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27 June 2012

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grace in chattanooga

As a public school teacher and as someone who went to both myself (two good public, two good private, two nasty nasty private) and as a mom who has fought with many a teacher, I honestly don't know what to tell you. It really depends on how good the public school near you is. Elementary is not terribly different, I think, between public and private. It's the middle and high school where it starts really making a difference. So maybe save up your money for the middle and high years? I don't know, I'm an idiot sometimes and should never give advice! :-) You're a GREAT mom and you will make a wise, thoughtful, loving decision. No doubt about that!

Becki

You are not hovering - this is a huge deal.

My husband and I go back and forth whether or not all the $$$ was worth it for her private Lutheran school education considering the personal values trouble she went through upon entering college. (She went to private school through middle school but was accepted to a GREAT public school for high school)

Bottom line - for the faith based part of it alone we are GLAD. It gave her a faith foundation that she doesnt always choose to adhere to but she is very well aware of its precepts.

And she has said that it gave her God to cling to when she realized what a cess pool mess she had gotten into.


And while some would say that the Christian upbringing is OUR job (yes yes) considering all of our hypocresies (sic) and those she was always SO QUICK TO POINT OUT, it gave her another avenue to God, other than her weak, screamy, fault filled parents.

And middle school is HELL and at least within her private school all the participants (students, teachers, clergy, parents) were known quantities.

So I vote yes on private school UNTIL high school. Plus the after school and summer options were better.

And a definite yes for your daughter Celia's need perhaps for a familiar cocoon. They both don't have to go to the same school.

Yeah, yeah - commuter hell for you guys.

BUT YOU ASKED!!!

Lisa

My oldest is special needs; he goes to the excellent public school down the street, for the simple reason that the state is mandated to provide him with the tools he needs to learn, unlike a private school (it can still be a fight, but its easier to force them to provide the educational tools than a private school, which if you have problems, can ask your kid to leave no problem). My second child has life-threatening allergies, and the excellent public school does not give a shit about providing him an allergy-free environment, so he is going to a unbelievably expensive private school that does. I would have sent my oldest to this particular school had we been living here longer (just moved here), but at this point he has had so many adjustment issues I am not pulling him out of where he is for such a short time (the private school only goes to third grade, and he starts second this fall.) My third child is as-yet undiagnosed, but I believe she has the same problems as her oldest brother, and she will also go to the private school for preschool; we'll see how she's doing when its time for kindergarten.

I think if the private school is not providing the educational tools you believe necessary, then its a lot easier to lawyer up on a public school. Cheaper too. (Says the woman who believes she will be lawyering up in the next year or two.)

Ninabi

My husband was military so our kids were dragged all over creation and enrolled in many different schools so I'll toss in my two cents here.

If a child is stressed and anxious, coping with a new school, new rules, strange kids can make it worse. My son needed a place where he knew the rules and the teachers and even more importantly, they cared about him. When he was in elementary and could not cope with the cafeteria chaos, one teacher said he could come in her room, eat with her and then do chores like cleaning desks. He grew to trust that teacher and slowly, over time, was able to control himself and make friends. His last year in Florida was the most normal year he ever had. The teachers, the principal, the counselor and me- we kept in constant contact with the goal being growth, not punishment.

Orders came, we moved. It went downhill from there. I wish for my son's sake we could have stayed put. New school didn't know him, didn't care all that much.

No place is perfect- your local elementary could be amazing. My question is- have either of your daughters asked to go to another school? My daughter was unhappy with a local public school (low academic expectations) and I pulled her to homeschool. Another program within the district had a space open up- so we went over and I let her spend time there and make a decision. She liked what she saw and off she went, back to school, one where she made a lot of friends and learned so much. Has Celia ever asked about visiting the public school, just to see what it is like?

TUWABVB

If it helps, my parents transferred me from private Catholic school to public school in the 7th grade (right before everyone entered a new school - the junior high). Our public schools offered much more than the private school ever could, and I never looked back. I ended up going to a Catholic college (it was strongly suggested) and we kept in touch with all the families we knew and grew to love through the church. Nothing much changed and I was incredibly happy. If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to help - just shoot me an email. I remember all the details since I wasn't too young, but it might still be applicable to your girls. Either way, I'm sure they'll do wonderfully.

Debby Pucci

I'm really sorry you have to deal with comments from people who really don't know. This is your place to voice your feelings, opinions and thoughts. Should they really be criticized by others?
I feel when I visit someone I am here to be their friend and listen. Okay as far as the schools go I don't have an answer for you. I always sent my children to public schools. I could never understand paying high fees. I always felt my children had good educations but maybe we were just lucky with the schools they were in. If your not feeling your getting what you wanted for your money then maybe you should switch. Have you asked the girls how they feel? I know it's not their decision, I was just wondering. ((HUGS))

Julie

I have taught at both public and private schools. My stepchildren all attended the small Lutheran school where I taught. I would be more than happy to give you my perspective public vs. private if you would like it.

Michelle Pixie

I am a total hovering parent and I love that I am in such good company! I so need that handbook!!

M&Co.

I guess I need your cell number to chime in on this subject.

sizzle

I grew up going to Catholic school - kindergarten to 8th grade. Then I had to attend public high school and I freaked out. Everyone I knew for 8 years was at a different school. I suddenly had to wear outfits not a school uniform. It was overwhelming. Luckily my mom got a job a private Catholic high school so I could attend for free. I don't think I would be who I am today without that. I was very shy and not this powerhouse of gregariousness you see before you now. ;-)

All this is to say, taking the girls out now at a young age will likely have much less negative impact. If the reasons for sending them to the private school no longer ring true and they are excited to try a new school, why not do it? They will always have home and you and Rich as that constant and that comfort.

Issa

I went to private all the way through. However, I lived in West Los Angeles and the public schools were a joke. I had signed my oldest up for private kindergarten there, but then we moved to Colorado. I live in a county where the public schools are pretty dam good. Not perfect per se, but good. However...my oldest is hard. She has a high IQ, ADHD and is about four years ahead in most subjects without even trying. Because of that, I found a choice school. Or what most people call a charter school. It's still public, but it's small and is a K-12 program. It's more Montessori-ish. Then again, I love their elementary and HS Program and HATE with a passion their middle school program. Shrug

So...um, I'm not helpful. I think if it's a good public and all your reasons for private aren't being met, then it's probably a good move. You can always try it for one year and if not thrilled, go the other private school route.

Bev

You know, if the decision is bad, you can go back. Maybe it will be a better move for one child more than the other. We moved our son from public to private when he was a freshman. After a week, he convinced us we had ruined his life, so we let him go back to the public high school after 4 days, he decided that the private school was the right fit and went back. It was a few weeks of indecision that will be fairly meaningless for the rest of his life. It's always harder to be the mother.

TO

I think that if you are going to move them, now is the time. Don't wait until they are older, because by then they will have even stronger bonds with friends and the school and etc. I only ever gone to public school, so I really can't offer a comparison. But I think the move would be good simply for the fact for the problems your oldest has with the kids at the private school. Not to say she won't have problems at the public school, but I think a new start could be what she needs right now before her self esteem really takes a beating. And it is a plus if they are ready, willing and excited to start a new school. If that is how they feel, sounds like to me that they are not really attached to their school.

M

I visit your blog and Amalah because you both say it like it is- ie: No rainbows and unicorns...and sometimes I agree and sometimes I don't but I like that you both are funny and I am jealous that I can't put out there what I want to say...just like that. When I come to a blog that disgusts me I don't go back....DUH! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out....and why leave a mean comment? Isn't there enough mean in the world? And do people think a comment is going to change you to their liking? Enough said.

Schools. I teach at a public school. My kids went to public schools. They survived the good and the bad and all 3 are in or made it through college. I put 1000% into teaching and helping my students and there are many teachers out there like me and then there are some just surviving. But that is trun anywhere.

Good luck with your decision.

Brenda

I don't think we can comment on YOUR private school or YOUR public school. My kids (in Canada) go to our local public school. Hubby and I picked our home based on being in the neighbourhood for this fantastic public school and the public high school too.

But only you are in a position to know what's best for Celia and Moira. I'm sure you'll make the right decision. You'll either spend hours, weighing pro's and con's, getting a stress headache, and researching the issue.....or you'll compete with me for Mom of the Year and flip a coin!!!! It's how I make all the important decisions.

Keep smiling, Shana!!!!!!!

Tina

I think if you're going to make a move, do it now while they're younger. The earlier, the better. You can always re-enroll them at the private school if the public school doesn't work out the way you want, right? Obviously that wouldn't be ideal, but it's not like there's no going back. We were not in the same situation (we moved across the country), but I'm so happy that my daughter wasn't any older when she had to change schools. She loved her other school & her teachers & was devastated when we moved...but now loves her school & has a million friends & is kicking ass & taking names. I don't think it would have been quite as easy if we had waited...

And, as always, trust your gut. If something isn't completely right where they are, then change it. (Not EXACTLY that easy, I know, but you get the gist of what I'm trying to say.)

And this post earned you another margarator night on my back porch. Just sayin'.

a

People are crazy. Isn't it fun how they feel qualified to run the lives of other people?

I went to public grade school (no middle school) and Catholic high school. It was the right fit for our educational environment. If the girls aren't afraid of the change, I'd say go for it - you can always switch back. And if there have been some problems, it might be good to cut those off right now. 5th and 6th grade, I remember being OK, but 7th and 8th grade girls are sweet-smelling, thinly-disguised evil incarnate. And the boys aren't much better. You have friends from the old school - well, if they're really friends, you'll still see them even if you're not at the school. Also, new friends are always good - and they probably have interesting new perspectives. Good luck with your decision. (Hey look! There's me trying to run your life! But you asked...)

Autumn

Though my girl is no of school age yet, I was just talking to a client yesterday about this issue. He took his children out of private at the pressur of his boss who is on the board of the public school and totally regrets it. He misses is terribly. The community, the small class sizes, the protection. Everything!

Tracy

I love your honesty and am frankly jealous of your courage to vent and voice your opinions online. I have had a few blogs but because of meddling exes, a husband that doesn't approve and my general ability to not be able to tell a story about my life without being completely and totally honest, I have been shut down. You are real and often say things that I am thinking. You are brave and an awesome Mom. I want to have drinks with you and give you a high five. Keep doing what you are doing....please. Ignore the idiots.

As for the private/public school thing.... I went to public schools and turned out okay. I have always advocated for public school. Right now I am living in a city where I wish I had more options for my kids, but I know in the end they will be okay. I think you need to go with your gut.

xoxo

Holly

I say save your money for college and go public. There will be good and bad there too of course, but kids are so resilient and adaptable that your girls will be fine. I've only ever been to public school, and am getting ready to send my oldest to college, and it is crazy expensive. In all the college exploration work I have done, I have read one common theme over and over, and I think it applies to elementary school choice as well. And that thing is that it's hard to say there are "good" schools and "bad" schools. There are certainly "famous" schools. But what really matters is what the kid does at the school they attend. Taking advantage of getting extra help if they need it, trying a club or new activity for personal growth, etc. I don't know if my ramblings even make sense. And I'm sorry people give you rude feedback. They need to get a life.

Kristin

Let's meet for drinks - you are going to crack up. I JUST pulled my boys out of Catholic school - here in Yukon - and my reasons? Very very similar to yours. Pluses and minuses and how we are preparing for the transfer and how awful I feel and yada yada yada.

Did your 3rd grader learn her multiplication tables? Mine did not. Did yours do Mad Minutes in math? Mine did not. Did your 3rd grader spend the whole year in group punishment or as They like to call it "peer influence - sink or swim together" mode? Oh yes, mine did and it's a load of crap.

Seriously. Chilis. Margaritas and chips. High fives over the Crazy that is school these days.

Cristin

I don't have anything to add to the public vs. private thing but I missed your last post and wanted to comment. I must've found your blog from the Sphor's. I was so glad to find a blog that wasn't fake and twee! and full of anthropologie and homemade gluten free spinach quinoa smoothies!! I'd like to believe you're someone I'd hang out with and watch Dance Moms and take tequila shots with. I think you posted a link to Death Cab For Cutie's "Soul Meets Body" and I love that song. Also, you have big ass lips like I do and wear white shirts from Kohl's.
Ok, one more thing, I went to public school k-6 and loved it and then catholic school through high school-also loved it. So who knows. Trust your gut.
AND: I'm engaged to a Myers, so maybe we'll be long lost cousins. In law.

Kim

If your girls are eager to try somewhere new (and it is a good school), and there is no overwhelming reason to stay at the private school, it would seem an easy decision to make. Let them try the public school. There is no hard, fast rule saying that you HAVE to stick with it if it is not working.

Both of my girls are/will be in public schools. The public schools they are/will be attending are all very good schools and I have no hesitation about the quality of the education. For me, if I ever feel something is not right though, I would also have no hesitation about moving them elsewhere.

Good luck with your decision!

Alice

For what it's worth, I went to catholic school for K through 1st and my parents pulled me out because the curriculum was lame-o and the the principal used to beat the tar out of the kids - this is 1982 or so. I went to the local public school, tested into the mentally gifted program and played in the orchestra (options that were actually available at the public school, but not the catholic)and then back to a catholic all girls high school. Also, when I transitioned to public school, so did my sister Rachael, who was in 4th grade. I say go for it! We had a blast. Also, the public school was simply far more diverse and accepting. There were plenty of students with special needs, varying income levels, different religions, cultural backgrounds, etc which just instills more tolerance when that's your day-to-day.

billie

When we moved to Albuquerque (I'm your potential wine-sharing neighbor, if you'll just move here) from Fairfax County Virginia, we were told to not even consider putting our daughter in the public schools here. They were thought to be very inferior, especially in comparison to VA, one of the best public school systems in the country.
We enrolled her in a Catholic school until mid-school. When we transferred her to our neighborhood public school, we were shocked to find her VERY behind in all subjects, even though she'd received great grades in Catholic school. She completed school in APS, went on to U of Washington and now works at a National Lab. Our younger daughter went all the way through public schools, with the same end results. Good parents like you will always assist their children and guide them in all important aspects of their life. You won't rely solely on their schools. They will be fine, and just think of the $$ that can be put into their college fund that would go to pay their elementary school tuition! BTW, that house down the street from me is still on the market!

Keary Naughton

my son who is going to be 22 next week went to Catholic School for K and 1st grade, when my daughter was ready for pre k she was going to the local public school for it. We decided to put my son at the same school. It was the best decision we ever made. Follow your heart....

Jewl

I would go with the old addage of you will never know unless you try. We love our public school right across the street, but I think the teacher is more important than the school. Good luck! (the nail polish and flip flops get my vote for sure!)

JMH

As a public school teacher, I think that the public schools *usually* can offer more.....services, extra curricular choices, art, music etc. However, that is all based on geography! I would try it for a year and then re-visit the topic next summer. Plus, look at all of the $$ you will save this year!

Mary McAninch

Here is my two cents. Do it. If the public school doesn't work for one or both of the girls, send them back to the catholic school the following year or even over xmas break. What the hell. Give it a try! If they are willing and excited, you have half the battle won!

Mary McAninch

P.S.
I read your blog because the few times I have hung out with you I liked you very much. It broke my heart when Thalon died and I felt so terrible for you. I knew you weren't the girl that would tell a mere acquaintance what you were feeling, but I felt somehow that I needed to keep tabs on you and make sure you were still hanging in there. Your blog did that, so I guess I have very selfish reasons for reading it, even when you mourn out loud and rail at the universe. And I keep reading it because I see that you are morphing again, changing somehow, maybe finding some comfort in your new skin. That is great to see and makes me feel good. There, more selfish me. Its all about me, Shana! LOL

Betsey

I'm a public school teacher and I thought about private for my two boys but opted to save the money and go public. I've been extrememly satisfied while I admit my boys go to a magnet dual language school so it's a built in academic challenge. I would love to go private for high school though if I had the funds. I will say bottom line you have to do what works best for you but I will add that in elementary it really comes down to the parents supporting their kids and letting them know their education is a priority...reading every night, checking the homework, etc. Best of luck in whatever choice you make for you and your girls.

Jule

I've lurked forever, never commented. My kids went to private schools for years - one just made the switch to public in 10th grade, another in 9th and they have loved it. Granted, my kids are older, but personally I have found the administration and faculty in our public high school far more responsive than I ever did in private. I encountered a "if you don't like how we do it, take your dollars, and your kids, elsewhere" kind of attitude. My kids love going to school with neighborhood kids. Also our experience has been that true friends will stay friends regardless of whether you see them every school day or not. Hands down one of the best decisions we've made, though I too had a tough time making that leap. Best of luck to you.

Jennifer

There is no perfect answer. :( We moved to this state and town specifically for the on paper "wonderful education". While it all hasn't been bad, I have had some MAJOR issues with many things. It comes down to specific teachers, policies, and also kids in the classroom. I can't put my girls into private school without going back to work, so we've done public school. For my oldest child, it has been really good. For my youngest (same schools, different teachers), sometimes a nightmare. I've had to homeschool her (worst scenario possible for us) to catcth her up on really bad years. I don't know-continue to be involved heavily if you do public schools-be the room mom, volunteer, etc. Keep your eyes on things, particularly with your oldest. (I have one with some social immaturity as well). It shouldn't be that way, but my experience is that a helpful parent "in the know", usually gets to see how things are going, gets to be part of stuff, etc. Good luck-and I can't believe anyone would think that you should be over your grief by now. WTF.

Alison

We are pulling both of our kids out of Catholic school and putting them into Public school in the fall. I am a former Catholic school teacher and I know what goes on within the halls of Catholic schools. We are making the change for a variety of reasons, the most important is that the Catholic schools cannot give my children what they need....the public schools can and will.

Catholic schools are great for the average kid who wants to get pushed a bit extra to succeed and also get some regular Theology thrown in. But when you have the kid who is special in any way whatsoever, whether classified or not, or just in need of something more, Catholic schools cannot do them the justice that they deserve. As for the Theology part, if that's important to you, I want my kids learning about our faith in a way that is honest and open and that invites discussion and questions- I do not believe that they'll get that at their Catholic school.

This was not an easy decision for us. Catholic school has been in my blood- hell, I worked in one for 9 years! But for us we had to do what was best for our kids and trust in that decision. I think it's awesome that the girls are part of the decision and that you've really given them a voice in all of it!

Stacey

I vote HOMESCHOOL!

Jackie

This is from a parent that had a son who went to public school k- the first 9 weeks of his freshman year of high school. We pulled him and put him in Fort Worth Christan. I held off putting him in the private school because Keller School Distric is know for their "amazing" school system. He was in several AP classes and was in gifted and talented. In the public school system he was making straight A's without cracking a book. We transfered him to the private school in regular courses and he had to study for the first time in his life. It really prepared him for college. I can see putting your kids in public school at the school age level and then putting them back in the high school level. either way you go I know you will push them to excell in thier school work.


I was under the miss guided impression that since it was a Christian school the kids would be kinder and be more Christ like......... ummmmmm not so much. They are still kids. There are still clicks and if you are the out cast there are not near as many groups you can go to if your grade only has 75 kids at the max and more then likely less then that.

I know you will do what is best for your babies with whatever school you put them in. It is a freaking hard choice. Best wishes on your choice!

Jackie

Kenna

I think ANY school has its pros and cons. I struggle with #2 and what to do with her. Up until this past year I have cursed the public school system - they simply didn't do ANYTHING with her. She was in a different program this year that was much better suited to her needs, but it's still not perfect. Would private school be any better? Maybe, maybe not. I've also considered homeschooling for her so she could move at her own pace. I think she and Miss C are going to get along like 2 peas on a pod...

The other two are both in public and it's been perfect for them. Mind you, both of them are the kind of kid who will do fine no matter what the situation, so??

The thing about public school is you can always pull them out and put them back in private if you're not happy!!

R B

I just wanted to say a word on your older daughter's "social immaturity". She likely isn't immature at all, but acting her age in a world where so many parents push their kids to grow up way too fast. Embrace her childishness, for all too soon, even the little Peter Pan's of the world grow up. I often thought my oldest daughter was socially immature, and she was, compared to other people's kids. But she was a delightful girl to raise, never gave me any of the problems that the "cool kids" gave their parents, starting in middle school. Kids could be so mean, but we were blessed with a move that put us in an area with a great group of like minded kids and they are truly friends, without all the drama the "cool kids" have. My little Peter Pan is 18 now and she DID grow up. I find myself longing for her childhood back again, recalling the 13 yr old that still wanted dolls as gifts and was never ashamed to be seen playing with me in the pool and would call my name with excitement, waving to me after school, when all the other kids were trying to pretend their parents didn't exist. Those type of kids are the best, and I instantly love every one that I see that is deemed "immature", as they inevitably remind me of my baby:)

eva

Oh my gosh how glad I am when you casually mention Celia's anxiety and social immaturity. That is my firstborn, Megan, to a tee, and she's just going into kindergarten. I know we're in for a tough haul on many levels and it's so good to know that you are out there in Oklacyberspace going through this stuff to the point where you can casually mention it and not justify/explain/whatever. I have to get to that point (without putting a Label on her if possible) and not be embarrassed. It is so tough having kids, the older they get. Anyway this post was about Catholic/private/public and FWIW my kids are going to public school but since we're in Canada they'll be in the French Immersion program because I want them to be more bilingual than I am, becuase the school has before and after care on site (for extra $$$ of course) and because it's sort of a publicly funded way to get a private-school-parent-no-extreme-special-needs-or ESL education 'round these parts. We're not Catholic, but I would do private school if we hadn't gotten into French Immersion (it is a lottery).

Karen

I was an elementary school teacher for 12 years. The only private school I would send my child to is one that pays the same or higher salary/benefits as the public school. That is very few private schools. I can't afford them. Like someone else mentioned, you can always go back to the private school. For the most part I think a good public school is a better option than most private schools. Do it now while they are young!

Sheila

I can so relate. I do the private vs. public dance every year, problem is, mine are going into 11th and 8th grades, and have always gone to private school :/
For us, tuition is a killer, but every year I decide I'd rather keep paying the $$$ over switching to public. In California, public teachers "teach to the test" because so much rides on improving their school scores for state funding. Our state government is pretty screwed!
I wish you the best in your decision making process, from one helicopter mom to another :)

Beth

Public. Make the private school payments into a money market account as if you were still paying for school. Stay as involved as you are. Just my opinion. As for the first part of your post?? I never could understand why people keep coming back to a blog of someone who they just want to tear down. Unless it's because they are so pathetic they need to do that to build themselves up. Keep being you. That is all.

elz

Our girls attended to same private Montessori for 4 years (from 2-6 and 3-7). We moved them both to our neighborhood public school and it was the best move for us. There were a number of reasons for the move. But, ultimately, we have been pleased. There are things I wish we could have taken to the new public school. The girls didn't know a single person in the new school, but both made friends easily; that was a major concern of mine. If you aren't getting benefits from the private school and the public school is good, move them.

Shelly Donald

I don't know a hell of a lot, but I do know I was happy to meet you in OKC last year! I can't give you advice and would never try, but I can offer you a cocktail (or three) and an evening of laughs. Hope to see you in person again...always a room or two available at my house.

Joan

I say if your oldest child is having a hard time with her current situation in private school, move her to public. If the little one wants to go too, so much the better--way easier to have them together. My husband and I grew up in private (Catholic) schools and have been sending our children --8th, 6th, 4th--to public school. Public school has worked great for the older two, but it turns out that the group of kids in grade with my youngest is just not a great fit for him, particularly the boys (youngest is a boy). We are moving him alone to private school next year for 5th grade, just because of the way the kid group is at his public school and a couple of not great teachers over the past couple of years. I still think that the public school is very good.

The funny thing is that I am having a ton of angst about taking my kid out of the public, diverse, free school, much as you seem to be having about taking your child out of private. Change is scary. However, this is not a "no turning back" decision and so I have decided to try something new with my youngest while he's still at an age to change schools without throwing too much of a fit.

For what its worth!

Susannah

We started our daughter in public school in kindergarten and switched her to Catholic school after three weeks. I think she may be similar to Celia: social immaturity and anxiety. Our daughter is also diagnosed with ADD and Sensory Integration Dysfunciton with poor auditoy processing. The public school, which offered the speech therapy our daughter needed told us kindergarten was too young to start in therapy (we went to a private therapist.) The first day of kindergarten, the teacher told us she didn't belong in kindergarten and we should go back to preschool; THE FIRST DAY! She made our daughter sit in the closet. After our dog died (our daughter was devastated) the teached thought a good sharing question would be "What kind of pet do you have?" I think the switch to Catholic school was good through grade 5 as our daughter felt safe there, but in hindsight, the middle school program at our Catholic School was lacking, expecially in math, and we didn't catch it until our daughter graduated 8th grade this spring and took the high school placement test. (In our defense, she had been getting A's and B's in all of her classes, so we thought everything was fine.) She is going to a Catholic High School in Fall that has an excellent reputation, but she is taking a summer class in Algebra. After talking with some other parents, it seems a number of kids are having to catch-up or re-take Algebra next year. Our son is going into the 5th grade, and we are spending the next few months exploring other options for middle school, even though he doesn't have the challenges our daughter does. I don't know how it is at your school, but the middle school teachers at our school seem to think they are the "cool kids" on staff and can set their own rules and mess with the lives and futures of their students. We have a new principal that will hopefully set them straight. Whatever decision you make, it will be with your daughters' best interests at heart, so you can't go wrong. If public school isn't a good fit, you can always transfer back to private.

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