Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I need to make a decision about school for the boys. I have been looking at all my options for the last 2 years, and nothing has me satisfied. I wish there was one great school in my area. One fabulous school worth popping a tent in the parking lot for overnight vigils come registration time. But, alas, nothing. Mediocrity as far as the eye can see. Sure, the school in my district has good test scores, but when I read the reviews online from parents (both good and bad) I start to sweat. For one thing, there is no art. None. Zip, zilch, nada, and GOOSE EGG. I can't see sending Mikey to a school without art, not when he enjoys it so much and does so well. Aside from English/Reading, it was my favorite subject in school! There also seems to be an issue with the principal, but I hear they have a new one so that complaint may be moot.

I had my eye on what I had heard was a prestigious private school, but the emphasis is entirely on academics. That's fine, of course, but at what cost? There are no extra-curricular activities and no art. The focus is on achieving high SAT scores. Um, it's a K-8 school. Should we be worrying about SAT scores in kindergarten? Apparently so. They have a chart showing how much higher your kindergartener's score would be compared to the national average if you enrolled them in their program. They us the StepMod program. Has anyone heard of it?

Every other private school seems to suffer from inadequate facilities, high turnover among faculty and staff, or uncredentialed faculty. Foiled again.

As you can see, I'm at a loss and I need to make a decision soon. I'll be honest, homeschooling is looking more and more promising. I used to be against it for various reasons, but now I am not so sure. For those of you who home school (and I know there are many who do in blogland) how did you come to this decision and which curriculum do you use? I'll be honest, I want to know but I am not entirely sure this is the way to go for my family. Right now I am in the hunter-gathering stage and looking at my options. My main concern is the social aspects, and how home schooled children adapt to high school. Mikey is already "socially immature" according to some, and I don't want to make matters worse by removing him from a consistent social element. I have more than two brain cells to rub together, so academically I am not worried. I am worried about time commitments and organization.

So, lets hear it: to which education model do you subscribe? Public? Private? Home schooled? How did you come to this decision, and is it one you would decide in the same way given the benefit of hindsight? I'm interested in hearing from everyone, so I hope everyone feels comfortable chiming in.

p.s. I debated all day on posting this topic because, let's face it, the whole public/private/home school topic is up there with the decision to breast/formula feed and stay at home /work debates that so easily whip everyone into a frenzy. I'm hoping for a civil conversation that includes all sides and doesn't resort to inflammatory statements. Put it this way, when I broached the home school subject to a mom I know she promptly told me all home schooled children are socially inept and end up in psych wards. Another mom told me all children who attend public school don't get as strong an education as ones who go to private school, which is funny because another mom told me she would never send her child to private school because they're full of pedophiles. Basically I'm asking we lay off the hyperboles and stick to the facts as they pertain to you and your family, because right now in my family I'm looking at a whole bunch of evidence of questionable admissibility and I'm hoping you're just the person to help me out.