Parents' dilemma: public vs private

School shoes/uniform
School shoes/uniform Fuse

OF ALL the difficult decisions I expected to face as a parent, choosing a school wasn't one I thought would be so tough.

My husband and I went to public schools and turned out okay, so it seemed natural we would follow a similar path for our children.

But from the day they are born, almost everyone has an opinion on where kids should go to school.

"If you value something, you will pay for it and what could be more important than your child," one parent said.

Another said: "Why spend money on schooling that you can spend on having an awesome family vacation."

The decision became easy as my husband got a job in a small, independent school and my kids went there until last year. But he left the school and we faced the dilemma again. We had also discovered paying for an education that supports your values doesn't mean all the children in the school will do the same.

We sent our sons to a Catholic high school as it had a strong ruby union program. It was an excellent choice, worth every cent, as they thrive under the culture and structure of the Catholic school and are enjoying its traditions. The fees are not that expensive.

As for my young daughter, we sent her to a state school and have never looked back. The school has been wonderful, thanks to superb leadership and a lovely teacher.

Ultimately, it's not money that maketh a school. It comes down to the person at the top and the values you nurture at home.

Topics:  education kathy sundstrom private schools public schools soapbox

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