyday living surroundings. How do you compromise the two without sacrificing one for the other?

When I met Benjamin's new Kindergarten teacher, she was very sympathetic toward our concern, and said if taking Ben on vacation is what we decide to do she would be happy to help provide Ben with some school projects to do while we are away, and turn in the homework assignments when he is back in school so he will at least have something to focus on during his time away from home. (I only hope and pray for the discipline to commit Ben to his daily take-home assignments in the midst of all the fun and distractions of being on vacation.)

If for any other reasons Ben misses too many school days before the end of the year, I had to argue the point that worst case scenario is Ben would be expelled from school and we would have to home school him for the rest of the year. Well it turns out that Mike is more than okay with the idea of home schooling, if anything I just found out he prefers home schooling Ben to sending him to public school. Well whatever happens, we will make the effort to do our best to keep Benjamin on task - making sure he goes to bed at a decent hour every night, participates in class, interacts with his peers, learns responsible behavior, completes his homework assignments on time, dresses approprietly and impresses his new teacher.

I want to wish all moms out there the best for you and your children. Have a great year!

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