Kindergarten: The Decision

As many of you know, my husband and I have been struggling with our decision about where to send Vivi for kindergarten. Providence public schools are strapped for money and all of the teachers were issued pink slips several months ago.  The city is planning on closing some schools and spreading the students from those schools to the ones that will remain open.  Our neighborhood school will remain open but with twenty-eight kids in a class already, many from highly impoverished homes, I have a hard time envisioning how this will work.

On the contrary, there is a lovely private school walking distance from our house where Vivi was admitted.  The kindergarten is play-oriented with lots of recess, the curriculum is progressive, the classrooms are small, and there is dual education in English and Hebrew.  It is expensive, of course, but the school gave us a generous financial aid package.

So it's a simple decision, right?  Unfortunately, no.

When we began the process of looking for schools for Vivi, we were not thinking about the financial implication of sending three children to private school.  We wanted to find an environment that would support and nurture our precocious first-born.  While it is hard to predict what sort of educational needs Jude and Ellie will have, we are almost certain that they would want to go to their big sister's school. That would mean more cash than we are comfortable shelling out. 

Ultimately, we felt that we couldn't make the financial commitment to send all three until we knew absolutely that public school wouldn't work for Vivi.  We are looking at kindergarten as a chance to see what the public school has to offer. If it turns out not to be a suitable environment for Vivi, the private school will admit her mid-year. At least then we will have tried the public option. 

I think this is probably the best possible decision we could have made given what we know.  If that's the case, I'm just not sure why I burst into tears when my husband notified the private school that we weren't enrolling Vivi.


  1. Possibly because, whether she knows it or not, Vivi is already making sacrifices for the dubious pleasure of having sisters. So sayith an Only Child.

  2. Something to consider: You might have burst into tears if your husband had told the private school that Vivi was going to be enrolling. It's a *huge* transition for everyone, no matter what the school. Perhaps some of it is just the emotion of this milestone? Just a thought.

    Kindergarten. So amazing!

  3. Have you explored home schooling? With your collective education, I don't see any better environment than your loving home.

    Play dates with other home schooled are essential to socialize them but overall you pocketbook will feel the relief and you kids will reap the benefits.

    Good luck!


  4. I think snickollet has an excellent point.. its the 'enormity' more than anything else. and, the thing is, it really isn't that big...its just a change, like all the others, the first time for something... but i do not envy you the decision or the forthcoming revelations... be they wonderful or dubious... there are just so many, it can be swamping...
    love love, k

  5. Ack! This issue looms on the horizon. In our area the big choices are; catholic school, french catholic school, french public school, public school, early french immersion or late french immersion...

    You do your best with what you know at the time.

  6. Aviva is a smart, vibrant and beautiful young lady who will thrive wherever she is - don't worry. (I know... so much easier said than done!) Love to all of you!!

  7. This is so tough. My husband and I have already started heated debates about school for Mr. Mischief, who won't be five for a year and a half!

    Part of our problem is that he turns 5 a month and a half after the cut off date. The only way to get him into kindergarden early hear is to homeschool him for two years and have him test into second grade, or to send him to private school for two years and have him test into second grade. Since he is already doing kindergarden level work at home, I'm not sure I want him to wait two full years to start Kindergarden.

    The only way I would want him to wait is if he gets into one of the charter schools, but there is no way to predict that...

  8. Oh, Sam! So tough. Knowing the private school will take Vivi mid-year is good news though. Now you can try the public, and hopefully things will work out. I sure hope they do!
    And if she ends up going to the private, it will be fine. You never know what Elli and Jude will want/need, or what changes may come with the public schools, as well as the private.... cross that bridge later : )


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