University-Model School :: Faith and Family


The ability to give myself an anxiety attack over what should be minor life decisions is a true art.  I wish I could say that it started when I became a mom. However, it goes all the way back to being a 7th grade girl.  Just trying to pick out what outfit to wear to school would make my stomach ache.  Don’t even get me started on the lunch table configuration and trying to decide where to sit and what to eat.  Therefore, when it came time to pick out my daughter’s school, I just knew I was probably going to wind up medicated to help deal with the pressure of my first-world problems.  Let me entertain you with the “broken” path that led to my decision to enroll our daughter, Aria, in a University-Model school.

“You judge yourself and other parents according to Perfect-Parent myths.” ~Rosalind Wiseman

Broken Path to University Model School
The “broken” path that led to me giving up on striving to become a “perfect” parent.

I have often tried to mimic my idea of a perfect parent by ALWAYS being present, planning, and protecting. You know what I got as a result?  Permanent under-eye circles, never-ending exhaustion, a nice muffin top from all of those sugar bribes, and an empty bank account. I didn’t come to this realization that perfect parenting was a myth until my daughter broke her arm in multiple places at her preschool.  Even with all of the planning I did to find the perfect Pre-K class and practically sending her off to school in bubble wrap, she still managed to get hurt. After a good cry, I decided to throw my hands up, create a unique strand of curse words, and change my parenting methods ASAP.  Goodbye Stepford Wife; Hello Hot Mess Express! In regards to the idea of perfect parenting, I followed Elsa’s advice and simply, “Let it Go!”.

“There is NO such thing as a perfect parent, so just be a real one.” ~Sue Atkins

My parental philosophy shift, and the breaks in her arm, occurred the summer before her kindergarten year.  Of course, before this shift, I had already made T-charts listing the advantages and disadvantages of homeschool, public, private, charter, and the University-Model schools.  Private schools had a hefty price tag.  Remember that empty bank account mentioned above?  That was an immediate no.  There was not a charter school near our small town that I was aware of, so that was easy to mark off of the list.  Also, I just didn’t think I had the self-discipline to try homeschool right off the bat so that was another simple no.

Don’t overanalyze everything you see; give it some time, and the pieces of this puzzle will come together.” ~Jessica Park

That narrowed it down to public school or the University-Model school.  We were in the process of building a house, and the only short-term lease we could find was 40 minutes away from where our house was being built.  This definitely played into our decision.  Should I have a 40-minute each way commute to drop her off at public school five days a week or only commute three days a week at a University-Model school that is in session on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday? I also loved the flexibility of having Tuesday and Thursday as homeschool days to complete assigned coursework in front of the TV and to take advantage of homeschool rates for electives like ice skating and gymnastics.

I wish I could say a lot more research went into my ultimate decision to have the pendulum swing in favor of the University Model, but it truly was more of an impulse decision to embrace my new-found parenting style and not overanalyze the decision.  Well, not anymore than I already had up to that point.  I chose the one that involved way less driving!

I suppose the better question wouldn’t be why I chose a University-Model school but rather if I am proud of that decision.  YES!!!  

1st Grade at a University Model school
First Day of First Grade 2019-2020

It feels like a true partnership between our family and the school when it comes to our daughter’s education.  Aria is halfway through first grade, and she is reading years above her grade level.  Add in that a University Model is faith based, and I adore listening to my daughter’s daily prayers.  At our particular school, the students pray, incorporate bible stories into the curriculum, and memorize a bible verse each week.  They also attend chapel on Fridays.  It is non-denominational, and where you choose to attend church outside of the school is completely up to you as a family.  The ultimate goal is to develop “wholesome, competent, and virtuous followers of Christ who will change the world in their generation.”  ~Dr. John William Turner Junior

Christ-centered University Model school
Focus on Faith & Family

I wanted to share some valuable information directly from the UMSI website.  “The University-Model® combines the best attributes of traditional schooling with the best attributes of homeschooling and integrates them into one model. The result is quality, cost-effective, college-preparatory education that gives parents more time for imparting their own faith and values to their children. In partnership with one another, parents and the school work together toward a mutual goal: to produce wholesome, competent, and virtuous followers of Christ who will change the world in their generation.”

Click {here} if you are interested in more information and seeing if there is a University-Model school near you.  I love the faith, flexibility, and attention to family provided by this particular model.  Perhaps I initially chose this over public school to save gas money, but there are so many more reasons that I choose to stay! Just keep in mind that there is no right or wrong choice when making your educational decision for your children.  It is what works best for your family!

“There are no perfect parents, and there are no perfect children, but there are plenty of PERFECT moments along the way!”

Additional resources and information:

Our contributors are sharing why they chose their school or approach to education, to help you find the best school for your family!  Make sure to check out our Guide to Childcare & Schools in and around Dallas!


  1. We live in the Dallas area and are interested in a university model school but I can’t find any near us that aren’t super expensive. So you have any ideas on how to find some? We are in the Mesquite/Garland area.


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