I dread this time of year, not because of the weather, but because I have to make Major Life Decisions that affect my children.
Right now both girls attend private school. In an ideal world, next year they would both attend the school that Tigger Girl (2nd grader) currently goes to. But it is not an ideal world, because we don’t have enough money.
I’ll call the institution in question Outrageously Expensive School (OES). Tigger has been there for 5 years now, and it has been a positive experience. She’s had small classes, attentive teachers, challenging work, and a marvelous gang of friends, every one of whom has educated, concerned, involved parents. She’s comfortable there and so am I.
Little Bit goes to a Montessori preschool now. That’s been a positive experience too, but for reasons I won’t go into, I don’t think another year there would be ideal.
There’s that word again. Ideal. How much is it reasonable to spend, what can you responsibly sacrifice, in order to obtain the Ideal school situation for your kids?
We can swing OES for the kids next year, but the financial impact will be severe. And it is not clear we can keep them there beyond next year by any means.
The obvious other option, public school, is not favored by me or by Technogeek. The classes would be bigger, the teachers spread thinner, the classwork less advanced, and so on.
But would it be adequate? In the grand scheme of things, would it matter that much? Is OES worth the back-breaking cost?
I know what some of you are thinking. Why Jodi, didn’t you used to be a teacher? Why don’t you homeschool?
Bite your tongues! The very idea makes me break out in claustrophobic hives. I love my kids very much. They are wonderful and I want the best for them. But I only recently regained an identity of my own (instead of being “Tigger and Little Bit’s mom”) for a few hours a day. I am loath to give it up.
Would they fare better at home? I doubt it. Yes, I could teach them more, in less time, than they learn in school. But the school experience includes much more. At school they must navigate their way through their experiences without Mom hovering about. They have a peer group to play and learn with. They have the resources of the school and multiple teachers available to them. And yes, they have a happier mother.
And so, OES it is. Now Transvestite_Rabbit needs to quit screwing around with the penny-ante writing biz and make some serious bucks. Anyone want to hire an opinionated blogger?