There are some parenting decisions that many of us think about way before we have children. It is no surprise that one of those is school and what choice you may choose to educate your child. We all have our own experiences and perspectives that may color our future decisions and at times, it can be a tricky thing to decide.
I too have always thought I know what I would do with my future children. For me the choice was easy: I went to a private school so I would send them to a private school. I never factored in the possibility that I would marry a man who was schooled in the public system. I did indeed do so and he opened my eyes to some other scenarios I hadn’t seen. To say I was a little biased and assumed this situation was black/white is putting it mildly. Still, it is hard to ignore the state of our, well, STATE’s education system and know there is much work to be done. And I’ll be honest: we still haven’t made a decision yet. There are many on our plate: charter, public, or private.
What took me by surprise, though, is the need to move my daughter earlier than originally planned from daycare.
It’s no secret that we’re experiencing high levels of inflation and we saw many expenses begin to shoot up. However, one that still shocked me was our daycare center. It was acquired by a bigger daycare company post-pandemic and they did not waste any time increasing our tuition rates, including twice in one year. It gave me pause that I was spending so much on daycare – much more than I paid when she was a newborn.
This made me start considering if I should send her to private pre-k4. (The public school we are zoned for and the charter school in our area does not offer a pre-k4 class. However, if you are in mid-Lafayette, I have heard incredible things about Myrtle Elementary and their prek-4 program!) I started paying more attention to how our daycare’s pre-k4 curriculum was implemented. And while I know they tried their best, at the end of the day, they were a daycare center. So if they were understaffed or workers called in sick, teaching the pre-k4 curriculum was not a priority and instead, they focused on making sure there were enough adults to care for children, as they should.
But it definitely started making the wheels in my head start turning. If I am paying so much money for daycare, and my daughter’s pre-k4 program wouldn’t be a priority, why would I leave her there? Education is very important to me and I believe that setting a foundation is incredibly critical. To me, it just made more sense to send her to a school with accredited teachers with the knowledge that a curriculum would be prioritized.
And actually, it would be cheaper than sending her to daycare!
So we’re making the switch. It feels a little nerve-wracking because change is always hard. I did feel more confident in my decision though when I found out a lot of other parents who have children in my child’s class are doing the exact same thing. What this means for the rest of her school career, I don’t know. We could stay at this private school or switch to the charter or the public we’re zoned for. If anything, this gives us less of a risky way of finding out if private school is right for our family and daughter.
Of course, no matter what you or I pick, at the end of the day, it is the right choice.
Each family’s needs will vary and all that matters is you feel happy and confident with the choice you make.