Thursday, February 9, 2012

How To Choose A School

When I was ready to attend school, my parents had only one of two choices.  I was either going to the local public school or to the local Catholic school.  Simple.  They did not to spend weeks agonizing over their options; they had a fifty-fifty shot at making the right choice for me and they enrolled me in the public school.  Of course, as I started second grade, a very wise teacher pulled my mom aside and told her she was doing me no great favor by keeping me in that school (apparently, teachers at the time, or at least this one, were not hung up on being PC) and so I transferred to the Catholic school.  Again, simple, no harm, no foul, no long term lasting effects from my brief stint in the public school at all.

Fast forward to the present.  When we moved to MN, I did a lot of online research for schools for my children in an effort to match what we felt was a stellar academic and social atmosphere at their old school.  From the beginning of the search, I knew that there was only going to be one school for us and knowing that, I only chose  houses close to that school.  Again, simple, four children, one school.  Done.

Now we are relocating to an area that seems to have schools so great in number that they rival the number of particles of dust on my new black car.  Rare is the k-12 school which would make my life infinitely easier, so I now need to research both elementary and high schools.  Add to this the fact that we really don't know which area we will be living in and I need to have all my bases covered.  Because there are so many choices, I am terrified of missing out on the best school. Say I stop calling at school number 30--what if the 31st school has everything I really want?  How will I be able to live with myself knowing I gave up too soon? 

The search for high schools is even worse because, as my eldest pointed out, his is the more important school in preparation for college.  The job is daunting enough but he also has many needs and wants which he loves to share with me anytime we are together.  He also asks me questions about the schools as if I can keep them all straight, information catalogued and accessible whenever he requires it dispensed.  Little does he know that I can barely keep it together even with all my notes in front of me.

I always hear people say that you always have choices in life but this time, I just have too many.  I have become a school research addict in desperate need of a twelve-step program.  I swear, a few more days of this and I will be ready to homeschool. 

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