Thursday, January 17, 2008

Decisions, decisions, decisions....

One of the reasons we moved to Wake County, North Carolina was because of the school system. The quality of teachers, the size of the classrooms, the availability of technology in the schools was stuff we had read about and liked. We also liked the choices that were available to us - year round schools, magnet schools, private schools, charter schools.

But it's those choices that are driving me insane.

If we go the regular route, she will attend the local elementary school which is a year round school. She will start some time in July, depending on what track we want. (Basically, the kids go 9 weeks on, 3 weeks off) There are four tracks. The choices start here. What the hell track do we pick? We have heard bad things about some of the teachers on track 3 in first grade, track 4 in second grade. I heard the track 3 kindergarten teachers are great, but are they going to stay in track 3? And do we pick a track based on what her friends are doing? Or do we pick a track based on when we want to take a vacation in the fall?

And tonight, I am going to a magnet school fair. Ray went to one last week, and was incredibly impressed with one of the magnet schools. It is based on Stephen Covey's seven habits of highly effective people. The curriculum and such is based on that, and they work their lesson plans differently. The school and it's curriculum sound great, but we would have to provide transportation to the school (which is really no big deal), but then she will be going to a different school than all her friends in the neighborhood.

This is stressful. And this is just kindergarten. I know whatever decision we make, we will make it work and Ashley will adapt and be fine. And I know if she does get into the magnet school (it's a lottery to get in) if that is the way to go, that her friends on the street will still be her friends.

Have I confused you yet?

20 comments:

deam said...

Not confused at all, but yikes on all these decisions for our little ones! It stresses me out a little bit. One of the great things about being in a neighborhood is having friends and having the support system for drop-off and pick-up and buses if you NEED them.

But then there is the need to have the opportunities aviable to our kids.

See, I have 2 years yet and these are the same things that keep me up!

It is nice to hear about it from other mother's and know it is the "same" everywhere.

Heather said...

I totally hear you. I am considering moving my son to an excellent charter school that is closer to our house. It's a lottery system though...and my daughter starts kindergarten in August, so they would both be going there. My son is not thrilled about having to change schools, but I am not thrilled with some of the teachers at his current school. I'm going to put there names in the lottery and see what happens. If they get in, then I'll decide ;-).

frannie said...

I feel your pain! we just went through a bunch of choices for pre-school... and I still feel like we made the wrong choice.

but I'm not prepared to spend 10 grand a year for my 1 year old to go to preschool. which is what it would take for the "right" choice.

Happy Working Mom said...

Wow, very tough decisions. Obviously you know that no matter what decision you make she'll be fine and thrive and enjoy herself.

I do know from the girls in our neighborhood that going to school with the other kids is important. We have a school in our neighborhood, and when I talked about the possibility of my daughter not going there due to sitter issues, the 7 and 9 year-old neighbors of ours immediately said "but it's so much better to see so-and-so in school and when you play outside."

Just a thought from some girls actually in school.

Laura said...

It is crazy all the decisions we must make. GOOD LUCK in whatever you decide! No one school or track will be perfect...We finally decided on our son's school and thoughit is not the best of the best, we are VERY happy.

Cheers!

Julie said...

Wait, so what happens in the year round program when she's off for 3 weeks - where does she go?

Me? If I knew her neighborhood friends will always be her friends, I would go with the track that makes the most sense for your family and lifestyle. She will be meeting tons of new friends regardless of the track. Just with Abby's first year in elementary school she is great friends with all new kids. She went into her class knowing nobody. All the neighborhood kids are in the same school - just spread out thru different classes but they still see each other during the day.

CPA Mom said...

I know we've got a lot of those decisions to make too - starting in H.S. - lots of magnet school, IB programs, etc. I can't keep track. It's hard.

p.s. Happy early Birthday to Audrey if I forget tomorrow!

Edie said...

Ugh... these decisions are driving me crazy too... I'm so turned around.... and confused...

Misty said...

it's amazing to me how stressful school is... These choices, and which ones are best for our children and our family.... MUCH harder than they seem they ought to be.

Pam said...

OMG!! I'm stressed trying to figure out what to do with Ashlyn when she starts school - she will need a new sitter because of transportation/location. And I still have a whole year + some....I have no idea about how you will make your decisions- too much stress! One thing I will say- as far as teachers go - you get some good, you get some okay ones along the way....I'm not sure you can prevent that. No matter what you pick, you take a chance with the teacher you get. Not that that helps you decide at all! Good luck!

That Chick Over There said...

Lord have mercy!

For what it's worth, the magnet schools here are just amazing.

SJ said...

Wow. You do have some decisions to make! I can relate to the pressure, that's for sure.

Keven Jr. will start public school this fall - I think August. And luckily Keven and I are quite happy with the school. So we'll see.

Hang in there! And go with your gut. Always go with your gut!

Lil Mouse said...

schools based around.. wha? as long as your kid gets a decent pre-high school education, i would say dont worry about it. its high school you need to start worrying about, that sets up for college.

Wendy said...

We really have only public school unless we want to pay money that we just can't afford right now. Luckily we LOVE our school. Good luck with making your choice.

Kelly M said...

WOw..sounds like you've got a lot of decisions to make. I've got no experience in picking schools or anything like that...sorry I'm absolutely no help

Beccy said...

I don't really understand the different types of schools but it must be great to have a choice. where we live there are lots of different schools. For example there are five girls a similar age to Mollie in the 25 houses on my road, they all go to different schools but are all good friends outside of school.

I'm sure whichever school you end up choosing will be great but it does sound like there is a lot to consider...good luck.

Happy birthday Audrey.

Sabrina said...

Read my blog. Can you just tell me what to do?

Rachel said...

It can be hard to decide on a school for your child. Keep in mind that that just because some one else didn't like a certain teacher does not mean that Ashley won't or that you won't. Also, remember that you can ALWAYS change your mind.

Lost A Sock said...

I'm having a very similar struggle right now. It's so hard to know what to do.

That magnet school you mentioned sounds STELLAR. I attended a different school from almost all of the kids on my street, and maintained friendships in both places, if that helps.

my4kids said...

Not confusing. Our kids are older but I have decisions to make for next year. This year I did what I did because we didn't have much time to make decisions and didn't know I really had them. I know what Izzak and Maddie are doing but will I keep Kenzie home or send her to school. Joshua I know I can't home school but do I send him to the regular school where he has friends and is involved or to the really good charter school that would totally be great for him because of how they teach and he has one friend. I suppose I should post about this but you got me started.
I totally know what your going through.
And kindergarten is hard enough to put them in as it is.