Please help me with your opinion! I would greatly appreciate it as I am now down to the decision-making wire :) - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Given what you know about the decisions I have ahead of me (and trying not to feel biased towards pr
Just pay the deposit and go for it. Have faith in your dreams and trust that all willl work out! 5 16.67%
Give up the spot. Financial security is more important than private school, and your daughter will be fine in public school! 25 83.33%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 33 Old 05-07-2012, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, so sorry to be too wordy, but here is my situation.

 

I really need help thinking through this objectively. I have found a private school for my dd (I am not pro or anti public school... this is more of a specific case where I found something that works perfectly with a goal I have for dd's school age years).

 

I have a decision to make, as a nonrefundable $500 deposit is now due.  So PLEASE help me think this through!!

 

Exact tuition isn't important. Just know that it is right at the edge of possibility. In looking at my budget, tweaking a few things here and there creates enough room. On the other hand, at least for now, it requires us to spend every penny we earn.... Now, I am looking to bring in freelance clients this summer, which will allow us to pay for the school AND still have $ for extras.... so this situation is fluid and will hopefully be changing very soon!

 

IMPORTANT TO THINK OF:

 

1) I'm already paying almost that much for dd's public pre-k and a babysitter that allows me to work part-time

2) Dh is against the idea of private school on principal. He likes the philosophy at this school very much, but does not see why we should pay for school (Obviously, I feel very differently, and my opinion is that he will see what I mean if we just give it a go for a year)

 

 

 

REASONS TO GO FOR IT

1) It is a dream education... fitting exactly what my personal philosophy is. It's what homeschooling would be like, except dd gets to do it with a whole class of students, and I have time to pursue my career too, which I love.

 

2) They have a wait list. I have dd currently all registered to go, but if I pull her, there might not be room for her for several years. This is a tiiny private school, so spaces are very limited.

 

3) They are willing to work with me on tuition, so I can spread out the payments. The payments  ($500/month) will be about what I am already paying for dd's pre-k, so no sticker shock until next year. In my mind, this allows us to get into the school system and decide based on our own experiences with it.

 

4) My personal opinion is that the early, formative years are crucial, and I want to get this right (for us... I realize everyone is different)

 

5) I can always pay the deposit and choose to not send dd. I am only out $500, which is a small percentage of what I would end up paying for the year.

 

6) I have no plans to significantly pay for my kids' colleges. I worked my way through school and found value in that. I plan to help them out, of course, but this private school money is pretty much "instead of" college money.

 

 

REASONS NOT TO

1) This economy has hit us hard. Dh and I have new jobs that are going well, with good pay, etc... but we have spent through every dime of our savings and retirement (I am 32, dh is 34, so we have time)... we don't have equity in our house and don't have credit cards... in other words... no fall back. We are starting to recover now, and will be gradually building up a savings this year. This will happen about $500/month faster without paying for school.

 

2) Our public elementary school is just fine. I taught in the district a few years back, so I am familiar with the curriculum. Its a good, suburban school (though the middle and high schools are a little large for my taste) with a mix of middle/upper middle class students.

 

3) I'm hoping to turn this around within the next month or so, but currently tuition will push us up to the edge of our budget.

 

OK, so if you made it this far, I offer many wishes for good karma to come your way in thanks for your kindess... what do you think? Feel free to tell me more details below, but I tried to make it an easy poll :)


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#2 of 33 Old 05-07-2012, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Darn it... thought I attached that poll. Anyhoo... just tell me if you'd go for it or not. Many thanks!!!

 

edited to read: Note to myself... DUH! it's at the top. Oops :)
 


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#3 of 33 Old 05-07-2012, 06:00 PM
 
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I voted give up the spot. Living at the edge of a budget adds a layer of stress that I don't view as worth it unless it is your only choice. The worry about making ends meet and about the unexpected expenses is hard to contain and it has shaped my responses at times because it is overwhelming. I also despise small schools because I found it was a hard place for my dd to make friends since the options are limited and she is a TV free only child and just didn't understand the cliquish culture at her small school.
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#4 of 33 Old 05-07-2012, 06:21 PM
 
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I also vote to give up the spot.  I wouldn't push it with my budget that much unless I really had to (like if the local schools were terrible or if there was a bully situation or something).  You say that the public school is good, so I would do that until the money situation gets a little bit better (maybe the next year?).  Schools can always be changed later.  But you never know in this economy what may happen (as you know).  So I would just wait until this is a less potentially risky situation.

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#5 of 33 Old 05-07-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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Well, I will say that $500 a month seems way cheap for private school to me if that's what you're saying. Even if that's spread out over 12 months $6000 is super cheap for private school in my area. The local Friends (Quaker) school is around $14000/year.

 

I can't tell you what to do, but my kids were in private school for awhile. It was small and much like you describe, but it wasn't perfect. There weren't a whole lot of girls and my older girl didn't click with the girls that were her age. We had quite a bit of drama and angst over that, so small isn't everything. They've been in public school this year and there has been much less drama on that front.Even with the girl drama private school was the right choice for my dd1 who has some anxiety issues, when she was little,  but I think dd2 would have been fine starting off at public school. She just went there too because dd1 was there and she was familiar with it. She loved it, too.

 

I think if your husband is not on board it could potentially cause some strife there. I'm not sure I would count on him coming around. He may grudgingly acquiesce but that's not the same thing as being gung ho. He may harbor resentment about the money going out and feel like your daughter would be fine at public school. My dh and I were both totally on board with private school for our kids even though we resented the money going out. It really seemed like what dd1, in particular, needed. We are both much more relaxed about finances now that they're at public school. 

 

hth

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#6 of 33 Old 05-07-2012, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your replies and votes so far! really helpful as I mull over this decision. Just a note for clarification, but tuition at this school is 12.500/yr. My plan was to spread that into 24 payments, so this year would be cheap, but next year would jump, because I'd be paying regular tuition on top of "back" tuition, if that makes sense. So this year would be 450/mo and next would be about 1400/mo. When ds starts school in 3 years, it will be 1900/mo


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#7 of 33 Old 05-07-2012, 08:58 PM
 
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I voted to give up the spot.

 

My kids attend a truly wonderful private school. It isn't perfect. NOTHING is perfect. You just don't know yet what is wrong with the school.

 

You cannot afford the school. Spending tuition out over 2 years is a really, really, really bad idea. Doing so while living on the edge is VERY foolish. What if you get an unexpected medical bill or car repair?

 

You haven't even tried your public school yet. I know families that have done extreme things to pay for private school -- such as taking a second mortgage on their home -- but their kids were older and they parents knew that it was their ONLY option. You are talking about going into debt when your DD might do just fine in public school.
 

Last, you and your husband are not on the same page. This is a big deal, esp when talking about something that will add stress to your lives.

 

BTW, in addition to the expense of private school, most private schools have add-on fees. Ours is less than a some of the schools I checked out, but we have awesome field trips, included week long trips that add a lot to the education -- and expense. There are months that I write another $300 in checks for my 2 kids for school (in addition to tuition). One month a year we both write a tuition check for the current year and the deposit/supply fee for the next year. Some parents with kids in private schools end up with more pressure to spend money on consumer goods/clothing/etc. We don't, but it's out there.


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#8 of 33 Old 05-08-2012, 04:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Some parents with kids in private schools end up with more pressure to spend money on consumer goods/clothing/etc. We don't, but it's out there.

 

Very true. I have a good friend (DD2's best friend from our former private school) who is now struggling with this. They go to a pretty crunchy private school, too, so it can happen anywhere, really— doesn't have to be somewhere "posh".

 

I think the back tuition is a really bad idea. Either you can afford it this year or you can't. What if you both lose your jobs again this year and you have to put your dd in public school, but you still have to pay for the private school she's not even attending? Too many bad scenarios there. Do they not offer any tuition assistance? Most of the private schools around here do. If you've got to spread it out like that I think that's a sign that it just is not financially workable for you  and I think that could really cause some serious resentment on the part of the spouse who wasn't in favor of the idea. Would grandparents be able to help out? I know several families who are able to afford private school because the grands pay for part or all of it. We had savings and we did end up using a lot of it on our kids' private school experience and it was a relief to not have those expenses any more.

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#9 of 33 Old 05-08-2012, 06:16 AM
 
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If you had compelling reasons to think that public school was not going to work for your child, I would say keep the spot.  It doesn't sound like that is the case tho, and you might find that she fits in well and loves the school.  I don't think it is worth the stress on your family, both financially and philosophically without knowing that the public system can't do an adequate job.  Can you give up your spot and get right back in line if you explain that you are still interested in their school but the money isn't working for you right now?  Then if it doesn't work out at public school or you become more stable financially you'll have a head start on the wait list. 

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#10 of 33 Old 05-08-2012, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You have all made such great points. This is exactly why I wanted to post my problem, because I knew I would get articate, well-thought-out responses from parents who understand exactly where I'm coming from! I was feeling so good, I decided to pop by our elementary school to introduce myself and try to schedule a time when I could take a look at the classrom after school and just see what the building was like... maybe even say hi to the teacher. Unfortunately, I was shut down pretty hard when I stopped by. It was so abrupt, it was actually shocking to me, and I ended up leaving the building practically in tears... then it took the rest of my drive to work to calm down. The secretary didn't even smile at me, and just curtly said "this isn't a private school, and we can't help you." It was everything I was afraid of. I thought maybe I was just not giving them a fair chance, but I don't think I've ever felt less welcome :(. I am articulate and very bubbly/friendly, so her response to my visist shocked me completely. Now I'm feeling much less certain about all of this :(


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#11 of 33 Old 05-08-2012, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You have all made such great points. This is exactly why I wanted to post my problem, because I knew I would get articate, well-thought-out responses from parents who understand exactly where I'm coming from! I was feeling so good, I decided to pop by our elementary school to introduce myself and try to schedule a time when I could take a look at the classrom after school and just see what the building was like... maybe even say hi to the teacher. Unfortunately, I was shut down pretty hard when I stopped by. It was so abrupt, it was actually shocking to me, and I ended up leaving the building practically in tears... then it took the rest of my drive to work to calm down. The secretary didn't even smile at me, and just curtly said "this isn't a private school, and we can't help you." It was everything I was afraid of. I thought maybe I was just not giving them a fair chance, but I don't think I've ever felt less welcome :(. I am articulate and very bubbly/friendly, so her response to my visist shocked me completely. Now I'm feeling much less certain about all of this :(

 

edited to add that the exchange went on for several minutes, as I repeatedly tried to be friendly and upbeat, saying I understood that they can't just let anybody come in at any time, but can't I just schedule a few minutes after school one day to take a walk down and see the classroom? I know I can't meet with the teachers but can I just see who they are at some point? She basically said they had an orientation in March and now I am completely out of luck , in an incredibly abrupt and condescending way. I can't afford this private school either, you are so right about that, but something has to happen.


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#12 of 33 Old 05-08-2012, 08:13 AM
 
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This may not help much.  But I went to a lot of schools growing up and my daughter has gone to a few as well.  Office ladies are mean.  I'm sure I will get slammed for saying this, but the majority of the time it seems to be true.  I would call and ask to speak to the principal and explain yourself to her.  And if that doesn't get you anywhere, I would just wait until school starts.  Just because the office lady is rude, doesn't mean that the teacher is not wonderful (the school my daughter goes to has mean and scary office ladies, but her teacher is completely amazing).  Sorry they were rude to you and gave you a hard time.


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#13 of 33 Old 05-08-2012, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for checking back in Cat Lady :) I appreciate your points so much. I guess I just went into this thinkiing that the public school would be less receptive to parents, but I was starting to think maybe I was being too harsh. Whether or not this is just a case of rude office lady, it still put the school in a bad light, whether the teachers are friendly or not. I didn't want my negative opinion to be reinfoced, I was hoping to go in and find it warm and welcoming! I will definitely contact the principal and see where I get, but if they aren't willing to work with me on this tiny little request, I'm defintely concerned about what it will be like to be a parent of a child here. Hopefully I'm wrong. Maybe the principal will be lovely and this won't be an issue. I do not want to be regarded as the enemy, or the intruder.

 

Again everyone, thanks so much for your thoughts and advice, I needed to talk about this "out loud," and having a space to do that is great. There is another public school out of my district that offers tuition-based enrollment. They are super affordable (and friendly) and in a great spot. Maybe I'll head over there and check it out, and get myself on the waiting list at my private school. I'll just try to take my time and think this through more.


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#14 of 33 Old 05-08-2012, 09:24 AM
 
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My dd is in what seems like a very good public school (from the outside). Middle class suburb, dedicated teachers, friendly staff and a good ranking. However, I can find many faults with it.. Couldn't see them before or even when I first enrolled her, but now they are plain obvious. Believe me when I say that you will also find many faults with the private school that you are wanting your daughter to attend. No school is perfect no matter how perfect it seems. Your daughter may not take well to her teacher for that year or she may have a different learning style to what the teacher/school philosophy is (it may be your dream philosophy, but not necessarily that of your daughter). She may also struggle to make good connections with other students. On the other hand, everything may go perfectly well and beyond. My point is: You don't know how this is going to pan out until you dip your feet in.

 

How much are you willing to pay for this 'trial' (i.e. feet dipping)? If you're happy to part with the money based on the fact that this may or may not work out to your and your daughters advantage then I'd say keep the spot. If your happy to only part with the money based on the fact that it will (and has to) definitely work out, then let the spot go. The inevitable disappointment will only make the absence of the money felt a little more. I hope I've made sense..

 

We can all tell you what we would do in a hypothetical situation, but at the very end, only you and your dh will be facing the consequences (both good and bad) of the decision that you've made. If you truly feel that sending her to the private school is the best option, then please don't wait for any of us to nudge you in that direction. That in mind, what would I do in your situation? I'd do the trial run for a year and re-evaluate. If it's everything we dreamed of, then the financial burden would be worth it - both for that year and the subsequent years. IMO, there is nothing more important than a solid education that also serves my child well - whether that is achieved by home, public or private school is not of concern, so long as it is achieved. I also believe that money comes and goes, but opportunities for a solid education don't. I must reiterate that a solid education need not necessarily be expensive, but sooner or later, most people do face the dilemma of 'choosing money versus choosing opportunity' when it comes to their childs education e.g. moving to a more expensive area to be in a better public school district, quitting work to homeschool a child, taking a second job or going without certain things to be able to send a child to private school etc.

 

Good luck with your decision.


 

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#15 of 33 Old 05-08-2012, 10:52 AM
 
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I also vote start with the public. Partly because I see you have another DC. So if you squeak through two years in the private, what are you going to do when you have to add another tuition?

 

Do you know any parents who are currently in K at the public school? They are a great resource as far as how the teachers are, etc.

 

best of luck,

-e
 

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#16 of 33 Old 05-08-2012, 11:04 AM
 
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At this time of year, even the most friendly school is not that welcome to prospective parents who stop in.  I do all of the tours for the school I teach at, and I get dozens of calls a day for people to come in.  We carefully plan our tours/orientations for multiple times of day and spread out over the year to make it easier for parents, but we don't do individual visits for any reason.  And yes, our office staff can be quite abrupt.  Sometimes our principal can be as well.

 

That doesn't mean we aren't a great school with great teachers!  We just don't have the means for individual families to come in, and we can't control the grumpiness of the staff.  :-)

 

I would not in any way base such a huge decision on that interaction. 
 

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#17 of 33 Old 05-08-2012, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Altair, I appreciate your perspective. This is a busy time of year, no doubt! :)  I taught for 3 years in public school (4th grade-this district actually), and the occasional parent would come by with the principal. I'd wave, they'd look in, and we'd be on with our day. It never seemed like a big deal. True, there can be a lot going on with that many students, and I can see that they wouldn't want to do a full out tour, but how can I trust to send my dd to a place where I am not allowed to at least see the inside.. even if I try to work something out? I can understand that everyone is busy, but I'm trying to find an atmosphere where I am valued participant, and dd isn't just a number. It is hard to feel that way when shut out completely like that, and it's hard for it not to affect how I feel about the school. It makes me uncomfortable about handing over my child, because I definitely felt like an outsider there, where at the private school I was welcomed. There have been such great responses, and I am now rethinking my decision to stretch myself too thin, but where I was feeling relieved and excited this morning, the pit has returned in my stomach :( Lol, oooooh why is it so hard to raise children? My cats are easy. I just have to pick what kind of food they eat and change the litter box. I feel like the weight of the world is on me right now!


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#18 of 33 Old 05-08-2012, 05:54 PM
 
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I feel like you're just finding a way to rationalize sending your daughter to the private school. However, I don't think it is a very rational decision. Do you plan to send your son there also? Financially it doesn't seem to make any sense. 


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#19 of 33 Old 05-08-2012, 08:19 PM
 
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It sound like it will be really hard financially to send your DD to the private school.  Spreading the tuition over two years, so that you are paying half the normal amount this year, but one and a half the normal amount next year, sounds risky.  Especially if you have another child who would be at the school soon, too.  I don't know that I would take that on unless I realistically saw finances changing significantly in the short term.  

 

All that said, I grew up with a single mom who didn't make much money, but who found a way for us to go to private schools.  I am really thankful that she did (though more so for high school than elementary school in all fairness).  So, if you think it is something that will greatly impact your children's lives for the better, maybe you could talk to the school about financial aid, work exchange or some other way to make the finances of it all more manageable.  Most private schools do not want to loose, or exclude, students because of finances.  

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#20 of 33 Old 05-08-2012, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, you make an excellent point SimonMom. I am very emotional about this whole thing. It's hard for me, having taught in this district, because I've been inside all 12 of the elementary schools. I wouldn't necessarily pick my zoned school. Actually, there is a much better in-district school 2 miles away from me that would  When I bought my house, I didn't have kids, and I wasn't planning on still being here still. Dh and I had a lot more money. Now I feel trapped in my house. Trapped with the wrong school, and trapped without money. Certainly, lol the way to get out of my money trap would be to make a sound financial decision, which I will likely do. It's just hard, because I feel like I have little choice as it is, and I guess that is what is really frustrating me at the root of all of this!


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#21 of 33 Old 05-09-2012, 04:20 AM
 
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Can you open enroll your daughter in the other public school that you prefer?

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#22 of 33 Old 05-09-2012, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I tried, and they told me I could write a formal request, but it looks like they only honor requests under extreme duress. I did contact the principal of my zoned school, who seems friendly (though all calls are routed through that rude secretary.) She has no problem with meeting with me. The secretary was still nasty when I called at principal's request. Mean people suck... That's all I have to say smile.gif

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#23 of 33 Old 05-09-2012, 09:15 AM
 
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I tried, and they told me I could write a formal request, but it looks like they only honor requests under extreme duress. I did contact the principal of my zoned school, who seems friendly (though all calls are routed through that rude secretary.) She has no problem with meeting with me. The secretary was still nasty when I called at principal's request. Mean people suck... That's all I have to say smile.gif

 

If you can meet with the principal, I would go with the public school. Private school is insanely expensive, and if you're pushing the budget to make it, its really a bad idea. Meet with the principal, see the school, and then take the plunge and sign her up (unless its really horrific).

 

If you aren't constantly worried about money you will be able to volunteer in the classroom more (even if you're working it is easier to find flexibility when you aren't majorly stressed about money), and will be able to take a more active role in her learning at home - with homework, reading to her, etc. The best thing for a childs education is having her parents involved, interested, and willing to help - when parents are crazy stressed its really hard to be those things.

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#24 of 33 Old 05-09-2012, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you have all offered some great advice! Talked to the principal, who was actually quite lovely. That set my mind at ease.I'm glad mean secretary was incorrect, and wish I had just talked to principal first.They are testing now, so I.ll stop in and tour in a week or so. Im going to put dd on next year's waitlist at the private school, take some deep breaths... and take this year as it comes. Thanks for helping me work through this. It helped SO much!!

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#25 of 33 Old 05-09-2012, 11:00 AM
 
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Thanks for your replies and votes so far! really helpful as I mull over this decision. Just a note for clarification, but tuition at this school is 12.500/yr. My plan was to spread that into 24 payments, so this year would be cheap, but next year would jump, because I'd be paying regular tuition on top of "back" tuition, if that makes sense. So this year would be 450/mo and next would be about 1400/mo. When ds starts school in 3 years, it will be 1900/mo

If you have a spread a single year's tuition over two year period you cannot afford the school in no uncertain terms. Give up the spot, try the public school, and hopefully your financial options will improve such that you can make a real choice.

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#26 of 33 Old 05-10-2012, 06:23 AM
 
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 When I bought my house, I didn't have kids, and I wasn't planning on still being here still. Dh and I had a lot more money. Now I feel trapped in my house. Trapped with the wrong school, and trapped without money. Certainly, lol the way to get out of my money trap would be to make a sound financial decision, which I will likely do. It's just hard, because I feel like I have little choice as it is, and I guess that is what is really frustrating me at the root of all of this!

 

 

I would reread this and work on making peace with your current situation.  

 

Hugs, mama.

 

Kathy

 

 

 

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#27 of 33 Old 05-10-2012, 09:55 PM
 
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I'm so glad the principal got things sorted out for you :)  I hope your dc's teacher is wonderful, and that you have a great experience at the school :)

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#28 of 33 Old 05-11-2012, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Aaw thanks Jen, and to everyone who helped me out so much in this discussion. It is wonderful to have a group of objective, thoughtful mamas to get ideas from. It's like going out for coffee with a few hundred of your closest friends to chat thumb.gif

 

I have done some serious soul-searching this week about what's really important to me in life, and what I want for my kids. I am a fiercely independent, thoughtful mom (which is why I'm on MDC, naturally!) and can be idealistic. Parenting completely tears down the idea of "always" and "never" in so many ways, because we really DON'T have complete control, only the right to guide these little ones in our care in the best way we can, and work with the hands we are dealt in life. I STILL value a good, progressive education free from homework and tests, etc, where kids are free to explore, HOWEVER... as several of you so clearly stated... freedom to explore life will be hindered if I am financially stressed to the max and there isn't an extra dime in the budget to do fun thing like travel and explore as a family. It has already caused stress between dh and I, and we hadn't even started paying tuition! Saving $ means we can afford to to tons of extra "field trips." I think I'll just have dd put on the private school's wait list for next year, and we'll savor life a day at a time, which is how it should be. Who knows where we will be next year? I need to just take a breath, because this kindergarten year is going to be here and gone before I can blink! Why stress over it, right!?

 

I also can't say that dd won't adore her public school, and the experiences she will have there. The principal of my zoned school called me the other night, well after her official work hours, because it's her policy to always return a parent's communication within the same day when possible, and we had a long, friendly conversation. She invited me to not only stop by today, but bring dd in so she could meet the teachers and see the classroom. Dd is THRILLED! I drove her by the school to show her, and she seems totally psyched at the idea. All of our neighbors go there, so she will already know kids in her class. There will be a fun bus ride around town for all the kindergarteners to take next week, which dd is very excited about as well.

 

I've also been a little hard on my town. The next town over (with the public school I would have preferred) is filled with doctors, lawyers, etc.. and the school's "extras" reflect that kind of extra cash inflow... while my town is teachers, plumbers, contractors etc. In other words, a solidly middle class small town, with parents who participate and well-kept houses and kids.   I might not have specifically chosen this school, but it is a perfectly nice place, in a friendly, non-pretentious, perfectly nice town. I think my bright and extremely social dd will easily make many friends. Whew! I feel so much better now! om.gif


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#29 of 33 Old 05-21-2012, 05:41 PM
 
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We were recently faced with a similar situation, although our zoned school is not that great so it was ruled out early on.  Our choices were to keep DD in her current private school for kindergarten or go with a new charter school opening in August.  We could have saved money to buy a house faster but we ultimately decided to keep her in her current private school.  There were too many unknowns about the new school.  I asked a couple of challenging  questions at one of the information sessions and the speaker actually said that the school might not be a good fit for my daughter and that's my choice as it's a school of choice but this is how they do things!  The speaker was a vice principal at another school run by the same management company so that speaks volumes. DD's private school will cost us $6080 a year plus before and after school care.  We have elected to pay the tuition quarterly.

 

With that being said, I would never go into debt or stretch out the payments for private education.  It's just not financially wise so I think you've made the correct decision if you end up enrolling your DD in the public school.

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#30 of 33 Old 05-21-2012, 06:22 PM
 
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Where I grew up, it was mostly public or Catholic school. My whole family went to public school and we loved it. Where I live now is very different from where I grew up. There is a lot more crime, poverty, etc. surrounding us (grew up in the suburbs of NYC, now live in the deep south). I thought about private school due to the problems in our community which effect our schools. There really weren't any non faith-based private schools, so looked into magnet and charter schools. Lucked out and got my kids into a magnet school. I feel bad sometimes because it is very challenging and one of my kids has some issues effecting his learning, but we are getting by.

 

I would say to try out public school for now. I understand that you will lose your spot, but if it doesn't work out, there are other options. You can get them back on a list, get a better teacher the next year, put them in a different school, move, pull them out and homeschool them or get a tutor. 

 

The main secretary at my son's school is SO intimidating. I am sure she is a nice woman, but she scares me. I have also had bad experiences with principals at a couple of schools too. Unfortunately, this seems to happen a lot in pubic schools around here. As long as you have a few employees on board and the teacher is nice, you will be fine. I wish they could all be nice....but for some reason, there are always a few that rub me the wrong way. I guess, when you are getting paid so little to do so much, and you have so much red tape, etc, it is hard to be accommodating to everyone.

 

I would try talking to the principal or assistant principal (the asst. principal at my son's school is fabulous!) I wouldn't give up on the public school just yet. I was in tears one year because my son's teacher rubbed me the wrong way the first week of school, and the principal was mean to me too....I was on the phone with the pre-k director complaining about them and trying to get my son placed elsewhere....she calmed me down and explained that the teacher was having some issues in her private life with her health....within a few months I LOVED his teacher. It all worked out fine.

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