Given the space my brain needs to think about all the other things going on, I am tired of thinking about schools for Levi next year. We applied for one charter school, missed the deadline for MLC, missed the last open house (though not the registration) for Chief Joe, and am ambivalent about applying again for Levi’s current school to next year.
After hearing other stories, reading the Trouble with Boys, and experiencing a play based learning center to one that’s more academic in its orientation — I don’t have a lot of hope that we’ll see dramatic changes in no matter what choice we choose. If Levi’s current school was amazing, I could justify the expense. But, I doubt it will be worse (or better) than the local public school (that’s walking distance with rave reviews). The better risk, it seems, is to go to the public school (with union teachers) and call it good enough.
We’ve now passed the deadline for the current private school. But, we are no nearer a decision. Life has made timing a little muddled, and we’ll have to find alternatives to get the tours we need. The comforting knowledge is that Peter and I are on the same page. He saw some ruffians near the public school the other day. Granted, they were too old to have gone to the grammar school, but it prickled my husband’s feathers. We know the parents at the current school. They are all normal. Some of the parents at the schools we’ve visited … above normal. What if the parents in this gentrified neighborhood aren’t normal?
Me, though, I am done thinking about this. I wanted Levi to go to private Catholic school since before he was born. It’s proved to not be extraordinary. It’s proved to teach some religious ed, incorporate Christian holidays, but still it’s just normal. From what Levi is learning, there is no special learning style or different structure that really differentiates it from a public school.
The only thing I’d trade about my public school upbringing were the other kids. Why? Because when you move around a lot, other kids can be mean. When you don’t fit into the established cliques, life can be hard. But, I loved most of my teachers. They were kind. They were all caring. They all wanted me to succeed. They wanted all of my classmates to succeed. I can’t think of a single teacher who didn’t want to do their job to the best of their abilities. And, the real nice about public schools is that the teachers are unionized. I belive unions have a better chance of making our world a more stable place than without. So, no matter how ineffective they might seem, I think they are a good thing and it’s a good thing to support them. Private school teachers are likely not organized and they usually make less than their public counterparts.
What about homeschooling you might ask. Well, it’s not an option for our family, and not just because I don’t want to do it. But, I don’t want to do it. I don’t have the patience to consider lesson plans or field trips. I love my son, but he needs more diversity than mom.
So, the task for next week is to try to meet with Chief Joe. Maybe take a peek at the classrooms and sit down with a teacher or the principle. I would like to decide before April. Because when April comes, we need to start figuring out what to do over the summer…