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Thread: Struggling with Education Decisions... Need input.

  1. #1

    Struggling with Education Decisions... Need input.

    My youngest attends first grade at a Waldorf school. There are lots of things we like, but there are also things that concern us. So we're looking at different options. Please provide any input you can.

    Option 1: Stay with Waldorf. Of the 3 options, this one is the smallest school. One class per grade. 15 minutes away. Roughly $10K. The teacher moves with the class through 8th grade (similar to homeschooling). It's very art-focused education and the extra-curricular education is impressive. They offer a "loving" environment with plenty of freedom and play. On the down-side, his main teacher is new so she'd be learning the material just ahead of the kids. They don't use textbooks so the material presented is more loose. They accept vouchers which means they get families that don't have to pay - which means they're not as invested in the outcomes of their kids. This means the kids are distracting the class and their parents don't recognize the problem. Also, there's a progressive vibe that runs through the school. Generally, it aligns with libertarianism, but when the parents discuss politics, it's obvious where they stand.

    Option 2: Catholic school. 2 classes per grade. 2 minutes away. Roughly $5K. It's a standard Catholic education, but reliable. People recognize what a Catholic education means. Catholic school grammar cannot be beaten. But we're not Catholic. I withstood 8 years of Catholic education and while I believe I came out educated beyond my peers, I also hated the religiosity. But saving $5K a year would be nice and it's right around the corner. The education is still above average and this school ranks high. They learned their lesson and no longer accept vouchers. But damn, I'm not sure I want them drilling him every day with their beliefs. I have no problems with him learning it - but I don't want the indoctrination.

    Option 3: Independent Day School. 3-4 classes per grade. 30 minutes away. Roughly $20K. We visited this school and were beyond impressed. LOTS of extra-curricular activities during and after school. It's well-established as a top-notched school and 96% of their graduates get accepted to their first choice high school. Not to mention the scholarships. It's non-religious and the families are generally well-off. No vouchers. Of the three options, this one encompasses the best of both worlds. Caring teachers in well-maintained state-of-the-art facilities. But at $20K for 2nd grade we'd be really pushing it. Sorry, junior, no you can't spend the summer in Europe with your friends... It also means an hour per day wasted in the car traveling to and fro.

    We've already eliminated the idea of homeschooling and (of course) government education.

    Perhaps I'm over-thinking this, but I'm really struggling with this decision. I'd really like some input you can offer to help me bring this to a conclusion. We need to start the application process for next year somewhere. Thanks,
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire



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  3. #2
    Capt, I'll tell you that the best education experience that I had was in a Catholic school. I attended for 5 years, 4th-8th Grade. One could say indoctrination occurs, but that often comes as a product of religious differences. That's something else. But the curriculum was not an exercise in indoctrination. World History was properly taught (considering the age level), the math was taught right (algorithms) and science wasn't a political exercise. The teachers were, themselves, products of the same school I went to. They weren't unionized robots echoing the sentiments of the State.

    There's much more to say about it. But I do maintain it was the best experience in my own education. And it was also fun. These were very small classes, too. Maybe 20 students per class.

    Not only that, you got taught respect the right way, too, if you were screwing around in class doing dumb stuff, disrupting the lesson. And the parents didn't fuss about it either. I can't count many times a kid got pulled to the front of the classroom by that hair there on the back of your neck. Know what I'm talkin about? Heh.
    Last edited by Natural Citizen; 05-27-2017 at 10:38 PM.

  4. #3
    Also, the only Nun I had as a teacher was my Religion teacher. Well, and the Principal was a Nun.

    But the whole school did go to Mass on Wednesdays after third period.

  5. #4

  6. #5
    Education needs to come from inside the home. That is where the real learning takes place. That is where the foundation is dug, prepared, and poured to detail. Once that is established and maintained, make the best of the best available school. In my opinion the most teaching and learning happens very early. I have 4 children. All are very smart and test off the charts. Youngest daughter graduating HS next month going to UCONN. Got a great scholarship will only cost us/her around $1,500 next year. She wants to be a bio-chemical engineer. Youngest son home now from college. He goes to RPI in Troy NY on full tuition scholarship, 48,500 per year and will graduate with a masters 4 years after beginning. Both those kids began college with over 50 college credits. They took AP classes all Junior and Senior year in HS. Daughter took Algebra 1 in 7th grade and Geometry in 8th. Youngest son as mentioned home for the summer has a paid internship with Eversource working full time. In the fall he will begin his third year at RPI. Both these kids went to public school in Bristol CT.
    Teach your kids to think for themselves and never settle for less than they deserve. Teach them to hold their teachers and school accountable. My kids went to public school and I have no regrets.
    Prior to entering into school all my kids could read, write and do math. The even knew fractions and negative numbers. When you teach them early they have that jump start and are always at the top of the class. They never have to struggle to learn and get it the first time the material is presented.
    Worst experience I had with the schools were when we first moved to Bristol from Denver. My sister bragged up a Lutheran school that her son was attending. Very small about 13 kids per class. We sent our kids there. Later we found our youngest son was in trouble on numerous occasions. He was playing with a kid that was different and they got into trouble. I spoke with my son on several occasions and told him not to play or hang out with that kid. One evening at parent teacher conference we are called into principal's office and told my sone was gong to have a 3 day suspension for being overheard saying "hump the wall" in an after school day care. I felt this was crazy and told the principal I could understand if he was suspended from after school day care but that he didn't do anything wrong in school. This pompous person said, "the after school daycare is an extension of school and my decision is final." There were other incidents also. When I got home I was pissed. I looked that little boy in the eyes and said, "I told you not to hang out with Hayden why where you with him?" He reply with tears running down his face was, "none of the other kids will play with me."
    At that point, I realized that this tiny school with only 13 kids per class had developed an in crowd. The kids that had started at kindergarten and moved up. Other kids were outcasts. These teachers couldn't even see what was happening under their own noses.
    The next day I took my son and enrolled him in public school. From that day forward instead of being perceived as the trouble maker he was the nicest, smartest kid in the school.
    Small schools and class sizes are not always better.
    Cannot hold private schools accountable. They make their own rules.
    When in private school it doesn't matter how smart or right you are all that matters is the decision the authorities make.
    At one point at the Lutheran School, my son was told by the principal, "this is not a democracy it is a dictatorship and I am the dictator."
    His fourth grade teacher at the Lutheran school at parent teacher the night he was suspended, started the conference with, "lets hold hands and pray." Then she said, she wanted to hold my son back a grade for his own good, because she loved him and he wasn't ready to move up to fifth grade."
    As mentioned the next day he was enrolled in public school and was top of his class. Straight A student. Graduated from HS #2 a fraction of one point behind his best friend only because he took a shop class freshman year instead of an academic class and they don't count as hight toward GPA. He graduated HS with a full year of college already behind him. Ironically one of his best friends in HS was the son of that 4th grade teacher that wanted to hold him back. My son is a better person than I am. I would have never let that go but he often was at her house and I don't think he ever brought it up to her.
    He passed his SAT's with Perfect score in Math!
    Last edited by Schifference; 05-28-2017 at 06:23 AM.

  7. #6
    Given the three choices you listed I'd lean toward the Catholic school providing that the staff meets with your approval. More of a gut feeling than anything on paper, but that applies to anywhere you consider.

  8. #7
    Well, it depends on your kid. Is he (she? I think I remember you saying you had a boy) thriving where he's at? If so, I'd probably leave him. If not, I'd go with the Catholic school unless you or mom work near the other school or plan on moving. Plus, with the Catholic school so close, it seems he'd have school friends in the neighborhood. That's something to consider. Do you want to be driving 30 minutes each way running him around all the time? If there weren't a good option nearby, I'd say go for it with the fancy private school.

    In the end, it really depends on your child's needs. Does need a more structured environment or does he learn better in a looser setting?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.
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    This intellectually stimulating conversation is the reason I keep coming here.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Schifference View Post
    Cannot hold private schools accountable. They make their own rules.
    The rest of your post was ok but this statement is worth investigating.

    "Cannot hold private schools accountable"? You wrote that you pulled the kid out of that school. Thusly did you hold them accountable - by ending your patronage. This is. just as in any other situation where a market for goods and services exists, called consumer sovereignity. Its why we want market solutions instead of State monopolies.

    So, you were upset that they would not change policies at the whim of one customer, or somehow force the other children to be nice to your kid. Your parental instincts kicked-in and now you try to rationalize your bad feelings by claiming private schools are not accountable.

    Won't fly here, bud.
    Last edited by merkelstan; 05-28-2017 at 01:43 PM.
    The sycophant masses are the most crushing rebuttal to my contention that man should be free. They prove by their actions they are not worthy of freedom, because they do not display the capacity for independent thought.



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by merkelstan View Post
    The rest of your post was ok but this statement is worth investigating.

    "Cannot hold private schools accountable"? You wrote that you pulled the kid out of that school. Thusly did you hold them accountable - by ending your patronage. This is. just as in any other situation where a market for goods and services exists, called consumer sovereignity. Its why we want market solutions instead of State monopolies.

    So, you were upset that they would not change policies at the whim of one customer, or somehow force the other children to be nice to your kid. Your parental instincts kicked-in and now you try to rationalize your bad feelings by claiming private schools are not accountable.

    Won't fly here, bud.
    Yes you are correct and I agree. I guess more what I meant was that they can do whatever they choose and their rules may not be clearly defined and your appeal process may be more limited.

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal View Post
    Well, it depends on your kid. Is he (she? I think I remember you saying you had a boy) thriving where he's at? If so, I'd probably leave him. If not, I'd go with the Catholic school unless you or mom work near the other school or plan on moving. Plus, with the Catholic school so close, it seems he'd have school friends in the neighborhood. That's something to consider. Do you want to be driving 30 minutes each way running him around all the time? If there weren't a good option nearby, I'd say go for it with the fancy private school.

    In the end, it really depends on your child's needs. Does need a more structured environment or does he learn better in a looser setting?
    Very good advice!

  13. #11
    Thanks for all the input. It seems like Catholic school is the preferred choice for this situation. The wife is really bothered by the idea of a religious education though. It bothers me too but not as much. I went through it and I'm sure he'll be fine.

    When I think about it from an economic standpoint, the Catholic school makes the most sense. However, when I think about which school would be best for him, I keep arriving at the expensive one. But it's four times the cost!!! What else could we do with that money, y'know?!

    He's doing fine in his school now, but he complains about the kids talking " out of turn". There are so many distractions, that too much time is spent trying to correct behavior instead of guiding the teaching process. I suppose you could call that part of teaching, but it's not something my son needs. He's already well-behaved.
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

  14. #12
    Guess I need to revisit this thread to give an update.

    We decided on Option #3. They came down on the price for us which was a big influencer. The value for the money is really unparalleled. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    I'm sure the education for my son will be amazing and his peers will present plenty of unique opportunities for him and us.
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire



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