Thursday, April 19, 2012

The never ending school debate

I have been debating what I should do about school since Ava was about 3.  I am exposed to so many people who have chosen different paths for education that the obvious choice of public school no longer became the obvious choice.  It came down to what I wanted for Ava and her education.  (These all apply to Rhys too, she just came first.)  I wanted her to be challenged and learn to think.  I wanted her to develop a real love of learning.  I wanted her to do more than sit and fill out work sheets.  I wanted many other things, but those are the major ones.  I looked into our public school.  I read all the reports from the state on performance.  I read all about the curriculum.  I even went and found some newsletters to parents to see what they were sending home.  I decided it wasn't an option for us.  I am not going to go into all the reasons why I didn't like it, but I will just say I didn't.  It fell short.  It just didn't have the qualities that I was looking for.

Based on a referral, we had found a preschool that we really liked.  It was part of a K-8th grade school.  We had pretty much decided to go ahead and do public school for kindergarten until I had spent a lot of time in the pick up line watching all the older kids interact. I started to think, "Oh I would love for Ava to have a school experience like that."   Over the next few months, I really researched school options.  We debated public school, homeschooling, and the different private schools in the area.  We decided on the school where Ava had been going to preschool.  We have been very happy this year.  It has met all of our expectations for sure.  We went ahead and registered Rhys for preschool and Ava for first grade.

Next week I have to pay the tuition for Ava.  Maybe it is because I will be writing such a big check.  Maybe it is because as of right now I am not able to see the long term sustainability of this educational choice.  Maybe it is because the school board mysteriously voted to not offer the principal a new contract for next year.  Either way, it has made me go into a mini-panic.  Are we making the best choice?  I feel very confident that public school is still off the table.  It hasn't suddenly improved academically.  My debate is private school vs. one of the many home school options in the area.  I just know I don't want to go back and forth.  If I decide to home school, we will home school through at least all of elementary school.  Maybe we will get to the point where private school isn't financially possible.  At that point I will probably look into some form of home schooling.  Then I follow my thoughts down that little wormhole and think, well if I am willing to do it when we can't afford private school, then why not do it now?  Then I remind myself that I don't think that I am the best teacher for Ava at this stage of the game.  So for now, I think we are sticking with private school.  This doesn't mean that I am not going to rehash my thinking for the next 12 days until I write that check.

1 comment:

  1. Glad I'm not the only one. It's a constant and never-ending cycle of questioning myself and looking for a better answer. I have finally figured out that all of the possibilities have pros and cons and you have to decide which cons are the ones you can live with. (For example, spending a lot of money on private school versus spending a lot of time on home school.) We've found this year that there's actually a fourth option. We call it "doing school at home" vs. "home schooling."


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