Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Public or Private School - THAT is the Question!

Let's debate for a moment...public or private school? My son will begin kindergarten next year and I'm having a VERY difficult time deciding where to send him. You would think it would be an easy decision since I work for a public school, but alas...that makes my decision more difficult! If I take him to school with me, he would have to leave between 6:15 and 6:30 each morning...and not get home until 4:30. It would make for a long day and he wouldn't even be with me - I work in a 3rd-5th grade school. He would be at the K-2 school which is on campus, but still not the same building. It would enable me to be close for school events, parties and field trips...but make it difficult to return at night and on weekends for special school events, programs, sports and birthday parties. If I send him to the public school directly across the street from my home, he would get to "sleep in", but I don't know much about the teachers there and he would still have to be in an after school program until I could pick him up in the afternoon. Not to mention our school calendars are different - he would have spring break during a different week, different weather days and start/finish days.

We HAVE looked into several private schools, one we "like" another we LOVE. However, the one we love is rather pricey. I'm not even sure we could do it. Their schooling is phenomenal and their ratio is between 5:1 and 5:8 - AMAZING! Their graduate rate and scholarship rate is out of this world and the extra curriculars are great. It's down town from where we live and my husband could drop him off there in the mornings, but he would still be in after school. The private school we could afford has a better Bible program, but not a great ratio (better than public school) and their Math program STINKS. I can say this because I taught it for years and I'm not sure I could actually PAY someone to teach it to my child. It will remain nameless so as not to step on any toes. ;)

After talking to LOTS of friends and family members, I get mixed feedback. From someone who taught in private schools for years, sent her child and now teaches in a public school...she says "don't waste your money". From another who sent one child to public and one child to private - two schools I'm actually looking at - she says the difference between her two children and their experiences is AMAZING and she wishes she had sent them both to private school. From yet another, I was told she removed her child from private school because it was no better than the public school down the road. From yet another, his children graduated from the "better" of the private schools and one is now an attorney, another is at a Fine Dance Academy in New York. What to do, what to do?? The stories and advice go on...

And so my husband says, and I believe, if it is God's will, he will make a way and provide - which I believe. The problem I am having is differentiating between what I want and what GOD wants...I need Him to write it across my forehead! AND to make things more difficult, schools begin registering next month...and private schools will fill up quickly... HELP!!

I would love to hear your stories and advice...at this point, I keep wavering and honestly...I don't know what I'm going to do. I just want what's best for my son...and...I would LOVE to hear your opinions.

So the question is...public...or private?


M said...

Hey girl! It's Meg. I completely understand your struggle. I tell my husband all the time I just need that text message from God to tell me what to do and all would be well!!! Unfortunately, it never comes and I am left to take a leap of faith. I must say, it always turns out well though. I may not see it at first, but looking back I understand what He was trying to do all along. Okay so that doesn't help with making a decision, but it's always nice to know that others feel the same way you do sometimes right??? Just my opinion...I would LOVE to have my girls in a private school as long as it was the right one for us. Sorry about the lengthy comment! Check us out (and feel free to follow) at http://meg-thehaysfamily.blogspot.com/. Talk to ya soon.

Kelli said...

I think it is a decision you make every year. If you start him out at a public school and and are unhappy, move him the next year,, or vice versa. Don't beat yourself up. I went to private and public and i think it is what the student and their parents make of it. Both schools had doctors (My public high school friend is a pediatric oncologist) and lawyers and both have graduates that are unemployed. Just go with what feels good and if it doesn't feel good later you can always change. We are playing it year to year as well and each child is different. love you, you always make good decisions

Rachel C said...

You know your kid better than anyone else. You know what is right for him, even if you don't realize it. Kids can have wonderful experiences at school whether it's public or private, and just because he starts out at one doesn't mean he has to stay there.
If you want to keep him close to you for school, do it while he's still too little to object :)

Leslie said...

I have been waivering and am in a similar situation. My son has been in private PreK and 1st grade. We recently moved to a new state and decided to try public school (wait listed on private schools in our area). I confess that I am so dissapointed and we have enrolled him in 3rd grade at a private school. Here are my "whys"

- Have really missed his religious education as part of cirriculum
- Excessive (and I mean weekly) fundraisers
- At least in our situation it seems as though some of the faculty is less passionate/concerned.
- Less one on one attention to my child's unique learning curve and development phases