March 11, 2008

A bit torn

As you may recall (or not, I don't flatter myself that what I wrote about some time ago was so interesting that, however central it may be to my life, you might actually have burned a brain cell to remember it), we applied to private school for the Boy Child for kindergarten. He was waitlisted on an unranked waitlist. We viewed his chances of actually getting in as dim and were waiting for the final confirmation that he would be attending public school along with his sister. We figured that would come shortly. It didn't. I got a call today with the news that despite the odds, he is the only child being admitted off the waitlist. The school had one slot, one single, solitary place open up and they have offered it to the Boy Child.

It is expensive. One year is more than one year of undergraduate university cost me some (*sob*) 18 years ago. One year is one thing but we will be buying twelve years of this. And, of course, our inclination would be to unite the children at the same school so that the Girl Child might go there, too. Her chances of acceptance, by the way, will go way up if she is a sibling of a current student.

The public schools in our town are very good, for sure. Most people, us included, move to this town for the schools. So, are we crazy to be contemplating this?

The college acceptance list for this charming, beautiful little school is un-freaking-real. I was astonished by their reach at the top of the top of the top universities in the country.

I don't know. I am a big believer in independent education. I prefer it, truthfully.

I look forward to the extended conversation my wife and I are going to have tonight, that is for certain. It ought to be interesting. We will have that conversation in the car in the way home from the City after a Scotch Whisky Tasting Dinner. I will endeavor to restrain myself.

Posted by Random Penseur at March 11, 2008 01:20 PM | TrackBack

Good to see you're still writing! I was clearing out some bookmarks the other day and happened upon your blog. I used to read it regularly back when you were still on blogspot. I've been catching up with all your new stuff and will be a regular from here on out. Keep up the good work,

Posted by: Travis at March 11, 2008 07:41 PM

A hard decision, one for which there is no right answer, and yet, comfortingly, no wrong answer either. From this point on, there will always be the road not taken and you will never know what could have been. That is both a blessing and a curse, I've found.
Re the education, we chose private for the early years (strong foundation) and public after that. Both my daughters did exceptionally and took advantage of extra enrichment activities, both through school and in the community. My older daughter applied to and was accepted at all five schools of her choice (including NYU and Vassar, which she attended & graduated with honors). My younger daughter chose a school, applied early decision and received a huge scholarship. She graduates with honors this May. Success stories for sure - however, they BOTH told me that they were not even remotely prepared for college work compared to their private school peers, who breezed through 15 page papers because they had been writing them for years prior.
Now that my girls are in their 20's, I see with the benefit of hindsight that these decisions aren't as momentous as they seem at the time. Your children will learn more from YOU at HOME than anything anywhere else.
And also, I've heard that prestigious colleges are LOOKING for public school graduates to admit, to prevent them from becoming too homogeneous.
You and your wife are thoughtful and wise. You know your children. You will make a good decision.

Posted by: Amy at March 11, 2008 10:45 PM

Amy makes the point I thought of: that your children have learned more from the two of you than they will ever learn in school. And cream always rises to the top, so I believe they will do well no matter where you put them.

I hope you come to a conclusion you feel comfortable with. :-)

Posted by: caltechgirl at March 12, 2008 10:52 AM

Up through and including college, I had one of the best educations in the US money could buy.

If I had gone to public school, I'm sure I would have gone to a much less prestigious college, and would probably have made different choices in profession, but who knows if I would have been happier. With hindsight, I would have liked my dad to be around more, rather than doing what he had to do to pay for everything.

Posted by: owlish at March 12, 2008 01:00 PM

When I was in a public high school in PA, my Mom wanted to send me to the local prep school so I would be "better educated". Interestingly enough, several of my friends transferred from the prep school to my high school because we had more to offer. I went to an excellent liberal arts college and was just as well prepared as my private school friends.

Also, if GC and BC are there, what about the wee one? Will he attend as well?

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