Off to School

Joe starts kindergarten in August of this year. My husband and I are joining the hundreds of thousands of parents before us, as we enter the phase of kids in school. And, much to my surprise, I’m concerned about sending Joe to a public school. Never, in my wildest dreams (which consisted of a motorcycle, Sam Elliott and – never mind), did I imagine I would think twice about public schools.

I ain’t never been a real good student. Math be not my best subject, but I think I done speak and write pretty good, on Tuesdays anyway. In all seriousness, school was never my favorite place. And, I rarely performed better than average in school. The one thing I may have excelled at in school was writing notes and falling asleep in class. On super good performance days, I was able to write notes and sleep in class, all at the same time. I was happy to make it to college, and I was happier to make it through college.

I believe my hesitation, rather my straight up aversion, to public school comes, in part, to the current economic situation within this here United States of America. The education system is facing cut after cut after cut. Taking money away from the education system which supports educating the future folks of this country seems counter intuitive to me. Alas, they didn’t ask this ‘C’ average student for my opinion. And, I don’t want to make this a political post.

In addition to the cutbacks taking place within the public school system, I worry about kids these days. Yes, I know, kids are in private schools, too. Moreover, kids in private schools typically (stereotypically) come from affluent families, which may or may not mean more trouble from the kids. Let’s face it, stupidity does not discriminate based on economic status. And, really, I’m taking this to a place I’d rather not take it. Suffice it to say, there are a veritable plethora of reasons why I find myself leaning to private schools – specifically Montessori schools.

As I have researched, I’ve also checked our financial situation. Like many families, enrolling our boys in a private school will lead to our own cutbacks. (Who needs the gov’t for cutbacks?) Rob and I have to sit down and figure out what we are willing to do without, so we are able to do what we feel is best for the boys. Realistically, sacrifices will have to be made. Many sacrifices. I will have to give up – gasp – my ice cream splurges! But wait – there’s more! I’ll have to give up purchasing Yankee Candles! Hmm . . . maybe public schools aren’t so bad.

Once again, all kidding aside, choosing to enroll the boys in a private school will hit our budget hard. But, as I talk with others, I find comfort hearing about how they have made it work. While it is true, we will have to curb our spending, I don’t think it will get to the point where we have to decide whether we pay the electric bill or put food on the table; and, I am thankful for that fact. We’ll see what happens. We register Joe on Thursday for Kindergarten. We want to make sure he is registered, in case he doesn’t get into a private school; his Mom graduated from UGA, and the private school elders may hold that against Joe. (At least she didn’t graduate from University of FL.)

I’m still surprised about how I am playing the role of a parent. I was too busy passing notes and falling asleep in class and having wild dreams about Sam Elliot to think about what I would want for my kids. And, I’ve never been an overachiever. I’m lazy. I like shortcuts. What’s up with me wanting something other than a public school education for my boys? What I know for sure is the fact that I want to invest in our kids’ education, and if the government is pulling funds away from the future generation, then I had better wake up and pay attention. Pardon the drool on my desk. I hate it when that happens.

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