Choosinga school for your child can be like pulling teeth with a wet spaghetti noodle,especially if you live in an area that doesn’t give you a lot of options. Iconsider myself very lucky — I live in one of the best public school districtsin the state and don’t have to shop around when it comes time for my oldestdaughter to head to kindergarten. Unfortunately, a lot of parent’s aren’t aslucky, which is when private school becomes an option. Is sending your littleone to a private school worth the cost?
The Average Cost of Private School
BeforeI delve into the pros and cons of private school, how much does education atone of these establishments cost?
Accordingto the National Center for Education Statistics, the annual cost of privateschool for K-8 students is somewhere in theballpark of $7770. Once your little ones get to high school, the price nearly doubles —$13,030 a year.
Thisseems like a lot of money, especially if you’re living paycheck to paycheck.Public school is free, but your child isn’t guaranteed the best educationunless you’re lucky enough to live in a district where all the schools havehigh grades.
Think About Your Local School District
That’sright — public schools get graded just like their students do. They get a lettergrade — Athrough F — depending on things like graduation rates, standardized testscores, college readiness and at a high school level, the number of AP andcollege-level courses the school offers.
Dependingon where you live, your little ones might be zoned for an F-rated school. Atthat point, you have two choices — jump through all the hoops to get your childenrolled in a better school and then drive them to and from every day sincebuses won’t be an option, or enroll in private school to ensure your childrenget a better education.
No Or Fewer Standardized Tests
Youread that right. These schools are based on how well students do onstandardized tests.
But,standardized tests are bullshit. Excrement from the rear end of a bovine.Absolute stinking garbage.
Curriculumin the United States is so focused on helping students pass these standardizedtests that all students learn during their 12 years in these establishments ishow to swallow as much information as possible so they can vomit it back up onthe test and then promptly forget it. Schools put so much stress on these teststhat you’ve got third graders — 8-year-olds — having panic attacks because ifthey don’t pass one of the112 teststhey’ll take during their school career, they won’t move up to the next grade.
Thisis one of the biggest reasons I might consider private school — because thestate does not fund them, these facilities don’t have to adhere to anystate-designed curriculum or testing schedule. Your child might make it throughtheir entire school career without ever taking one standardized test until it’stime to take the SAT or ACT for college. Public school doesn’t teach kids howto think — it shows them how to take a test.
More Class Variety
I’vealready touched on how public school curriculum are entirely focused onteaching for the test. This doesn’t just put these students at a disadvantage —it also means there is no time in the day for other classes. Parents had topetition school districts to bring back recess for elementary school students.Instead of letting these young children burn out all their energy and come backto the classroom ready to learn, these schools expect 6, 7 and 8-year-olds tosit still for six to eight hours a day and pay attention.
Asa mother of a five-year-old, I have one thing to say to that: Yeah, right.
Sorry,I’m ranting again. Where was I?
Privateschools don’t have to teach to the test, so they can offer a greater variety ofclass options. Instead of sticking to just one foreign language in high school— like French or Spanish — they can provide a vast range of differentlanguages. And that is only one example, which brings me to my next point.
Preparing Them For Life
Publicschools don’t teach kids how tobe adultsanymore. When I was in middle and high school, these preparation classes weremandatory. Home economics to learn how to cook and sew and keep a house. Shopclass to learn how to build things and work with your hands. Some schools hadagriculture classes to teach you how to raise animals and grow food. I even hada class that taught me how to type, write a resume, fill out a check and writea PowerPoint presentation.
WordArt was my jam, man.
Theseclasses have gone the way of the dodo in public schools, in favor of test-basedlessons. In private school, they’ve got plenty of time to teach your littleones how to be functional adults.
Closing Thoughts — My Opinion on Private Schools
So,is a private school for your little ones worth the cost?
That’sentirely up to you, but if you live in an area that doesn’t have good publicschools, private schools are absolutely worth the money. If you’re concernedabout your little ones having a well-rounded education that doesn’t orbitaround taking more than 100 tests in 12 years, private school becomes thebetter choice.
Yes,private school is expensive, but in some cases, it can be worth every penny —even if you’re scrounging those pennies out of the couch.