What are you planning to do about school? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: What are you planning to do about school?
Public school 25 16.03%
Private school 26 16.67%
Homeschooling/ Unschooling 73 46.79%
Other *or* I have no idea and am having an anxiety attack just thinking about it! 32 20.51%
Voters: 156. You may not vote on this poll

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Life with a Toddler > What are you planning to do about school?
Serena's Avatar Serena 08:49 PM 10-12-2002
I'm just curious....

I've always assumed that we would do our damdest to send dd to private school here in the city, but lately I've been re-considering public school. There are a bunch of reportedly very good magnet-style, alternative public schools. It certainly would be easier on the wallet.


peggy's Avatar peggy 09:23 PM 10-12-2002
Right now we live near an excellent public school. If we live here when Grace is ready for school I plan on sending her there.

cottonwood's Avatar cottonwood 03:59 AM 10-13-2002
I went to "good" public schools and feel that my experience was worth very little except as far as it showed me very clearly how *not* to educate myself and my children. We are planning on unschooling. I've just been reading Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto, which is really cementing my feeling that this is the right approach for our family.
PM's Avatar PM 05:51 AM 10-13-2002
Private international school. I just won't be able to provide her the language education/maintenance she'll need. Her first school enrolls 30 kids from preK-8, so I'm confident she'll get enough attention.
sunbaby's Avatar sunbaby 01:31 PM 10-15-2002
we have this awesome charter school around the corner that stresses cultural diversity. i am leaning toward that as we have an increasingly large pop of immigrants from mexico in our area and id like halei to relate to everyone- not just well to do white kids, which is rapidly becoming the vast majority of our private school pop around here. @ the charter school, they speak 50/50 spanish/eng- COOL! if she wants to try something dif later, i'll let her choose. i like the homeschooled kids i know.
CanOBeans's Avatar CanOBeans 02:03 PM 10-15-2002
I am so freaking out about school issues. It's complicated here of course by the fact of the language difference as well as the differences in education philosophies. My DS is in a private Montessori school now, but it only goes up to age six, so next year he has to move. His current school is a 45-minute trip (two buses) from where we live, and I just can't put my two kids or myself through that for another year. Unfortunately, to be within walking distance of our appartment means either a private school we don't like much (although it is bilingual) or public school, which is all French (in language and curriculum). My son is not the most flexible child in the world, to say the least, and he gets really nervous about being with kids and adults who speak French. In addition, my DD could start school next year as well...preschool starts at age 3 here, and if you wait until they are older it's harder to get them into school. The next "level" of school starts at age 6. Of course if she's not ready I won't start her, but eventually I would prefer for them to go to the same school. But private tuition for two would really add up! I would consider homeschooling but it would not work with my DS. Sigh...I wish we could just find the right school and then move near it, but of course it isn't that easy either...can't live too far from DH's office or he will have a commute from hell, plus moving isn't cheap either (can't just U-haul it when you live on the sixth floor and all the furniture has to go out through the window).

Whew, did I just vent? Thinking about schools makes me crazy...
NewMa's Avatar NewMa 02:18 PM 10-15-2002
Dp and I really hope to home/unschool dd. If that won't work out for money reasons, she'll be going to public school and we'll be supplementing her education ourselves.
Mothernature's Avatar Mothernature 06:02 PM 10-15-2002
Homeschool/unschool for us too. Public schools here are not very good and the private ones are a great place to produce future consumer gluttons. That's not what we want Zen to learn.
Liz's Avatar Liz 06:16 PM 10-15-2002
I chose public but that is assuming the alternative public school near here is as good as I've heard. I'm a little obsessed with schooling these days, too. My DH and I both hated school as kids. We are now both designers so I'm guessing the standard curriculum just didn't get through to us creative types. I did go to an alternative high school but by then I was just running away from "straight schools" (that's what we alternative kids called regular public high school). I learned allot but I didn't have the self disipline to carry it through to meaningful credits, etc. so I never got a diploma. I went to college later as a mature student. I knew lots of kids who went to private schools and they seemed even more f@#ked up (pardon my language but I think I'm regressing to my high school self .

I'm hoping that an alternative school will respond to my sons needs better than a "straight school". I'm hoping the teachers will be more creative and inspired (my high school teachers were fabulous). And I'm hoping it will build in him a love of learning that will carry him through what ever type of school he encounters, lousy or otherwise.

Anybody know a good book on alternative education (sometimes called "Free" or "Democratic")?
Virginia Sitz's Avatar Virginia Sitz 11:29 AM 10-16-2002
I plan to unschool. I pulled my oldest out of school after 3rd grade, and we haven't looked back since! My DD 4 yo goes to playgroup 4 days a week for 2 hours--mainly because there is a jungle gym and she can get hr ya-ya's out. Bit she does also make friends. She has learned her letters all by herself- look at magazines and asking hwat the letters are. She also plays in Word on the computer, typing up[ letters and erasing the, She just started getting her numbers. She used to count, 1,2,3 and anything more was 11. But in the last few weeks she's figured out 4 and 5 and adding and subtracting and zero as well. It's so amazing to watch. I plan on letting her teach herself to read as well. Without doing any formal teaching, just lots of reading to her. It's so true what you read: that when they are forced to learn they hate it, and when they discover it on their own they get so excited about it all.

There seem to be a lot of international moms here, and I just want to encourage to consider unschooling. We also struggled with lousy local schools, and long commutes to very expensive private schools. Unschooling is so easy and stress free. No stress in the morning, no stress over homework, no Parent group ( I was pres for 3 years ) no fundraising, no lunch box. We were the first family to start it here, and this year 3 more kids are doing it! They've formed a drama/dance/singing group. I order books on Amazon and Powells and have them delivered to friends who will be coming over soon. No boring taxt books, just awesome books you'd love to own anyways.

Oh, and mothering had a great article about democratic schools, which is now the only kind of school I would even consider sending my kids to.

RileysMom's Avatar RileysMom 11:42 AM 10-16-2002
About 50% of our church moms homeschool and most of my friends do. So that is possiblity.

But for me, it depends on Riley and what it seems like her needs are. My dh and I both went to private and public schools and did really well and enjoyed it. We both do well with structure.

Her personality so far seems mild and she leans towards compliant. (of course she's only 15 months old, so the "terrific twos" could start at any moment! LOL)

We have some good private schools and montessori schools around here that I am going to check out when she's a bit older. We can definitely send her to those. The public elementary school by our house has gotten rave reviews from folks I know.

So we are sort of hanging out and waiting to see what it seems like will fit best with her personality.
sleepies's Avatar sleepies 05:11 PM 10-16-2002
we are going to save our money for his college instead of grade-school. IF he got into trouble in junior-high/high-school, THEN we might have to change our tune and send him to private school.

when we bought our house we shopped around for a good district with less expensive houses.

i have never seen the problems with public school--where i have lived. i have seen on tv and news-shows about "bad schools", but we must live in nice areas or something, because our public schools are quite nice.

we also plan to teach him at home along with public school. and not rely on the teachers to do it all. we plan to work ahead and also to review his schoolwork too.

im worried about having enough $ left for college. i want to pay his college fees for him.
Tallulah's Avatar Tallulah 07:17 PM 10-16-2002
I checked "other" because we are undecided. We have "good "public schools in this area, that I want to investigate further, ya know check the teachers, curriculum etc. We wish to homeschool for the high school years. I sort of want my kids to experience both. Yada yada undecided *sigh*
zealsmom's Avatar zealsmom 07:59 PM 10-16-2002
jjdoula's Avatar jjdoula 08:00 PM 10-16-2002
I sent my oldest to public schools because we started in a small town with amazing schools, then moved to a bigger town where I grew up, and had a blind faith in the school system. She ended up having a ton of problems, but I was a single mother trying to get through school myself ( college), so my choices were limited.

Then we moved a year ago,,and I was hysterical to find out how bad the school she was supposed to go to was. I walked out without registering her,, and vowed to homeschool her..until I found out about the magnet school a few blocks on the other side of our new home. it is Arts and Literacy based,,totally perfect for her because she has always been a performer..they have drama and dance class along with pe and art..studied black and white photography last year..small classes..she is just thriving! But we will be back to square 1 next year, because she will be moving on to middle school, and she is supposed to go to one of the roughest in town..even teacher friends caution against sending her there. We are praying for either a scholarship to the Christian private school, or I will opt not to start midwifery school next year and homeschool until she can go to the HS magnet school.

My older son ( Who spends the weeks with his father, weekends with us) is at the school my daughter was at in the other town, but doing really well. I am still trying to negotiate with his father to get him out here for school, so he can go to the magnet school my daughter will be leaving.

As for my infant Joshua,,we have 4 years to go,,but if we are still here he will most definately be going to the magnet school my daughter is at.

I really think my daughter would thrive on self schooling,,she is really curious and passionate about things..and is in the city wide childrens chorale, so she would still get that performing opportunity. But it is a matter of deciding whether now is the time for me to start school part time again, or stay home full time. hard decisions just now...
beccaboo's Avatar beccaboo 08:41 PM 10-16-2002
The last choice (the anxiety attack one) pretty much sums it up for me! Aaaagh!

Actually, I hope to find a school I'm satisfied with for my boys, and if I don't (or if we can't afford it) I'll homeschool. I think homeschooling sounds like a wonderful thing, but I'm not sure if I'm truly up to it. When I read about it, I get all jazzed up and think, "why would anyone send their child to a school?" But then the rosy glow fades after a while and I get overwhelmed thinking about making such a commitment.

Where we live currently, the public school down the street is definitely not an option. However, we are renting, so we could decide to rent in a better district, perhaps. We couldn't afford Montessouri or Waldorf unless we got a major scholarship (which seems unlikely). We're not particularly religious, so that rules out other private schools. A magnet school or gifted program within the Chicago public school system seems desireable, but of course there are only a limited number of spaces available, and I'm not sure if either boy will qualify as "gifted."

The option I'm most interested in at the moment is a sort of school co-op close by our house that seems to be a nice compromise between traditional and home schooling. I heard it's about $300 a month, and that each parent volunteers one day a week. I really need to find out more about the school, frankly! I do know it starts at age six, and my older ds is only three.

Irishmommy's Avatar Irishmommy 09:56 PM 10-16-2002
She'll go to the same Catholic public school that dd attends. Even with all the cuts in education here, I think it's a pretty good school. If we decide to send her to preschool, it will be Montessori.
Embee's Avatar Embee 10:04 PM 10-16-2002
DH and I spoke rather casually about the possibility of homeschooling DS. We then began researching and reading a ton of books and information about unschooling and it's wonderful educational possibilities.

Needless to say, we've wrapped our hearts and minds around the idea and are truly excited about it.
ebethmom's Avatar ebethmom 01:19 AM 10-17-2002
Homeschooling is my personal choice. DH is not convinced yet.

I taught private/group Suzuki lessons in a public school for 5 years, and what I saw (and didn't see) convinced me that homeschooling is for us.
ladylee's Avatar ladylee 02:15 AM 10-17-2002
Homeschooling/unschooling for now. When we move to our new place, we're next to what is said to be a very good elementary school--I will look into it. I looked into the Montessori here--not impressed at all.
monpetitfils's Avatar monpetitfils 01:14 PM 10-17-2002
I think a good public school is great if ds does well in it. By that I mean not all kids learn the same way. I did fine in public school, actually more than fine, but I grew up in a town with an excellent public school system and was always a high achiever. Middle school years are tough wherever you are. I am convinced it's just the age -- you know, major hormones, social awareness/cliques, puberty, acne.. all that yukky stuff! :LOL My mother was terribly disppointed in the public school system during the middle school years so she yanked my brother and I out and sent us to private school. I chose the Catholic HS that my cousins went to and hated it. They were obsessed with discipline and I found it to be far less academically challenging than the public school I had come from. My brother went to the swank - costs as much as private college tuition -- private school and it just seemed that although the kids were generally more intelligent and the teachers more dedicated and creative, the student also had more money for drugs and bigger houses to have parties in. So, we both ended up back in the public schools in the honors programs and went on to good private colleges.

I am in graduate school for teaching right now. I am thinking I will start ds out in public school and if it doesn't work for him, I will try and take a job at a private school and see if he can go there too for free or reduced tuition. Some of the specialized schools around here (e.g. the Montessori with the best reputation in the area) will send teachers to a special Montessori program so they can teach there. I have already called about it. So maybe that's an option?

ANother thing, I will try and teach ds to read before school (if possible) or in a supplemental manner if he isn't ready until school age, using the whole language method. I think a love of reading is the bedrock for a solid education and that phonics alone cannot accomplish that.
PM's Avatar PM 10:31 AM 10-18-2002
The thing about homeschooling/unschooling is that I'm going to need to keep Iris up on 3 languages. English OK. But I can't (even if I had lived in France for 10 years) teach Iris proper French grammar/writing skills. Not to mention teach her Russian! If I were a a temporary to long-term expat, like CanOBeans, with kids who speak English only at home, then I would consider it. I refuse to teach her bad French or Russian.

Jill - Have you heard of the International Sections of Sevres? Would that be hard to get to for you? Is it Ecole Active the one you don't like?
snailmama's Avatar snailmama 11:32 AM 10-18-2002
We will either do Waldorf Inspired homeschooling(Oak Meadow) or have ds go to a Waldorf School.
zealsmom's Avatar zealsmom 05:11 PM 10-18-2002
But, parismaman, just because you homeschool doesn't mean that you necessarily have to be doing all the teaching. You can still take classes elsewhere or on anything, like having someone come in for Russian or going to a class that is taught in Russian/French.
indiegirl's Avatar indiegirl 06:36 PM 10-18-2002
Two scenerios:

1) Waldorf school through third grade.

2) If somehow I am able to sah, I will homeschool/unschool.
MarsupialMama's Avatar MarsupialMama 08:41 PM 10-18-2002
dh and I are unschooling our one year old son. (Even though we hate the term - it sounds so negative.) With this type of learning it is a life style that last a life time. I was unschooled, and dh was homeschooled/NOT-schooled. He was hesitant at first, because of his expereance, but I was able to convince him.
Growing up the way I did, it's just natual for me to treat my child this way. I want to pass my love of learning on to him.
MamaOui's Avatar MamaOui 05:38 PM 10-19-2002
monpetitfils's Avatar monpetitfils 12:24 AM 10-20-2002
JMHO, but 2.5 seems way too early to stress over school. Even Mom's who would like their kids to go to pre-school at 3, sometimes have to pull them out and retry later since they are not ready for it yet. I say keep doing what you are doing and trust your instincts.
Ragana's Avatar Ragana 01:17 PM 10-23-2002
We put our daughter in pre-school part time this fall, because she really needed a group of kids to play with. She has no siblings yet (well not until early June 2003!) and no cousins, but she loves kids. So she is really doing well with it.

As for school, we like the Waldorf School here (actually, there is a choice of 2), but I am not 100% convinced of all of the methods and it is $$$$$$. So probably the local public school will be our choice.
ksmeadowlark's Avatar ksmeadowlark 02:14 AM 10-24-2002
I am trying to keep my faith in the public school system, bc I really want DS to go public. Most of my family attended private schools or went through homeschooling, but I feel like I got a much broader world view in public school being exposed to many different types of students and educators during. That being said, I do plan to supplement at home, as my mother did with me.
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