Let me start by saying I'm not challenging anyone's education decisions, nor am I trying to start a debate. I have a genuine curiosity about how to decide what kind of education is "best" for my DS. He is barely one year old, but already the idea of choosing a school for him is daunting. There are local montessori schools, as well as a few other private schools, and numerous public schools in the area. The closest public school is said to be one of the better schools in my neighborhood, so I figured we would just send him there. However, after really thinking about my own experience (I work in a public school in the special ed district) and my own schooling, I came to the conclusion that it's really the teacher/administrators in any given school that set the general tone.
So my question is this: Do you feel that private school provides a better education than a public school would have? By better, I mean respecting your child's own talents and cultivating them? I have a nephew in montessori who seems to be doing fine, but he doesn't really seem to love or be overly involved in school. I have a niece in public school who thrives; she is in chorus, drama, and has tons of friends, is in arista, etc., and she loves it. I know it depends on the particular child, but my concern is that private schools may not offer a ton of things to get involved in, whereas the public schools around here do. I don't really place a lot of value on what the public schools teach, because they tend to teach for the standardized tests. I am presuming that private schools don't do this, but I'm sure many of you can correct me if I am wrong.
I really have thought about what kind of education I want my son to receive, and I just want him to be able to pursue his own interests without feeling like he has to be good at everything. If we are encouraging that kind of learning at home, does it even matter where he goes to school, since we aren't the kind of parents who are going to demand he get straight A's in every subject?