When we first announced that we were putting our sons in private school, the reactions were mixed.
My neighbor quit giving me the outgrown dress clothes from her boys. She said if we could afford private school then we could afford to buy our own dress clothes.
My friends who work in the local school district were hurt. They felt that I didn’t trust them with my child.
My friends who home school were disappointed. They told me I was taking the easy way out.
My friends who put their kids in public school wanted to know what they didn’t know about.
My family wanted to know how I could afford it.
I told them all the same exact thing. (Except my neighbor, some things don’t deserve a response.)
“We put our children in private school because that’s where God wants them to be.”
For what it’s worth, I don’t believe that there is one perfect choice for all families. I’m certainly not trying to say that every child belongs in private school.
I don’t even think there’s one single perfect choice for any child. In our home, it’s a year-by-year assessment for each child.
We choose to stay at private school for the same reasons we considered it to begin with:
Our private school has a single standardized test each year. It’s an achievement test they take in the spring. Other than making sure the kids know how to bubble in an answer and remember to eat breakfast that week, there isn’t much fuss about the test.
Our school has closed walls and small classes. The local public school is open concept with almost twice as many kids per teacher. My quirky son would struggle in that environment.
Our school is a family. It’s a K-12 school. I love seeing the high school kids helping at field day in the spring. I love that the fifth grade teacher knew my kindergartener by name and knew enough to ask me how he was doing with a specific problem. When she said she’d been praying specifically for my son, I went weak in the knees.
Our school can and does talk about God. When the kids get in a disagreement, it goes way beyond needing to apologize to each other. They have to PRAY for each other. Hearts change. My kids see a consistent approach to discipline between home and school and church. They see consistent (but not identical) values between families. They notice that stuff.
Our school respects family time. They don’t give homework on Wednesday nights to allow kids time to do the mid-week church thing. Homework the other nights is a minimal 10 to 20 minutes.
Our school trusts me. If my kids miss school for illness (or whatever other reason I may choose), I don’t have to provide a doctor’s note. It’s my call. I don’t have to prove that they were sick. I don’t have to prove that they are well. If it was just the occasional day to enjoy the weather, I don’t even have to pretend.
My kids are thriving. They have a solid academic foundation regardless of what the future holds. They have a solid spiritual foundation too. They are happy. They have friends that I’m happy for them to have. They are growing into confident and courageous young men.
Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker writes at ThisHappyMom and has a passion for encouraging weary worn out moms to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination for eggs, socks, and books. She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family. She serves an amazing God. She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder.
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