It’s enrollment day for us and the K-word has been pretty near all-consuming with our local preschool set for the past year.
K I N D E R G A R T E N
The word loomed over every party and play date.
Choices, choices, choices. It’s most definitely a first-world problem, as our toddlers get a wide range of amazing educational options. We’re so fortunate to be able to live in a city renowned for its public schools. It was a major deciding factor when we were house-hunting. Of course, now that we’re at the real Start Line for next 13 years of public education for our first-born, thoughts buzz around our minds with millions of ifs and whats. Despite all the educators telling us parents not to stress out too much, and that Kindergarten will absolutely not have any bearing on which college your child will get into, I think it’s just naturally one of the biggest things that weigh on the parents’ minds.
Like many others in our area, K has been attending Private Preschool part-time for the past 2+ years. The school and teachers have been amazing. The experience has been wonderful. It’s a bit scary to think of what is next.
The most obvious choice is our local public school. It is within walking distance, highly-ranked, and paid for with our tax dollars. My main hesitation with this option has been friends’ reports about highly-impacted schools with large classroom sizes and only half-day schedules.
A popular choice among current classmates is private school. Smaller class sizes, full-time schedules. I would love this option if it were financially reasonable for our family. As a stay-at-home mom though, I didn’t find enough pros to outweigh the cons with this option.
Charter/Homeschool Options were high on my list. The pros for homeschooling far outweighed the cons, in my opinion. The main con factor would be social activities and lifelong friendships in the traditional school environment. That’s not to say I don’t think you can’t find equivalents in a homeschool or charter school, but it would take more work. In fact, I still think I will constantly reassess our situation and revert to a charter or homeschool if I see fit. If we had not gotten into our first choice, I was set to homeschool and supplement with a charter school for Kindergarten.
Our final option, which is not necessarily available in all districts, is a year-round public school. In our district, there are a few year-round schools, which one may request intra-district school choice by lottery. The year-round schedule appealed to us for a large number of reasons. Of course, we love to travel, and travel during traditional school breaks are usually peak prices. Large summer breaks are also known to cause the “summer slide”, where knowledge and skills previously learned may decline. There is also boredom and restlessness, which cannot be easy for parents. Our local “summer camps” typically range from $250-300 per week! You can read more about pros and cons for year round schools HERE.
Lastly, an option I WISH we had, would be public language immersion schools. Some nearby cities have Spanish or Mandarin dual-immersion public schools, which I would love to have offered. If our district begins to offer a dual-immersion program, I’d be hopping on that waitlist immediately!
I submitted K into the lottery drawing for every single year-round school in our district, and she was so lucky to get into our first choice, so decision has been made! Life seems to take off on an even faster pace once kids begin school, I’m in full on preparation mode! Posts will likely be heavy on Kindergarten Prep the next few months! Do you have a little one about to enter school? Tips are always welcome!