oh, the independence of it all

Like Jodi, Mr. Q and I are dealing with decisions around school.

Except Jodi’s kid is actually old enough to go to school next year and the Magpie isn’t even four yet.

But, that’s when we have to start looking – and applying – if it turns out we’re interested enough in a nearby non-denominational independent school.  Because they have wait lists.  For kindergarten.

We could apply for pre-K for this fall and, apparently, that’s easier to get into.  Yeah, it’s easier to get into because they can’t, by law, offer before and after school care for the pre-K crowd (I’m not still entirely sure why, but it sounded reasonable at the time) and our schedules would have to suddenly fit her 9am to 3pm classes.  But it’s a small, intimate school run out of a heritage house, in amongst other heritage houses and across the street from a park.  It’s loaded with hand-picked teachers who are willing to discuss things like homework loads and personalized plans, and the week is peppered with drama, music and arts classes taught by specialists.  And, in the grand scheme of private schools, it’s practically a steal.

That still means money that we need to justify paying out: how much is an arts infused program and a harassable teacher worth to us?  In kindergarten.  Except if you don’t get in at kindergarten (or pre-K, to hear the admissions woman suggest) it’s nearly impossible to get in at the older grades.

Conversely, we could take our chances with the public system and apply across boundaries to the only charter school in our city that, yes, also boasts strong drama, music and dance programs.  But it’s a lottery to get in and there is no guarantee that the board or a new administrator won’t see fit to cut those programs as the budgets are cut back further each year.

But the public system would be not involve the extra monetary costs of applications.  Or tuitions.  Or school uniforms.  Or an investment (gad, did I mention the investment??!!)

Mr. Q, the Magpie and I have been on an initial tour at the independent school.  In theory, it’s all good.  Hell, it’s all gorgeous.  The Magpie likes the old house and loves the idea of school.  Mr.Q, with his public school was good enough for the rest of us stance, is even disproportionately willing to return for round two and speak with the head master.  This place has potential; there appears to be nothing wrong with it and so much right.

But is it worth it??

4 responses to “oh, the independence of it all

  1. One of the reasons, a big reason, that we bought a house in the suburbs instead of an apartment in the city was the schools issue. Because if we’d stayed in the city and had to navigate the school dance, I’d have killed myself and my husband. It’s awful. Good luck.

  2. Ahhhhhhhh I so feel your pain. We are already thinking ahead to school, too. And our public option is just awful in our current house so I guess it’s time to what, think about moving? Or other costly options? And yes, you remind yourself “it’s only kindergarten…” and what Mr. Q says about public school being good enough for us back in the day and blah blah blah so confusing to think of when these kids are barely out of diapers and aren’t even 4 yet.

    But then you think kindergarten – the beginning. Certainly don’t want to get off on the wrong foot.

    So I feel your pain and your angst but I’d be doing the same thing if we had such options. Totally.

  3. The primary grades are very important because they lay the foundation for the rest of a child’s education. K-3 are the years that mean so much for future success, so, no…it is not too early to begin finding the situation you want your child to be in. Poor teachers in the first years totally ruined my son’s attitude toward school and we never were able to turn it around. I fought for my youngest daughter to have the best teachers in her public school and she had success right through university.

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