Monday, March 15, 2010

Public school, charter school... What's a Mama to do?

Well, it's that time of year again and this year I'm participating. What is it, you ask? Lent, St Patrick's Day feast, some insane bikini wearing contest? No...

It's school application time and believe you me, I feel like I'm in way over my head. You see, where I live, we have too many choices: Public school, charter school, private school, home school, or some combination thereof. I've always believed that parents know what's best for their children. Health involved parents anyway. But with so many options available to us, I long for the simpler days of "Here's your neighborhood lines. You will place your child... HERE."

My husband and I have been checking out schools, asking lots of questions, putting in application, and praying for a divine letter from God as to where to enroll Noah. We've seen things we like and things we don't. Things that excite us and things that just leave us shaking our heads.

To complicate matters, we're not only making this decision for one child, but for two. I can't help but think of Lydia in the back of my head. Sure she's two years younger than Noah, but those two years will fly by. And she quickly reminded us the other day how fast she's learning when at 27 months, she spontaneously started counting to 15 through no teaching from my husband or I. She just picked it up.

She has a late December birthday, putting her in line to start kindergarten a year late. But can I really hold her till she's 6? I'm afraid she'll become bored.

Anyways... back to the school question... School A has a great second language and arts based curriculum, with plenty of opportunities. However, no part home school option and won't take Lydia till she's nearly 6 years old. Home school part time is important to us as our weekends run Friday and Saturday with my husband's job. It's nice to have the option of homeschooling the kids on a Friday to see family out of town. Or even for just the four of us to get away. School B is smaller with the option of part home school and would take Lydia in Jan after she turns 5. They'd then evaluate if she's ready for Kindergarten or 1st grade the following year. But here, because it's smaller, there's not as many opportunities for cross-curriculum learning.

Can't I just combine the two? That sounds like a solution, huh? For us, private school is not an option due to finances and home schooling full-time has a huge intimidation factor for me. Part-time I have no problem with. Full-time??? WOW!

So how have you handled this decision in your family? What works for you? Any advice?
I'd love to hear your experiences...

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Tackle it Tuesday @ 5 Minutes for Mom


Susie said...

What a daunting tackle! We are lucky enough to live in a great school district so, our public schools meet our needs!

Upstatemamma said...

Oh wow!! That does sound like a very hard decision to make. I'm not sure what I would do. I do really like the part home option. I suppose you could look into doing a second language or arts at home and thus making up for those things being focused on less at home. I just love that part home is an option at all. We homeschool and where we are there are no part home options.

Anonymous said...

Hi there. Thanks for stopping over and commenting at Amy's featured blogger post.

My kids started off at private school then public school. So far we are happy. I could never home school. I admire any parent who can.

Angelica said...

Yikes! Good for you for even giving home schooling a thought!! I will be faced with that next year and I'm already stressing! My daughter misses the cut off by 15 days, nearby charters will take her when she is 4, public or private school will not! She would be almost 6 when starting Kinder. I am so interested in this topic, let me know what you decide!

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