Three paragraphs to tell you I have nothing to say. TYPICAL.
Schoolicious

I'm sorry, I just can't help writing all this out ALL THE TIME

So hey, thanks for all your comments on Sending Molly To School ASAP So I Can Have Some Peace And Quiet In My House. I am not alone! Then we were at the library this morning and there was an article about this precise topic in the local free mommy magazine so that was validating as well. What wasn't was getting the registration forms and tuition rates for preschool next year: OUCH. Perhaps Molly would like a ballet class instead? Run out of a friend's basement? Ballet slippers and tutus and recital costumes optional?

School is this huge deal in my brain lately and it has everything to do with buying a house. IF we buy a house. There's nothing we want on the market right now and we don't have to move. I think if we OWNED this house there would be a million things driving me crazy, but because it's temporary-ish and the godawful kitchen floor is ultimately the landlord's problem not mine, I don't even notice half of it. I love WHERE it is and it just works for us right now. We really want a place of our own, a place as permanent as you can reasonably expect to be, but there's nothing forcing us to do that NOW. So we wait. 

Which means I don't know where my kids are going to school and yes, it's a LITTLE early, but not THAT early. I have about a year before I have to decide on kindergarten, and the preschool wants us to reserve next year's spots NOW. We totally lucked out with this school and of course I want Jack to go there again next year, but if we move to the other side of town I'm not sure I love it enough to trek back three times a week. But who knows if we'll move? Or when? Dilemmas! And the elementary school issue is enough to drive me (or at least everyone I talk to about it) crazypants. Some of the public schools are excellent! Some are rotten! It all depends on where you live! But then we could always send them to a Catholic school, most of which have great reputations and we are, obvs, Catholic and this would make all kinds of sense. Except, again, I'm not trekking halfway across town to stick my kid in our current parish school if there is a closer one (which means switching parishes, which we wouldn't necessarily do if our kids were attending public school.)

I'm sort of cramming all of this important-ish stuff into a half-assed Thursday night post, but I JUST DON'T KNOW. It seems like we should at least prioritize a few things, ie: We want to live in a neighborhood within walking or short driving distance of a Good School. That seems refreshingly normal, right? But that may (MAY) severely limit our options for city dwelling. So then, is our priority: Finding A House We Can Afford In SEATTLE. Because then we have to think hard about good/bad schools and public/private. Or maybe the priority should be: Doing What Most Of America Deems Best For Children and buying a nice biggish house with a yard, a half hour away, in a fabulous school district. We could totally pull that off. If we wanted. Which we are not sure about. 

Our future real estate agent is going to hate us. 

Right now I feel like our "plan" is to Luck Out. It's early on in this game. Prices have dropped. Maybe there's a big enough house in our price range and near enough to our church so that our kids could reasonably go to the parish school. This is my ideal, but it seems pretty pie in the sky considering our church is in a crazy expensive area. Or maybe we'll find a house in our current neighborhood, which has an excellent public school, and is totally close enough to keep attending our church (though not so close that I'd be up for driving kids to school every morning, not when there's a Catholic school about five blocks away. LAZY. Well maybe. I DON'T KNOW. SEE?!)

And for all of you wondering, we think Catholic school sounds NICE and would be GREAT, but we aren't so sold on it that we wouldn't consider a good public school option. Feel free to convince me, though that should probably be a whole separate entry in this Catalog Of Neuroses. Actually, I would LIKE to be convinced. Yeah, okay, I'll write about that later. AHEM. No seriously. Save those comments!

So anyway, Phillip is working late tonight and I have three loads of laundry to work on, so perhaps I should focus on ACTUAL priorities instead of rhetorical ones. 

Comments

Megan

I've got lots on the catholic school topic as we LOVE ours and I never would have guessed (say when I was 20) that I would end up as a cheerleader of catholic schools. (wait, that sounds...odd...you know what I mean!) I will save it however!

But! I don't know if I ever told you the story about how I researched and worried and stressed and finally made a decision and a deposit for Will's kindergarten year when BAM! Bill says he has been offered a great opportunity at work and to take it we are moving north 100 miles in the fall. It was CRAZY!

Katie

My vote: go ahead and register Jack for next year at his current preschool. Usually there is a small non-refundable deposit when u register. Then, ask to set up to pay tuition on a monthly basis. If you happen to find THE house, u won't be stuck with either potentially driving across town for preschool or losing a whole year of preschool money.

We just switched Jo from her preschool to the public 4k and she's doing great. Sure there were a couple weeks of overlap so i had to make the longish drive a handful of times. But now she rides the bus everyday and coco and i get to enjoy lazy mornings at home in our pjs. Kids watch you and adjust.

Annie

School. Bah. We're in the middle of this decision too, only Christopher will be starting Kindergarten THIS FALL and I just don't know what to do. We'd always planned on sending him to our parish school, but honestly Maggie, the price tag is ridiculous. Ridiculous for one child, beyond absurd for three. And so we figured we'd consider this charter school (FREE!) that has a reputation for being absolutely fabulous. But admission is done by lottery. So I took a tour and next weekend we'll go with nearly 200 other families to trade in our "I took the tour" form for a lottery ticket and find out whether or not his number gets picked. If it does? Well then we have a decision to make (I wasn't in love with the school after my tour.) If it doesn't? Then hopefully a money tree will start growing in our backyard.

As for YOU - why not sign them up for preschool at the current school for next year. I imagine there is a date by which you need to be registered? Or after which you can't back out or something like that. It could buy you a little time.... beyond that, I've got nothin' other than I HEAR YA on this agony of figuring out where to send your sweet children. I knew that there would be a lot of challenging decisions as a parent, but I honestly wasn't really expecting this to be one of them.

Leandra

Have you checked the foreclosure notices in the neighborhood where you want to live. These are usually published in the local paper (at least here they are, not sure about where you live, but it IS public record). That might be a good way to get an awesome deal on your dream house.

Sarah in Ottawa

Teddy just turned 2 (and our cutoff date for school is January 1) so we're still 2 years away from enrollment for school. That said, we're in a weird situation here in Ontario - Catholic schools are part publicly funded. We divert our tax dollars to the Catholic system rather than the public. Dave and I went all the way through the Catholic system, and that's the plan for our kids (though I'm not sure if it will still be funded through their childhood). If not, we'll reassess. But for right now, they'll be heading to the local Catholic school (which shares a name with our parish - Good Shepherd).

Sarah in Ottawa

Whoops. For some reason (brain addled due to small kids?) I wrote that the schools are "part publicly funded" when in fact they're FULLY funded. Had to clarify.

Heather

When you find a good preschool stick with it. A bad one is well, bad on all accounts. I drive my boys to and from school every day, it is a 30 min round trip twice a day and while yes it is a pain, it is worth it to me.

el-e-e

Ooh, I can't wait to discuss "Why I send my kid(s) to Catholic school." Fun! :) All these decisions! And by the way, baby Molly cannot possibly be old enough for preschool. Does not compute.

Life of a Doctor's Wife

Once again, I have nothing useful. And yet clearly I can't keep myself from commenting. I like others' suggestion to see if you could sign him up for preschool now and then cancel later if necessary. I mean, the school must have some experience with people who move. They must have a contingency plan!

When I think about school for our hypothetical future kids, I am totally baffled. I went to public school and my husband went to private school, and we ended up at the same university. So I tend to think public school is fine! Although I went to the only public school in my town and it was a very small town, while my husband grew up in the suburbs of a big city. So maybe that makes a difference.

See? Totally useless.

Jen @ The Short Years

Or, maybe you buy your house in a neighborhood that you like, specifically because of the good reputation of the public schools, and you luck out and find a decent house literally right next door to the great elementary school...and then the school board decides to close your neighborhood school as a cost-saving measure because of the massive state budget shortfall. That's the possibility we're facing right now with my daughter's school.

I guess the point of what I'm saying is: there are no guarantees. You can think you have house/school/church/location figured out, and then things out of your control change on you. Am I bummed about this? Yes, very. Do I feel that things will be okay anyway? Yes. I still like our house, I still like our neighborhood, and I'm crossing my fingers that if the school does close, that whatever school she gets sent off to would be fine as well. Because we totally can't afford private school!

So I would say to go for the house that you love, in a location you want to live in, but not hinge everything on a school. Schools can close, a good or bad principal or teacher can change things for your particular student, etc.

HereWeGoAJen

Well, the current plan for us is the local elementary school, which is walkable and apparently pretty good. But then, if we remain here, I believe we'd be looking at going private because as it currently stands, the public middle and high schools around here are supposed to be awful. (Mind you, she's two, things could change in the next ten years before we have to deal with middle and high school.) We kind of lucked out when we found the nice house next to the only nice local school.

Kelley

I have been reading your blog for a bit (found it on Parenting.com) and I love reading cause I can relate with the 2 kids under 2 part...our son is almost 2 and our daughter is almost 8 months so they are 15 1/2 months apart to be exact!

We just moved to Indiana from Michigan and our plan was always parochial school if possible. The schools where we live are top in the state (public) but so are the Catholic schools.

I am pretty sure we are going to do Montessori for toddler and preschool and Catholic K-12. My sister in law lives in Canada and like one commented said her kids Catholic education is funded, but a bit different where they do not wear uniforms etc til high school.

I think either way you will find a great school that is right for you guys. As much as I am for Catholic school, sometimes it is hard to justify the steep (and I mean steep) price tag to other family members, and ourselves!

I also think you will find a great house that is right for you in every way :)

Charlotte

Catholic school is frickin' awesome but only if a) it is relatively strict and b) they don't stay there forever. Trust.

I got sent to Catholic school literally because it was right across the street from our place (my parents, they of the high educational standards). Not the best reasoning, but it did give me a really strong foundation as far work ethic and personal standards (I still sometimes kneel to make sure my skirt is an appropriate length). However! When self expression and individuality became priorities (sometime between grade 6 and high school) it got incredibly stifling. Just a student's perspective.

(Note: I did not pick up my parentheses addiction at Catholic school.)

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