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Private school vs SAHM?



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 26th 08, 04:15 PM posted to misc.kids
Donna Metler
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Posts: 309
Default Private school vs SAHM?

I know this is probably a good problem to have, since if we weren't fairly
stable financially, it wouldn't be an issue at all.

There is one specific school which, over the last few years, has been highly
recommended by quite a few people who have met DD as the perfect school for
her. It's a very well known, very academic private girls school with strong
fine arts and foreign language programs, wonderful facilities and staff,
and, well, basically _I'D_ love to go back and take some of the classes
they've offered. It truly sounds like a wonderful situation for a very
gifted little girl who loves science, music, and foreign languages.

But it's expensive. Very expensive. Even the application and testing fees to
apply are close to $1000. And while they have financial aid, I doubt
seriously that we're poor or photogenic enough to qualify.

Right now, we can afford for me to be home pretty easily, even with DD in a
parochial school near home. I do teach a couple of classes as an adjunct at
the university, but that's more for me than for money (I think I figured out
that my salary this semester will about cover my gas for my regular driving
around). I'm able to volunteer at DD's school (and I'm spending about half
the time she's at preschool at her parochial school volunteering in the
classes which don't have parent volunteers, and enjoying it), and I'm able
to be there after school hours (which right now are 1/2 day) for playdates,
music class, and the like.

Next year, if she moves to full-day K (still not sure whether we'll be
starting her in K at 4 1/2 on a waiver or waiting until she's officially
eligible), whether at the parochial school or our neighborhood public
school, I'd still have that flexibility. The public school will test her for
GT this coming summer with her current preschool teacher's recommendation
(her teacher did the paperwork, and they contacted me about it), and if she
qualifies, she would enter K early on a gIEP-but given the limited nature of
GT in our schools, I'm not expecting much more to be provided than allowing
her to enter school with a birthday after the cutoff and her K teacher
having a little more information going in, whether or not she actually has
resources to do it.

The parochial school loves her, and is willing to work with us, but has only
one class per grade, and while they're more advanced than the average in the
public school, I'm not sure that they'll be able to do much for DD
long-term. I've been volunteering in a 3rd grade class, and with 20 students
and relatively few supports, it seems like the teacher barely has time to
turn around, let alone to do much as far as individualization. The 6th grade
class is even worse-25 students, with a teacher who is teaching ALL
subjects.

Realistically, we could afford the private school, but it would require
either cutting new savings down to my husband's 401K at work, and cutting
the budget to the bare minimums OR my going back to work full-time (and
pretty much endorsing my paycheck over to the school). I strongly suspect
that it might take both, given that I know that the school tuition is
probably only a small part of the actual costs.

Oh, and the "dream school" is about a 30 minute drive away, compared to
about a 10 minute one for the parochial school or a walk of maybe a block
and a half for the public one. Moving closer to the "dream school" would
likely necessitate a larger mortgage payment (and that assumes we could sell
this house).

As I said, it's a good problem to have-but I can't help but wish DH would
get a magic salary increase or that Ed McMahon would appear with a giant
check-anything to take this from dream that might be achievable if we gave
up a lot to easily reachable.



  #2  
Old September 26th 08, 05:25 PM posted to misc.kids
Ericka
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Posts: 64
Default Private school vs SAHM?

Donna Metler wrote:

There is one specific school which, over the last few years, has been highly
recommended by quite a few people who have met DD as the perfect school for
her. It's a very well known, very academic private girls school with strong
fine arts and foreign language programs, wonderful facilities and staff,
and, well, basically _I'D_ love to go back and take some of the classes
they've offered. It truly sounds like a wonderful situation for a very
gifted little girl who loves science, music, and foreign languages.

But it's expensive. Very expensive. Even the application and testing fees to
apply are close to $1000. And while they have financial aid, I doubt
seriously that we're poor or photogenic enough to qualify.


Honestly, I think it's a very personal decision.
What kind of work schedule would you have? Would it be
compatible with her school schedule, or would you need
before or after care? In all likelihood, it would definitely
eat into your availability (time and energy) to enroll her in
after school enrichment activities. Now, if the dream school
provides enough real support during the day, the extracurriculars
might be less necessary.
Another factor to consider is how difficult it would
be to get her into the dream school later. If you don't enter
in kindy, is it harder to get in? Would she be at a big
disadvantage (academically, socially, etc.)? Do you have to
make this decision now, or is it a decision that could wait
until you have evidence that less expensive options aren't
going to do the job?
A caveat: check out the school carefully yourself.
Many things that look great, or even *are* great for other
kids, don't suit the needs of your kid. The devil's in the
details, so check them out carefully before you make any
big lifestyle-altering changes.
I don't think that it's inherently good or bad to
choose working full-time in order to provide a better
education. Even if you can definitely determine that
the more expensive school is really worth the investment,
the option of being more available yourself to engage in
enrichment activities is usually a viable one (though it
too involves some expenditures, depending on what
enrichments you choose). I think you have to really ask
yourself what suits your personality, your daughter's
personality, and your family's lifestyle.

Best wishes,
Ericka
  #3  
Old September 26th 08, 10:04 PM posted to misc.kids
Anne Rogers[_5_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 47
Default Private school vs SAHM?

Here's one way to look at it, during the olympics there was an article
on one of the news sites about the cost of raising an olympian. I'd put
money on there being many potential olympians out there who's parents
chose not to spend that money or couldn't, but didn't push and scream
for help.

So you have to figure out what your aims for her are, she's obviously
very bright, probably even super bright, but education isn't necessarily
the way that you turn that potential into being a functional adult,
which I'm presuming is the ultimate aim for her. I don't know enough
about the school to know how it would help her, and I do wonder if some
of the problems you've identified about the parochial school would still
apply to the dream school, chances are, even there she'll be way above
some of he students and what do they have in place to deal with that?

If they can deal with that, then maybe that causes another problem, that
she won't learn to work for something, to be independent, to direct her
own learning etc again, I don't know the school, so maybe it will teach
her those things.

Me and my sister are both bright, I don't know how that compares to your
daughter, but we were definitely a bit precocious! But we have different
personalities, at elementary age I got my schooling in public school and
I did fine, mostly being one classe ahead of my age. My sister went to a
private school that was probably somewhere between the parochial school
and the dream school, she also did fine, but we wouldn't have done fine
the other way round. I think the teachers at my sister's school would
have lynched me! My teachers at the public school dealt with my by
handing me an old maths book lying around and letting me stick my nose
into that, it's hardly the perfect way to do things, but I did fine and
I think did learn a lot more self study skills than my sister, which
was something she struggled with for a while.

I think I'd be inclined to try public school and see what happens, if
that keeps you a SAHM, that gives you the chance to spend time with her,
supplement her education, encourage self directed study etc, whilst
saving money for if the time comes that the dream school does become the
right thing for her. I think that a younger child is much more adaptable
so as long as they are watched carefully, which you can do when they are
younger I don't think public school versus private school makes such a
difference as it can do when they are older. FWIW, it's very common in
the UK for a child to go to school within the state system and move over
to private at 11, 13 or 16, when the parents do have more of an idea
what's best for the child and can then choose a school that's good for
them.

Cheers
Anne
 




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