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The Detail Blog

Going Publicly Private

You know those things that you used to giggle at, BEFORE you had kids, that you thought were SO ridiculous? Such as organic gummies, scheduled playdates, and waiting lists for private schools? Turns out that I turned into what I once thought was utterly ridiculous.  Elle is going to private school in the fall.

One thing I was always certain of was that my kids would go to public school.  I did, and I accredit it for my success in dealing with life situations and people.  I attended one of the poorest school districts in my hometown.  I could have gone to any school my mother wanted, she was by no means struggling financially, but that was because she worked, and she worked a lot.  My grandmother took care of me after school, and she lived (lives) in the hood (no other way to put it! SHOUT OUT 1ST STREET). My grandmother doesn’t drive, and never did, so the school I went to had to be within walking distance, because my grandpa still worked in those days.  So, there I go, to District One, not speaking a lick of English, and you know what? I thrived!  I learned English within weeks and received Straight A’s all through elementary. I got every award and honor roll out there, and it wasn’t until Jr. High that I got something other than an A (but that’s a different story). With all of this, and where I am today, I just knew I wanted my kids to experience public school and people from all walks of life. I wanted this so that one day they might understand how extremely fortunate they are, and be a person worthy of that fortune, and use it to help others.  This was my mission, and I thought I was sure of what I wanted.

Fast forward to Elle. As parents, we know our kids better than anyone else.  I’m going to say what you’re not supposed to say,  “Elle is lazy and easily distracted.” She’s a smart girl, but needs to constantly be pushed, and pushed hard.  The idea of her being in a big classroom scares me; I just know she would get lost and fall behind.  I know that teachers with large classrooms struggle to give every child equal attention, especially when some kids need more attention than others.  Public school and charter schools in my hometown have very large class sizes, and this was one of the main reasons I choose to put Elle in private school.  I need a teacher on her little ass, telling me every day where she’s lacking and excelling, so I know where I need to pick up the slack at home.  I know how important those first couple years of school are for a child’s academic confidence, I don’t want her struggling out the door. 

The hardest factor for me with going private is that my child will grow up with the same kids, up until High School.  She will miss out on a new school year with a new chance at friends every year.  She will only know how to deal with that small group of kids, and all their quirks. This makes me glad that she attends an array of extracurricular activities, since this will give her a chance to meet new kids every season, but I also hope that when she starts school, she will still have time for them.  

I know there are some wonderful public schools, I know there are some fantastic charter schools, and I know parents that homeschool are rock stars, but this was my decision. As much as I struggled to make it, one had to be made, and I had to make my peace with it.  I hope I made the right decision for my child, and as parents, this sentiment seems to be a reoccurring theme.

XOXO Linda

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