I, Too, Became That Parent

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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57 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    My 2 cents:

    Do what is best for her, your preferences be damned (because it’s not about you). Public education is all about the bell curve, and if your kid is at one end of the bell or the other, the PS system may not be the best choice.

    As for the future, a few years in a private school gives you time to help her get ready for a potential future PS Education. That’ll be better than just tossing her from what she knows into what is different just as she gets her feet under her.Report

  2. I so appreciate you writing this. I have had children in private schools, international schools, foreign schools, and currently in public schools. You put your kids in the best available option you have when you have it. They grow and develop, and that doesn’t stop to wait for the perfect situations, so we all must make the call what is best for them. Ideology and educational theory is a fine thing, but very limited when it comes time to doing what is best as a parent for your child.Report

  3. Avatar Vikram Bath says:

    Sounds like there’s not much of a choice. Ultimately, we have to do what works for our actual kids, even if it’s not what we want to work for them.Report

  4. Avatar InMD says:

    I wouldn’t be so hung up on it. If you can scrape the money together and it’s whats best for her do it without shame. You don’t owe anyone else anything.

    My wife has similar hang-ups about ‘private school.’ At least she did until it became apparent that we couldn’t afford to live in the best districts unless we were willing to spend half our lives commuting. Where we live currently more than half the student body is EASL, which there is absolutely nothing wrong with, but it won’t be the best place for my son to succeed.

    Also the transition to public high school doesn’t have to be terrible or even involve the trade offs you think it might. I went to a somewhat blue collar Catholic school through 8th grade. My family then moved to a county with much better schools so I went to public high school. I actually found the public school kids to be much less wise to the ways of the world, or at least much less aware of what they had. You’ll just need to be ready to step in and help her get into the right public school track. My parents were clueless on the subject, and being an idiot teenager at the time I took full advantage of the situation.Report

  5. Avatar Will Truman says:

    On a sidenote, the public school teachers here are on strike for the second time in two years. At this rate, that in itself is going to become a piece on the ledger.Report

  6. Avatar Jerry_ATX says:

    Appreciated reading this. I’ve been a big proponent of the Montessori method as my kids attended Montessori programs throughout preschool and elementary, but they only did so because it was the right program for their learning and social-emotional welfare needs. Not all kids are Montessori kids and we saw plenty of our children’s peers leave and thrive in all manner of different programs. What I always admired were the parents who made the choice to send siblings off in different directions to best suit their individual needs. I always hoped I would be prepared for that, but never had to face that decision until now. Our oldest is happy and thriving in his high school, but as his brother looks to matriculate into the same program it is clearly not the right fit for him. I am experiencing a degree of mourning as I want the school to be the right fit for both kids, but I’m logically (if not emotionally) prepared that it just isn’t. Make the best choice for your daughter and your family and trust that it will work out great. The fact that you’re putting this much thought into it is already revealing how your daughter has the most important thing possible for longterm success regardless of any specific school situation–engaged and supportive parents.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    There are things that are good in and of themselves. Absolute Goods, say.

    There are things that are good because they give you a leg up against others. Relative/Positional Goods, say.

    Education is one of those things that ought to be the former but, the way we (as a society) do it, is very much the latter.

    Remember when we argued about the theory that parents who read to their children should feel bad?

    Wanting the best for your kid’s education is kinda like that. I think that the best answer is something like “IT’S YOUR FREAKIN KID! GIVE YOUR KID EVERY ADVANTAGE YOU POSSIBLY CAN!”

    The only thing that I wouldn’t suggest you do is make other parents who either can’t do this or won’t do this feel like they’re doing the right thing for us, as a society, by not fighting harder to give their kids every advantage they possibly can.Report

  8. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    People fixate over the public/ private model, but I’m not convinced that is the driving variable,
    From what I’ve seen, the amount of parental input and focus on education plays the strongest role in a child’s education.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      As I say to Saul below, public vs private as such isn’t the issue. It’s that the private school is offering something that the public school can’t. If we go that route, I’m not sure there is a degree of parental input with the school that can compensate for that.

      And, obviously, we feel like the model itself plays a big role. Not just our own involvement and focus. Those things do come into play if we’re dealing with an apples-to-apples comparison (same model, a student demographic that isn’t enormously skewed, and reasonably competent schools), but sometimes you’re dealing with particular circumstances that might make something like homeschooling a particularly good (or bad) idea, or Montessori or Waldorf school a good (or bad) idea, or Direct Instruction or whatever.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        So at the age of 6, this child attends this school or that.

        Then what happens?

        It’s disheartening to me, this society wide Sophies Choice anxiety and panic over a child’s education, where the unspoken assumption is that the wrong choice, results in, what?

        She faces a lifetime of crippling poverty and pain?

        I keep coming back to this seeming paradox.
        We live in a world of staggering affluence that Louis IV would envy, or so we are told.

        And yet… the world is a desperate lifeboat where a misstep at the age 6 can ruin a life.
        The grim relentless drill of testing, the quiet desperation of manic fixation on GPA and transcripts…For a people swimming in a sea of abundance we sure seem miserable.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          Well, we’re not worried about her life being ruined. That’s not the bar to our decision-making. There are all sorts of decisions that won’t ruin her life. But we still want to make the best decisions we can within the wide variations of unruined life.

          I’m pretty straightforward about my concerns and what we’re trying to avoid: She will lose the gains in sociability that she has made, her learning will stall while her peers catch up. There are worse-case scenarios than things like that, but those are the highest probability concerns. They won’t ruin her life… but we’d rather avoid the risk all other things being equal. (All other things aren’t equal, though, which is why we’re conflicted.)Report

  9. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    We do a Montessori/Homeschooling hybrid… keeps the costs down a bit. Might (or might not) be an option in your area… maybe worth googling.Report

  10. Avatar bookdragon says:

    Do what is best for your child, especially early in her education.

    We moved every few years, so I have been through a lot of different school systems. We didn’t have money for private schools, and in more rural areas in the 70s what was available for private generally meant Catholic or creationist-type Christian school. Neither of those would have better for me than even the poorer public schools. However, my parents did look for the best possible school district. My dad even took a long commute at one point so I could be in the good high school near a small college rather than the lousy (bottom 10% of Ohio schools at the time) one in the town where he worked.

    My kids are in public schools here, but we live in a very good school district and even so I opted to pay for private full day kindergarten, because it would be a better start for them and less disruptive than busing between public half day and a daycare program. We could do that because I have a good job that pays well. Maybe I should feel guilty about that, but I don’t see the point in not using the resources I have to do what’s best for my children.Report

  11. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I’m on Chip’s side here. The primary driver seems to be the ability for parents to provide input. Of course a big part of the problem (and this includes how I was educated) is that we fund and send kids to school based on geography and local property taxes. So this leads to good public school districts basically being in upper-middle class suburbs where the overwhelming majority (close to 100 percent) of parents of children attended college and probably grad/professional school. Their kids end up doing the same. Etc, etc.

    My public high school sent an inordinate amount of students to top-tier colleges. Yet my anecdotal discussions shows a lot of us did not feel prepared for college like our private school piers despite being from roughly the same or sometimes better socio-economic backgrounds. The prep school kids were in mini-college environments that focused on essay writing and had seminar classes since day one of high school. Maybe before. They can also be a lot more selective in terms of whom they pick as students. I went to high school before the standarized testing mania (except SAT and SAT IIs.) The classes were small by public high school standards (we had around 200 students in my class and 1000 students over all). Yet the teachers could not do seminar-type classes except for a few exceptions.

    There is something about private school before the K-12 level that strikes me as being anti-democratic.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I have an important question:

      If the kids in the private schools weren’t around, would you have felt prepared for college (changing nothing else)?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        I was a studying misfit until graduate school so I am an odd case. My grades and study habits were all over the map until grad school and law school. If I cared about a class, I put in the effort and did very well. If not, I did what I needed to do.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Our own issue isn’t public vs private insofar as if our public schools offered what the private school did this wouldn’t be an issue. But they don’t and ultimately can’t short of a charter school program (which we don’t have). If the private schools offered only the same basic classroom model as the public, it would only be a quality issue and the private school would have to be much better.

      Resources may play some sort of role in our bias against the schools in the next county over. Perspective classroom peers and transportation time play a bigger role, though.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        From what I’ve read, the new Teachers strike is because the Republicans in your state tried to introduce a cloak and dagger bill to allow for public school money to be diverted to charter/private schools. This is seen as an attempt at union busting.

        Do you think your decision would be different if you lived in Westchester or San Mateo counties over where you do?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          What parameters do you think you could establish that would get him to care more about the children of strangers than his own child?

          (How many children do you have? Maybe your own experiences with your kids could inform an answer to the above…)Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

            Dude! Where did I say Will should not send his kid to private school? You seem to think that anything less than a full-blown positive support in this regard is horrible. Private schools are not going anywhere. They have been in the United States since the colonial days and getting rid of them is unconstitutional. But that doesn’t mean that they are free of problematic influences on society that can have perverse effects on democracy.

            You also seem to think it is shocking/impossible for parents to take in broader social concerns while also working on what is good for their child. How very Ayn Rand of you.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              So… none?

              That sounds like none.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman says:

              For the record, I haven’t taken anything you’ve said here personally. The main issue I have with what you’re saying here is the degree to which it is one-size-fits-all. It means, absent school choice, no Montessori anywhere after preschool. Or Waldorf or any of the other methods but what the local school offers.

              Which before I did not like on an abstract level, but now do not like on a very concrete level.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          It would depend on our resources. If money weren’t an issue for us, we’d definitely be considering the private school same as we are now. And if the girl didn’t have the specific characteristics she does, we’d be sending her off to the local schools without a second thought. We’re not worried they (at least the ones in our county) are going to do a bad job. Especially not the one down the street, which we have some confidence in.

          I don’t have a position on whether this strike is good or bad. I’d need to know more. I was with the teachers last time, though looks like the issues are different this time.Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      Private schools aren’t anti-democratic or they wouldn’t be so popular in Sweden.

      Internationella Engelska Skolan is a Swedish corporation that runs a chain of private Swedish schools that have an enrollment of over 25,000 students. Like other Swedish independent schools, it is publicly funded and can’t charge extra tuition. It was founded by an American and focuses on teaching the kids English at an early age. Even better, they serve restaurant style meals. “Bork! Bork! Bork!”

      As the Stockholm County Governor said, “Education is so important that you can’t just leave it to one producer. Because we know from monopoly systems that they do not fulfill all wishes.”

      Sweden uses a voucher program that lets the public money follow the child to whatever school the parents pick. About 10% of Swedish kids thus go to private schools at no extra cost to the parents.

      Of course we won’t adopt such a system because using tax dollars to support chains of for-profit private schools is socialist because it’s Swedish.Report

  12. Avatar bookdragon says:

    Saul Degraw: There is something about private school before the K-12 level that strikes me as being anti-democratic.

    ?

    Before K-12 level there really aren’t many options for anything but private schools for people who can’t have one parent stay home and don’t have grandparents available for free daycare. I suppose some people pay a neighbor to watch their kids, but around here home -based daycares cost about what pre-school type daycares do.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      The overwhelming majority of American children attend public school including many two-parent households so I don’t think this is true but more of a feel fact. Something that feels true. My mom worked until I was 12 or so. I attended public elementary school and then an after-school program run by the school district along with other kids who came from two-parent working households.

      I agree that there is an issue with school hours conflicting with working hours but I need more evidence before I take your proposition/side.

      Private school is anti-small d democratic for the reasons I noted above. They self-select their students in ways that no public school can and this can and often does mean declining admissions to kids who are academic misfits in one way or another. I’m not a dolt but I was an academic misfit who would spend time reading what I wanted instead of doing homework that bored me. I think most private schools would have just seen that and said “no thanks.” Liekwise, public schools are required by law to take kids who have more legitimate learning disabilities besides me being a misfit.

      I know a few people who grew up relatively to very poor but attended private schools for their entire lives because of generous scholarships/foundations looking for the bright ones. This strikes me as helping the “deserving” few instead of the many.

      A democratic society looks for broad based solutions to help the most, not just select handouts so the few can feel find for their privileges.

      The worst anti-democratic aspect of private K-12 education is that it seems to teach a kind of “we are meant to be elites and rulers” ethos. Every private school kid I have known seems to get some variant of a speech of “with great power/privilege comes great responsibility.” I get that this speech is trying to do well but I think it perverts and teaches private-school kids that they are meant to be natural rulers and leaders in the world. This goes against the ethos of an egalitarian and democratic society. The more traditional/conservative schools probably teach a downright aristocracy.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I think a source of confusion is that you said before the K-12 level. Which means preschool which is predominately private. I almost raised the same question as Bookdragon, but on reading it I figured you just put “before” in there accidentally.

        I think you’re wrong about the academic misfit part. Private schools sometimes value that and I think will usually accommodate it. It’s probably true of the elite private schools, but that’s not most private schools.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

          My daycare before elementary school was private. However, my understanding is that this is tougher now and a lot of pre-schools and daycares are half-day or only sometimes full day.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            Getting a good preschool or day care (or any one) is tough in some places. I can only speak of preschool and here. The main limiting factor for us was that she wasn’t toilet trained and that eliminated 80% of our options (including the Montessori program where she ended up).

            Daycare doesn’t *look* too bad for preschool aged kids. I see fliers around. It is really difficult once they’re school age because the schools offer their own aftercare and that soaks up the market. Which is one of the bigger obstacles if I need to get a job.Report

      • Avatar InMD says:

        I think you’re over generalizing. Some places may be like that. My experience at parochial school was that there was order and discipline and the space to get the basics down. It lacked a lot of the resources of even the local public schools that at the time were notoriously bad but it also lacked the constant disciplinary problems and chaos. The teachers could teach instead of deal with socio-economic fallout. No one was told they were better than anyone else (this was Catholic school so the message was more of a Luke 12:47-48 kind of thing).

        Maybe a bit anti-democratic but I’m glad I wasn’t sacrificed at the altar of some intractable social problem. I wouldn’t do it to my kid.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          Maybe a bit anti-democratic but I’m glad I wasn’t sacrificed at the altar of some intractable social problem. I wouldn’t do it to my kid.

          I didn’t get into it (maybe I’ll do a Twitter thread) but yeah this this this. This was actually motivated by a discussion on Twitter on an article making the point about social obligations.

          Of all the things I am considering here, social obligation plays a pretty small role. We’re not insistent on giving her every possible advantage, but we don’t want her at unnecessary disadvantages.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            Here’s the inspirational tweet/article.

            Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

              I think PoliMath is overreacting but I saw this article a while ago. Note that you can still send your kid to private school but vote for the local school bond in this good citizen suggestion. Sending your kid to private school and constantly voting against school bonds or going against property taxes is being a douche.Report

            • Avatar PD Shaw says:

              The Berlatsky piece poses a false dichotomy. My wife and I didn’t want to contribute to white flight from the public schools, and the schools our kids attended and our kids’ aptitudes didn’t force an issue. If the schools were a lot worse or the kids had special needs that weren’t likely to be addressed, we may have chosen differently. I don’t know that we would choose differently than you.

              (Also, not a big fan of voting for tax increases as a substitute indulgence; once private school options reach a certain point, those votes rarely succeed. People tend to think they are helping pay for public schools by paying for their kids not to attend them.)Report

            • Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

              We have 2 kids who attended public elementary and high schools here in Chicago, which certainly isn’t renowned for the quality of its public schools. They both attended a grade school for gifted children they had to test into. My daughter went to high school that offered the International Baccalaureate program, which she took, and my son went to a selective enrollment high school that turned out to be more of a sports (basketball) factory. Both got good educations (and I would recommend the hell out of the IB curriculum. It saved me a year of college tuition) and went on to college and graduated.

              Meanwhile, the girl and boy down the street attended the neighborhood grade school where they were probably among the few kids whose parents spoke English as a first language. Both attended selective enrollment high schools and went on to college.

              The common denominator between the 2 sets of kids was parents who were too poor to send them to private school but were also invested in their kids’ education. Both sets of parents probably could have made the financials work for parochial/private school, but realized a perfectly good public education could be had with just a bit of work.

              You can be a good citizen and parent at the same time. People like to complain about the state of public schools all the time, but when it’s time to put up or shut up, i.e., make a concrete contribution to the system by sending their children to a public school and becoming parentally involved in said school, all of a sudden it’s time to choose between parenthood and citizenship.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                It’s all about thriving. Even in really good school districts, where parents have considerable voice, if a kid is not thriving in that school, and the parents can not get the environment to change such that they can, the kid should be pulled and placed somewhere else. Not every kid thrives in the PS environment, regardless of how good or bad any given school is.Report

              • Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

                My point is we never discover whether they’ll thrive or not. It’s just assumed they won’t.Report

          • Avatar InMD says:

            This is where Vikram’s post really comes into play. There isn’t one public school system in this country there are thousands. Opting out in one can be a completely different calculation than another, even when they’re geographically close.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

              Unlike Erik Loomis on LGM, I am not completely anti-private school. I am more solidly anti-charter school especially because those involve taking public funds and giving it to private hands. I’m not a fan of how we determine school budgets in the United States but I’m not sure how that is changing in the immediate future.

              But I still think that the anti-democratic nature of private school is a real and valid concern. Even when trying to helpful, the great responsibility thing is a very implicit assumption that these kids will be leaders of the country/business/world one day.

              I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I agree but see it more as a gradual privatizing of what should be public.

                I think framing the choice of schools as one of virtue (public) versus selfish (private) accepts an assumption that should be refuted.

                Namely, that public school is somehow always an inferior good. Why can’t we accept the idea that public schools can be, and should be, every bit as good as their private model?

                I connect it to the same dichotomy we see in medicine and infrastructure like water.

                We see advertisements for miraculous medical treatments with all sorts of fancy concierge service, and advertisements for luxury water, alongside the stark fact that for some people, just any sort of medical care at all or potable water at all, is inaccessible.

                And these things appear to be related.

                I think the argument should be about how to make clean potable water, efficient medical care, and high quality schooling universally accessible to where parents don’t need to make agonizing choices.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                I don’t support the charter school concept either but I still think you’re vastly over simplifying. Not every private or parochial school is some patrician country club dedicated to the preservation of the blue bloods. Plenty serve as alternatives for children with needs the local public school isn’t equipped for or as havens when the district is dysfunctional or crime ridden. It sucks that our society is like that but as you noted there’s no easy way to fix it so people do what they need to do.Report

      • Avatar bookdragon says:

        Will Truman is right on how I read your post and why I responded as I did.

        I don’t entirely disagree on K-12 private schools, but my exposure to them has been vastly different than yours in that, as I said above, most of the private school kids I’ve ever known went to religious private schools. The Catholic schools could be better or worse than local public schools, and while they all got lectures about their responsibility to uphold Catholic teaching, no one I knew who went to one came out thinking of themselves as aristocracy in any sense. The primary attitude was ‘God, I can’t wait to get out of here.’

        The other type was the evangelical sponsored ‘Christian Academy’ and these were almost always worse than public schools, especially for the sciences. Which isn’t to say that these kids didn’t also get some spiel about how they should pity those poor unsaved kids in public schools, but meant to be “elites and rulers” (at least in this world) certainly wasn’t the mindset they came out with.

        I suspect that if you looked at all of the private schools in the US, you’d find that a lot more of them are like that than like the expensive elite schools you’re talking about.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        The elite secular private schools that you are talking about are a fraction of the private school landscape. The usual private school is some kind of religious school for parents who want some to a lot of religion with their normal secular education or an entirely religious education for their kids.Report

    • Avatar InMD says:

      This. You can save some money with in-home daycares but they come with a lot of other strings. If its just one person and they have a sick day, well youre having a sick day too. They take a vacation, you’re taking it too. The private ones are expensive as all hell but unless someone can leave the workforce they’re the most reliable even with their imperfections.Report

      • Avatar bookdragon says:

        Exactly. That was my calculation here, and honestly the preschool was good – even had an infants room, so I could go back to work when my leave ran out at 12 weeks. And it was close enough that I could visit at lunch. But it was ~$10k/year. My 401k would look a lot better if I’d had that money to put aside back then. (Otoh, if I hadn’t stayed in my job, we’d have been SOL when my husband’s company folded in the crash).Report

        • Avatar InMD says:

          Yea my wife and I had to do similar math. Her income vs. the tuition is probably a wash or close to it for the first 2 years but she works at an NPO with awesome benefits which alone makes her employment worth it. Plus like you said, we like the insurance policy of a second income.

          She also just isn’t into the whole stay at home mom thing and I want her to be happy.Report

          • Avatar bookdragon says:

            The last is a big factor too. I recall the stories about how one of my aunts was finally in a position to quit work and stay home after her kids were mostly in grade school. She really tried to be the good 1960s ideal of a stay at home mom, but after a couple months she was so miserable that her family begged her to go back to work.

            I suspect that would have been me too. I really am not very domestic and hate every moment of having to do housework. Besides, back then I was making more than my husband, so if anyone was going to stay home, it should have been him. But he was recovering from cancer treatment, so chasing toddlers was not a good fit for him either.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

              Or like with my wife and I, both professionals, taking off 5 years from work would have set our careers back a substantial amount (and my wife might have never been able to recover her management track).

              Preschool wasn’t cheap, but it was right next door to my office, and worth every dollar (Bug was very ready for school).Report

  13. Avatar Aaron David says:

    This is a wonderful piece Will, thank you.

    Not every situation is going to be right for every person, and this goes for schools also. You need to find the one that is the best fit and work to make that function. No, it isn’t easy and no, it isn’t fair. When I was a child, there was a public special needs school right next to the public grade school I attended, but it was for very challenged children and someone who was not so challenged might not have been a good fit there either. All of that is to say that sometimes the choice you don’t like it is the best choice.

    My cousin, very liberal, went to public schools her whole life just as I did, sent her daughter to a Montessori school and last I talked to her, was contemplating a private high school.Report

  14. Avatar Kolohe says:

    This is a stupid question, but the ‘next county over’ is the one within your own state, right? There are no reciprocity deals between your county and ‘next county over’ in a neighboring state, correct?Report

  15. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    Honestly, a person needs to do what’s right for their kid.

    I went to a private high school (a prep school, though they preferred the term “Independent School”) after eight years in the public system.

    it changed my life. I sometimes wonder if I would be here (I don’t mean, as a college professor working a pretty good job, I mean “here” as in “still alive”) if I had gone to public high school. I was miserable-bordering-on-depressed in junior high: my parents moved to the district when I was a baby because they had good schools. The drawback was it was a wealthy community where “surface” was everything. Think “The Preppie Handbook” at its most stereotypical.

    I didn’t fit in. My parents were academics, I was a weird nerdy kid who matured intellectually long before she matured emotionally. I may have been a little bit, as they say now, “on the spectrum.” I was fun to tease because I got upset easily, and a lot of the girls who MIGHT have been my friends didn’t know how to take this weird messy outsider.

    Prep school was better. It was LOADS better. A few other nerdy kids from my system wound up in prep school with me – one of them was one of my relatively-few friends. And the rest of the kids didn’t know me and didn’t know I had been a little egghead who cried easily. I actually had friends and was low-level respected for being “smart,” something I didn’t realize was possible from my peers before.

    So yeah. I’m pretty pro-private-schools if that’s an option and is best for your kid. (Also my prep school was far more ethnically/racially diverse than my public school. The first person I ever talked with who was Muslim and the first person I ever talked to who was Hindu were classmates in high school).

    My niece goes to a “hybrid” private school – some homeschooling (my brother, the stay-at-home parent, is a former academic) and some “classical” education with other kids. She’s kind of a smart nerdy kid with emotional-maturity issues like I had, so I think she’s better off where she is, too.

    So yeah. Learning issues (where the very gifted or the people with certain LDs struggle) aren’t the only issue with public schools. Kids who are ill-suited to the competitive, cutthroat atmosphere in at least some public schools (it may have gotten better, I don’t know, but bullying was a serious problem when I was a kid, not just for me) also might do better in a different setting.Report

  16. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Sometimes the public option is the best option. This has proven true for Mayo, who struggled in multiple private preschools, including my own. That is partially influenced by Zazzy and I both paying an exorbitant amount of our income to rent in a town with strong public schools.

    One thing to think about is how she’ll manage the transition from Montessori to a public or even just more traditionally-structured private school. Leaving aside my own personal/professional feelings on the Montessori approach, that transition tends to be one of the bigger ones because Montessori is really far afield from most other educational philosophies, especially as the kids get older. It isn’t an insurmountable transition, but could mean the first few months or even year in a new school may prove challenging.Report