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Those who send (or sent) their kids to private school, would you do it again?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Kamban View Post

    My experience with a combination of private and public school with our daughter

    1. Private from almost 3 years ( those pre-k, pre,preK and prepper etc on to K and through 5th grade). Did not have a choice as initially had some issues with learning that this school could accommodate and later had to stay because switching to public school meant repeating a year due to birthdate cut off and getting bored. Very small class sizes and she thrived.

    2. Towards the end of elementary school we looked at 2 private schools. One required she attend a religious class at least once a week ( we are against forced religion) and the other parochial school was more lenient but had overcrowding ( imagine that in a private school) and wanted to cater more to the Germans posted in USA for 3-4 years than the local population. Also drug use was rampant in their high school and snobbery was the norm. We were about to enroll her in a public STEM or charter school but she got in a gifted middle school. That was the best school she attended.

    3. High school. She refused to go to the parochial high school even if we wished and could afford. She chose a IB program in a dump of a public school and loved it. She has thrived well so far and people similar to her who went to private schools did not do any better. In fact, no one from the gifted middle school went to a private school even though 1/3 of them ( including us) would easily have afforded it.

    In the end we would have done the same thing over again. If she did not have the early learning issue I would have her in public schools all the way. If a child can get in, a gifted or magnet public school is the ideal, combining the best of both worlds - learning challenging subjects and being exposed to diversity..
    I am going to reiterate…it depends. Our son got into a magnet school, and after I reviewed the curriculum (basically a ton more homework around a project management engineering theme) we put him in the local catholic high school. He had a great experience. Anyway, no knock on your choices. They sound right for your daughter. I just don’t think our individual experiences generalize well.

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    • #32
      I feel if you have a good public school the difference in the money is better spent elsewhere. 10-40k a year can buy a lot of tutoring. It can buy a lot of experiences. And saving that money can buy less work for parents who want to be around their kids more.

      I feel that the lack of economic diversity is a negative. I get that posh suburbs have monochromatic high ses public schools as well but here in a small town or rural schools you get everyone. We are sheltered as physicians and removed from the lower and middle class. Yeah we see it at work but that is different. Growing up with friends who struggle makes it more real. If your kids are friends with kids from struggling families it keeps it real.

      Everything has a negative. We lack cultural diversity. There is no perfect situation.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Larry Ragman View Post

        I am going to reiterate…it depends. Our son got into a magnet school, and after I reviewed the curriculum (basically a ton more homework around a project management engineering theme) we put him in the local catholic high school. He had a great experience. Anyway, no knock on your choices. They sound right for your daughter. I just don’t think our individual experiences generalize well.
        Magnet schools are a good/bad proposition.
        Basically a problem within a school district and targeting resources to get a few “highly ranked high schools”. That leaves the rest as underperforming.

        Gifted and talented in middle school and IB (or AP) in high school is the most challenging.
        Not every child (although as parents our child is above average) is cut out for that.
        Some schools are cutting out G&T.
        Some of the time pressures in high school are huge.
        The socioeconomics shouldn’t impact education. But they do. AND within districts, to get out of “underperforming high schools”, kids can pick any HS in the district.
        Make no mistake, the diversity in private schools has a motivation.

        I feel sorry for the kids and parents navigating education today. It’s not about providing the best education for the masses. Public and private education is a business. Pick the best available schools suited for your child. Hopefully they survive.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by StarTrekDoc View Post
          Top 10% kids will succeed in almost any environment. Top 1% even moreso. The rest of the student body very much so depends on school environments.
          The top 15-20% will thrive in any decent public or private school. The top 1-5% need an elite private school or a highly selective magnet school to realize their full potential. Think the private school you attended or better. The kind of place that either boards kids or that families are willing to move hundreds of miles to have their kids attend as day students.

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          • #35
            I’d think that the teachers, resources, etc matter less than the influence of the other kids at the school.

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            • #36
              Is the question, does paying to send you kids to a private school give them a better chance in life to be more successful or does sending you kid to a private school keep them out of trouble at the most vulnerable time in their life to mess up. Most of that would depend upon where you live and your other local options, unless you are thinking about a boarding school.

              Locally we have a decent high school but not free from problems such as drugs and other issues. But most these problems tend to be more of the company one keeps during these times. Several of my daughters grade school and high school class mates OD on heroin. However, the local private school had similar problems. Many of my kids close friends went to to be very successful in life. However, I think that is more a function of their family values than what school they went to , or who their teacher was.

              Also something to think about , at least here, public schools pay teachers a lot more than the local private schools, so teachers that cant get a public job, apply to the private schools.

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              • #37
                We will send our kids to private Christian/parochial for the small class sizes and values to be instilled at a young age.

                We will probably send them till 8th grade, then decide between catholic high school vs public.
                ​​​​​​
                ​​​

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Dusn View Post
                  I’d think that the teachers, resources, etc matter less than the influence of the other kids at the school.
                  The kids your kid run with is important. A small subset of the total student population.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Larry Ragman View Post

                    I am going to reiterate…it depends. Our son got into a magnet school, and after I reviewed the curriculum (basically a ton more homework around a project management engineering theme) we put him in the local catholic high school. He had a great experience. Anyway, no knock on your choices. They sound right for your daughter. I just don’t think our individual experiences generalize well.
                    I agree it depends on the magnet or gifted school. Ours had a challenging course but was well rounded. Basically the kids were taught a grade or two above the equivalent public school that prepared them better for the AP classes in high school. Music and arts were also taught well. The only thing lacking was sports except some basketball.

                    I also found that teachers responded well and quickly to our concerns since they were not stressed teaching to the lowest common denominator. But we were lucky to get in and this won't apply to all students. There were parents driving their kids 20+ miles each day if their kid got into this school.

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                    • #40
                      I think one positive result of all the remote learning with public schools is that parents got the chance to see what their kids are being taught. The angry results on display at all the school board meetings across the nation have been an eye opener. The reality of the bizarre indoctrination of our nations small children would loom large in my decision making of where to send my kids if they were still at that age.
                      Last edited by K82; 03-28-2022, 07:18 AM.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Kamban View Post

                        I agree it depends on the magnet or gifted school. Ours had a challenging course but was well rounded. Basically the kids were taught a grade or two above the equivalent public school that prepared them better for the AP classes in high school. Music and arts were also taught well. The only thing lacking was sports except some basketball.

                        I also found that teachers responded well and quickly to our concerns since they were not stressed teaching to the lowest common denominator. But we were lucky to get in and this won't apply to all students. There were parents driving their kids 20+ miles each day if their kid got into this school.
                        One kid traveled 163 mi one way to practice and games in high school for club soccer. Nacogdoches to Dallas.
                        Clint Dempsey. It wasn’t for the schools though.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by VagabondMD View Post
                          We intended to use our excellent public school system.

                          My son had some learning issues, and he went to private school from K-12, and we are, in retrospect, we are happy with that decision for him.
                          Our daughter started in private elementary school (pre-K through 5), and we switched her to out public schools for middle and high school. If we could do it over, we would have continued private school for her.

                          Every kid is different, every parent is different, and everyone has a different set of options depending on where they live. This is not a one-size-fits-all issue, IMO.
                          Can I ask why you say you would have continued private school for your daughter, if you could do it over?

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Tim View Post
                            And probably more important is the child.
                            Some shall I say are rather independent and don’t need much individual attention. Others take time to develop self motivation. Big fish in a little pond or a little fish in a big pond ?
                            Some kids your probably wasting your money, gonna be a shark in any water.
                            this is exactly what my wife and I think. Depend on the kid.
                            I grew up public. Wife private. I was alway against private. Now I’m open to it based on the child.

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                            • #44
                              There are lots of good points expressed here.

                              We started down the elite private school route and transitioned them to the “average rated” public school system in middle school.

                              Yes, they would have received more attention at the private school, however motivated, hard working, bright kids will do well well in either setting. There are drugs and other nefarious influences at both schools and it is very easy to find trouble at our public school. The AP and honors classes at our average public school are outstanding and we have encouraged our kids to take the most difficult classes they can. Our eldest started college with 60 credit hours and the other two are thriving at our large public high school.

                              They have friends from all socioeconomic backgrounds, and have not grown up thinking skiing in Switzerland for spring break is a normal type of activity. As others have said, it depends on the kid, and the top 25% of students would likely be fine at any decent public school.

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                              • #45
                                We have done both. We tried the public schools and they were abysmal, so ponied up for private school. It was a great school, and my (neurotypical) kids thrived in many ways. All of the kids went to Europe for spring break, there were no kids with disabilities, and we were the economic diversity, however. We ended up finding it too much of a financial strain once my second kid started school, and so moved somewhere with good (and occasionally excellent) public schools. My kids didn't rub noses with the elite there, but got a very good education. Was it perfect? Of course not. But it was within their community, with many opportunities, and lots of local pride. It allowed us to save a lot toward college and retirement as well. If we still lived in our original location I would send them private or move to the 'burbs, but this was a good choice for us.

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