I’ve been thinking about education lately. Our son is going to start Kindergarten in the Fall and I’m presented with-simultaneously-too many options and not enough.
We live in a small town. I just got an email notification that unless we find more parents willing to volunteer coach, they’ll just have to flat-out cancel Spring Soccer, which would break my kid’s heart. On the other hand, we can sign him up for soccer in a nearby town–one with plenty of registrants and coaches. Our educational dilemma is similar.
There are three elementary schools in our town–one is the public school we’re ‘in-district’ for, one is a charter school, and one isn’t on the table because it’s the other in-district public school, just farther away than the first. I don’t know much about the public school. I have heard both good and bad. I know that they subscribe to the Common Core-a set of standards inspiring new curriculums and teaching practices that I have heard nothing good about. Looking at the charter school on greatschools.org, I’m loathe to send my kid there until they can find some consistency.
In the towns near us, there is basically an infinite number of schools we could sign up for. But many of them aren’t options because of popularity or distance. The best schools are filled up and new students are chosen by lottery. Out-of-district students aren’t given as high priority. Private school isn’t an option because of cost.
Right now the decision before us is this-the local public school or a nearby out-of-district school? One offers a strong sense of community, but might not be as strong academically. At the other, my son would undoubtedly form friendships with kids who live farther away, but this school definitely offers a solid educational background. I haven’t heard the usual criticisms that they “only teach to the test”.
As a parent, I feel like we are faced with a series of impossible decisions. The optimist in me wants to say that any choice will turn out fine. But there’s the worrier in me that whispers, “But what if it doesn’t?”
I know many moms are in my position right now. I even have a friend who, as dissatisfied as she is with her local school, is considering home schooling. How do you make decisions, especially educational ones, for your kids?!