Back when Tigger was a charming and precocious three-year-old, I enrolled her in a hoity-toity private school (HTPS), fully intending to keep her there through 8th grade, and thence to a private high school. 


HTPS fit our family quite well.  Small classes geared for the heavily-enriched children of the elite, or perhaps the elitist. Friendly community of highly functional parents with similar values around education and achievement.  Standard Seattle liberal attitudes and platitudes.  Tigger loved the place and thrived there for eight years (through 5th grade, last year).  Since Little Bit was born when Tig was in preschool, the campus felt like a second home to her.  She finished first grade there last June. 


And that was the end of that.  I pulled them out. 


Not that it wasn’t a good school.  Not because of social issues or behavior problems.  It was money.  Specifically, it was a lot of money.


Over the years the tuition went from “perfectly reasonable amount to pay for a good education” to “are you freaking kidding me?” to “I could retire and spend the rest of my days in a palazzo in Belize for what you want to charge me for second grade.”  We just couldn’t pull it off.


I was not happy.  The girls were even less happy.  Tigger said she would never forgive me (though I hope that, in fact, she will). 


Last week they began classes at our Local Public School (LPS). 


You would think I’d be a big public school booster, given that I am a former public school student and a former public school teacher, not to mention a liberal with a fully jerking knee.  But these are my kids we’re talking about.


So far it’s been ok.  The classes are big (29 kids in Tigger’s 6th grade class, compared with 12 in 5th grade at HTPS).  The district is bizarrely obsessed with standardized tests, the way they all have to be now, thanks to No Child Left Behind.


There are some advantages.  LPS has an accelerated program for which both girls qualified.  They can get to and from school by themselves.  And for the first time in her life, Tigger has a pal who lives in walking distance of our house.  Her HTPS friends live all over the city.

And have I mentioned that it’s FREE?


So stay tuned for updates on the LPS experience.  Will Tigger go goth before she hits 7th grade?  Will Little Bit inadvertently violate the dress code by wearing a skort that doesn’t quite reach her fingertips?  You’ll find out right here.





  1. We settled on a Charter School, after doing a lot of looking around.  It has all the advantages of private school (small classes, liberal environment), some of the disadvantages (no busing, friends scattered all over the city), and still FREE.It also has growing pains, since Charters are still a newish concept, and ours has reinvented itself a few times.  I love what happens in the classroom, which is why we keep her there, but, if I’m honest, everything else about the place is a bloody nightmare, from parking to year-round schedules, to weekly half-days and conference schedules that let the whole school out half a day… Yea.

  2. Tuition fees……oh yes, I know all about that!   Not sure how Aus compares to the US.   All 3 of my girls attended HTPS.   I’m 2 down, one more to go.  The youngest still has 3 more semesters to go until she finishes year 12.  YAY –  Tuition fees for each semester are nearly 3 grand.   I can barely wait until her school days are over – I may just finally AFFORD TO HAVE A LIFE…..!   and not to mention a decent holiday.

  3. Well, ours isn’t FREE exactly…we just had the annual underwriting campaign, and now they’re doing wrapping paper sales, and next month is the carnival, and after that the auction, and they ask for quite a lot of volunteer hours from me…but otherwise, yeah.

  4. I thought that my kids got a nice slice of life in public schools.  I suspect that public schools get bashed not because they are bad but because the privates have to get people to go there and what better way than to scare people away from the free school.  

  5. I want to go to Belize for my honeymoon.But, as I have a child who will undoubtedly expect to be put through university (or community college, most likely), I simply can’t justify the cost.Think of the advantage the kids got by having a few years at the private school though! They’re probably light years smarter than the other kids  their age.

  6. It helps when they are in advanced classes, although Caleb is a little quirky about having to shift gears and go to different classrooms this year.  Ironically, last year he minded less, when he had a homeroom teacher, whom he adored.  I think she was so nurturing, that it made him more flexible to endure the “less than ideal” circumstances — like a math cirriculum, with a ridiculous degree of focus on WRITING (not well suited for a math-whiz kid, for whom writing is excruciating!).  It’s making me crazy, but I digress. I think I’m going to end up bringing him home for the sanity of all of us. . .Just so we can all be on the same schedule.  But I must continue to rave about how supportive my local public school teaching community (LPSTC) has been, as I make decisions about whether to homeschool or have my kids in their schools.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

  7. I’m sure they will be great.   It makes little difference on how the kid florishes if it’s a HTPS or a LPS if the school system is a good one.   Both my kids turned out super in LPS.    The newly minted S. Frog in your household seems to have adjusted just fine.   Watch out for shy Little Bit tho….goth can sneak up on you 🙂

  8. Oh, that is very frustrating, I’m sure!  What a difficult decision to make.  I am sure both girls will do very well in public school, the question is more, will public school do well by them?  So glad they can participate in accelerated programs.  Keep us updated!!

  9. No Child Left Behind aka No Child Gets Ahead.   stupid, stupid, stupid imho.   thankfully the LPS has an enrichment program (they obviously know who bumps ups the scores to keep them out of trouble).  so many districts cut enrichment as soon as funding disappears.  I personal can hardly wait for an update about your experience with the P.T.A.

  10. @Isismoon – I just took my daughter out of public school because it was BAD.  I didn’t listen to the naysayers and competing private schools… I stuck around for 2 years and found out for myself ;)TR – that sucks to have to leave a school where they are happy and thriving.  To have to leave it for financial reasons sucks even more.  But kids will adapt and move forward and I’m sure YOUR kids will do great!  My son is very happy in 6th grade public school and I am *moderately* happy about it, too 😉 

  11. It does suck that you had to pull them out of the hoity-toity school (I just like to say “hoity-toity”).  That’s really too bad.  Especially when they enjoyed it so much.  *sigh*I hate NCLB.  Hopefully the next president will kill it.  I’ve never been in the PTA.  I don’t even volunteer.  I’m just a terrible human being that way.  Fortunately I live in a district with a lot of enthusiastic and involved parents, so no one notices my character flaws.

  12. Having just gone the opposite direction I can tell you that paying tuition is physically and emotionally painful for me.  But we sure won’t miss the standardized tests or the ridiculous volume of homework.

  13. I don’t know–I remember a young woman, what was her name? Meh, not important, who was a certified genius and quit school after 8th grade for home schooling–so, I mean it can bring out the genius in some, and make others evil, hateful, and bitter about ALL educational instutions, both pre and post-secondary.  (That would be me.)  You have to keep a good and evil eye on those teachers, ’cause if your child seems “too smart” or says to Mrs. White “You’re brainwashing us.”, you’re suddenly on the list to go to the special education classes. When I first heard “special education,” I thought, “WOW! I’ll get a leg up on everyone and be able to go at my own pace!”  When I heard the cussing from my mother and father and the quick trip to see Mrs. White, the counselors, and everyone else who could’ve been involved, I realized “special” doesn’t mean “accelerated.” In closing, watch out for those teachers! (And no, I’m not saying all teachers are bad, just that evil heifer Mrs. Lonnie White, may she burn in hellfire…)

  14. Isn’t it strange that after all these years that we remember  our burn-in-hell teacher candidates like Kimber (yes his name was Kimber) Persing (Chemestry) and Francis McGurr (Accounting).   I’d be happy to stoke the fires.

  15. I hope it goes well for the kiddos.  I had a bad experience with public school, but I was just a problem child all around lol.  From everything I’ve read, your girls are WAY more balanced and better adjusted than I’ve ever been. 

  16. Stupid LPS. It’s not that bad, though I definitely liked HTPS better. Hoity-Toity. Tee hee. @kindersczenen - Maybe Mrs. White will meet Miss Kanutowski (probably spelled wrong) there. @Bad_Dogma - Actually, so far I’ve gotten less homework than my friends still at HTPS are getting.

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