Re-education of a BadAssMama

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Quaker schools, catholic schools, college prep - oh my! Maybe it's just me, but it feels like I need to go back to school to figure out how to get my kid into the right school.

Let me explain.

Six years ago, The Hubs and I moved from the city to the suburbs in search of a better way of life. And by better way of life I mean trees, neighbors we actually know and public schools that we would happily send our at-the-time-hypothetical 2.5 kids to. Countless web searches, spreadsheets and realtors later we found our little slice of heaven - with amazing neighbors, easy commuter-rail access and great public schools to boot.

Fast forward, the neighbors are still amazing, the railroad accessible (while it makes me want to pull my hair out every once in a while) and the public schools are still good. The problem is that they are crowded. The 1:13 teacher/student ratio that drew us into our district has slowly morphed into a 1:26 ratio that will likely rise to 1:30 by the time Angel hits kindergarten next year.

While I still don't claim to know a great deal about this whole "parenting" thing, I do know my kids. And what I know about my eldest is that he is bright, energetic and entertaining. He is an extremely smart kid who I often underestimate in my uniqye recovering-perfectionist-sort-of-way. I also know that while he is smart and loves to learn, placing him in a public school with such a large number of kids in each class is unlikely to set him up for success.

About this time last year, I struggled over the whole public vs. private school debate. Should we send the kids to private school to give them an even stronger foundation than we had, or should we stick with the highly rated public schools that brought us to the neighborhood to begin with? Was it elitist to consider private school? Would I allow my super-hard-core-Type-A-bent to unfairly sway our decision on the best educational route for our kids?

Last year, after much soul-searching and debate, we decided to stick with the public schools. Now that the student/teacher ratio has changed so drastically, we are leaning toward the private school route. While I still don't know where we will ultimately land, I do know that whatever decision we make, the primary motiviation will continue to be what is best for our kids, their unique personalities and how we think they can be best set up to succeed.

I believe that education, like religion or politics, is an extremely personal matter. But, in the spirit of The BadAssMama Chronicles I'm sharing my particular journey with you.

Wish me luck, and please send wine...
Jill said...

I think education is the greatest gift you can give your children. It's very hard to tell what they need at this point but as they develop you'll get a better sense of what type of school is best for them. In the meantime, trust your instinct. You want your kids to love learning and love going to school and be in an environment that nurtures curiosity and harnesses little boy energy (we're applying to preschools now and I've been filling out some applications ;) Good luck!!

A said...

http://www.iyi.org/

There's a great link that explains about class sizes and how it affects education. I know you don't live in Indiana, but it's still informative.

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