DW and I have been talking a lot lately about where we will send Monkey to pre-school and eventually elementary school. In terms of pre-school, we have looked a bit at various options in our area and are leaning toward the co-op that is walking distance from our house. Pluses include the closeness to home (duh), the fact that there is another two-mom family sending their older child there (younger child is Monkey’s age and will be there when Monkey is old enough), and the good reputation it has. The biggest drawback is the amount of parental involvement required. We are good with being very involved in our child’s education, but coming up with lesson plans and actually teaching the class? Kind of a scary proposition. Of course, this is pre-school, so it’s not like you have to come up with some complicated plan to address standardized state testing. Still, it’s a bit daunting to think about.
In terms of elementary schools, I know that the local public school where Monkey would go if we choose that route has a good reputation and seems to be a good school. That said, I’m not sure I want him to go to public school – California has no money and I fear what the public school system is like and what it will be like in a few years when Monkey is of age. Problem is that private schools in our area (Los Angeles, CA) are crazy money. I’m talking $15-$25K per year crazy money. I just can’t stomach spending that kind of money on elementary school. Hell, I didn’t spend anywhere near that on my graduate degree at UCLA! It’s unfortunate that you can’t send your kid to a religious school but keep them out of religious classes 🙂 That seems a bit more affordable and I know that I got a good education at the various Catholic schools I attended as a child. DW would never go for it (totally anti-religion) and I’m not really comfortable with it either. Would he learn in school alongside his classmates that God hates the gays? Kinda awkward, no?
I like the Montessori style schools, but those seem to be the super expensive ones in our area. Now, should we move as we’ve discussed, it would be far more doable. This is another plus in the “get out of California” column. Right now, I’m leaning toward the public school option. I figure we plan to be very involved in Monkey’s education and the learning will keep on going at home (museum visits, reading, other educational activies), so does it really matter if he’s not in the elite private school? Guess I’ll know more when we get to that point and actually tour the school and see what we’re talking about.
This part of parenting seems hard and so important! Any of you readers have kids in school? How did you make the decision where to send them? Those that have pre-school aged kids, what are your thoughts? Am I thinking about this way too early? Monkey is 22 months old and we plan for him to start part-time pre-school at age 3…