Monday, January 25, 2010

School Shopping

I went school shopping for Casey today. Not for clothes or pencils, but for an actual new school. For the past two years we've had Casey at a wonderful private school with wonderful teachers, wonderful curriculum, and wonderful friends. But the tuition has hiked up both years to the point where now there's just absolutely no way we can do it anymore. We shouldn't have done it this year, but I thought we'd struggle through the year, maybe the economy would improve and we'd be okay. But it was not to be. So now we are cutting everything from cable TV to, you know, regular meals. But losing Casey's school is the hardest thing. I'm very depressed about it.

Resigning yourself to pull out of one school is one thing -- actually finding a new school and trying to decide if it's the right fit for your kid, is another. So I've looked at two schools so far. The first one that I visited I rejected within about 5 minutes of asking, "So where do your seniors get into college?" and the answer included the phrase, "end up at" as in, "They usually end up at [insert list of local community colleges here]." If Casey wants to go to a local community college, that's fine (not really), but I'd like to know his education has at least prepared him to shoot a little higher.

Today, I visited the second one. The school's only been in existence for two years -- the school's founders converted a summer camp into a private Christian school that retained all the natural beauty of the camp and added all the latest classroom technology. The cabins have been converted into classrooms and the campus is full of massive oak trees. I snapped a few photos for you while I was there (forgive the quality, I was using my cell phone's puny camera). Here is the main walkway through campus:

Gorgeous, yes? And here is one of the classroom cabins:

Here is the lunchroom/chapel/lots of other uses building:

And here is one half of the playground -- the other half includes swings and a firepit. Yes, that's a lake you see back there -- the older kids kayak on it during P.E.:

And here is one of the goats. Yes, you heard me. Goats:

The school has three goats and an assortment of chickens that the children care for, as well as a garden where they grow vegetables.

It's a lovely school. And it will probably be where we send Casey next fall. Casey is quite agreeable to changing schools, which I don't understand at all. He loves his current school and is doing very well there. When I showed him the pictures above and asked him how he would like going to a school like that, he just shrugged and said, "Sure, okay." I said, "But won't you miss your school and your friends?" He thought about it for a moment and then said, "Umm, I guess. But that school (pointing to one of the pictures) looks good, too." He's clearly taking it much better than me.

The new lovely school does have its drawbacks -- they are still doing Saxon Math and I like the Singapore Method better. They do not have a band program and I am committed to raising my children to be band geeks like their parents, so it looks like I'd have to start the program myself, which could be problematic since I only know how to play the oboe -- and trust me, a band full of 4th grade oboists wouldn't be anyone's idea of music. They also don't have any after-school sports intramurals for the younger grades, so I'd have to exercise the boy myself and I couldn't teach soccer or basketball if my life depended on it. Though I could have all the children participate in the game Casey invented just today:

It's called, "Run Down The Driveway While Mom Chases You With The Car." You have to be very careful not to text and drive while you play, though.

1 comment:

  1. You crack me up. I talked to Mike about that school today. It might be something we do when Kate gets to Kindergarten. Depends on how Casey likes it his first year.

    Oh, I fed your a million times. He seems happy.


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