Today was supposed to be the day when I sent both of my sweet boys to Preschool for the first time (together). I would drop them off in the carpool line, drive to Starbucks and over to a local school where I would attend an info session about our public school system’s Magnet options (for when Oscar starts kindergarten next year). Of course, plans change when a child springs a fever the night before school. So instead of info-gathering and lattes, we had donuts and watched movies. Not exactly the morning I had planned but now that everyone is on the mend, I am ready to get this party started.
I live in Wake County whose school board’s reputation has its own reputation (and not the good kind). You might have heard of us on the news or online or on The Colbert Report. As it stands, families are assigned to a base school with two calendar options and have the option to apply to up to three Magnet choices. However, the list of Magnet schools has 13 options that you have to narrow down to three. So for those of you who aren’t paying attention or switched over to google “wake county colbert report”, that’s SIXTEEN schools taking up my brain space saying pick me! pick me! And that’s just public school! And then I closed my laptop and reached for another donut.
I knew this day was coming and I knew I would be paralyzed by choice. I was right.
We are getting ready to tour schools and the thought is positively daunting. All of a sudden I have no idea what I want. As a family, we aren’t sure what we NEED. We have to figure it out as we go, just like the rest of you and those who will follow behind us.
I want to give a little background about me. I attended a private Christian school for kindergarten, public school for first and second grades, and I was home schooled from the third grade until I earned my high school diploma at the age of 16. I took the scenic route to getting my BA in International Politics, which I earned in 2005 from NC State. I share this because I have positive memories from every type of schooling I experienced and I think this is why the choice is so hard for me. There is no wrong answer in my mind because at the end of the day, I believe in family and being involved in whatever my children do. And yes, my husband is right in the middle of the process with me but since it’s my blog I am speaking from my own perspective.
At this point, everything is on the table from home school to public school, charters, or even private school if we thought it was best and could make it work financially. We are trying to determine also, what we want the purpose of school to be for our kids. What are our priorities? Test scores? Fun? Sports and electives? Structure? Community? I know we would be able to find each of these things in each of our schooling options. That said, each path is a little (or a LOT) different and we are quite frankly staring up at the directional signs with no direction.
So I am in the information gathering phase. I thought I would come to you (anyone who is reading this) because I would love to know how you came to the school decision for your family.
I know this can be a tough and politically charged topic. But while our world-view will certainly play into the way we make our choices, I strongly believe that God is bigger than the school we choose (or don’t choose). Right now, I don’t care about politics. I just really want to know how this works. How did you choose? Was it hard for you? Did you always know you would have your kids learn in a certain way or did you always think you would do it one way only to change your mind at the last minute? And while I am asking for help, I would love any resources that might help us decide.
So, there you have it. The great school debate. Who wants to chime in?