Choosing an Elementary School: Public or Private?

I am in a choose your own adventure book. But unfortunately this one I can’t go back and re-read it and take a different route to find out what could have happened.  And I can’t cheat and peek at the chapters ahead so see what will happen if I go with number 1, 2, or 3.

Nope, I have to choose, and then I have to PRAY.  Pray that I made the right choice. We do this all the time, right? That’s life.

When we chose to move to Hawaii it was a leap of faith.  A dream. A hope for the best.  A tad bit (haha) of anxiety and a crossing of my fingers, toes and eyes that this was the right choice.

Actually scratch all that.  We did it because in my mind, it was 100% the right choice.  I had to commit and believe, truly believe, that it was the right choice.  Otherwise, doubt can creep in and take over and everything can fall to pieces. At least that’s been my experience.  Don’t let the doubt in…go away doubt!

Fast forward to today.  We’ve been here for three years and I am now faced with a new choice in my book of life.  But this new choice that I have to make isn’t for me.  It’s for my son.

I have to decide where he is to go to kindergarten next year. To start his academic career. Where each steps is like a ladder and can and will take him in a certain direction, much like in candy land.  I’m just hoping the spinner lands on the right color and he never falls down the slide.

Its stressful.

To say the least!

Do we go with private school and sell organs to make it happen?

Or public?  I was a public school kid up until I went to college, but times and location were different.  Every single public school that I went to was an award winning public school.  I was extremely lucky. (and so were my parents…)

Public schools here are forced to take part in “Furlough Fridays”, where kids CANNOT go to school on Friday’s because the government thinks this is the best way to save money…yes they are literally TAKING education away from our kids to fix their own mistakes. This doesn’t help the already tarnished reputation the Hawaii education system has throughout the country.

And it doesn’t help me in my usual defense of how public education can be just as good as private (if not better…ah the diversity!)  After all, look at me, and my sister, and brother and friends and and and…

I want to give my children the absolute best.  To set them up with any and ALL tools to succeed. So it seems an easy choice right?

Private school.

Now we just have to figure out what organs we can live without to make it happen.  My hair grows really fast, maybe I can sell it. That should cover the cost of uniforms…or maybe one shirt for his uniform.

Question for you…

How did you decide where to send your kids to school when the time came?

I am totally stressed out.  I really hope I choose the right path for my kids….after all there’s no going back and re-writing this book called LIFE.


  1. Sarah, we’re just a few years ahead of you in this decision-making process. I totally understand your concerns. There are so few choices on Maui and there is a big gap between the “haves” and have-nots”. We have had lots of experience with both systems now so if I can help you at all, please let me know!

  2. I would try to go with private, or home school. There is a great private Christian preschool over in the redhill area if you were on Oahu.

  3. We are in the same boat, sort of. We will be sending our little one of to school this coming school year. However, we won’t be choosing anything. It would be nice to put our son in a private school, however the funds just are not there for us to do that. The private schools around us are all religious schools (Catholic, Lutheran, etc.) and unless you are an active member and your child is baptized to that religion you pay twice as much as the rest of the students, which is already a lot!

    Good luck with your decision and remember that no matter which you choose, you will choose the right one.
    .-= Shawn Ann´s last blog ..Terrific Tuesday 2-2 =-.

  4. You have a third choice. Charter public school! You are on Maui right? if so the other islands:

    When our local excellent rated local public school ‘failed’ to work with my son we pulled him out and enrolled him in the Ohio Virtual Academy. It is an excellent curriculum K12 same as those 2 schools in HI and now all our children are schooled at home through this program. You might not think you could do it, but you can!

  5. I think there’s nothing wrong with sending your child to a public school. Most research has shown that parent-involvement is the biggest factor in how well children do in school (and overall). Maybe you could have your child attend public schools Mon-Thur, then home school on Fridays to supplement it? Or do home schooling entirely? I used to be skeptical of home schooling, but in the past few years have gotten to know quite a few people in their 20’s who were home schooled and they all seem to be very intelligent and successful. Looking into it (my child won’t be in school for a few years, yet) there are packages you can purchase and programs you can join that will give you the materials you need. From talking to parents who have home schooled, it’s not as hard as it sounds. Just make sure your kids have social activities with others their age.

  6. Thankfully we have a great public school system here in MD (#1 in the country 2 years in a row). We moved to this house specifically for the schools. I heard about the Furlough Fridays and that is awful! I can’t imagine having to deal with that.

  7. If your state/town etc have decent public – it’s OK. The Phoenix metro area has the WORST public education from K to College. They just don’t care about education around here. And private schools are super expensive. But if you decide private – look into scholarships maybe?

    Good luck!
    .-= Brittany´s last blog ..If I Had Extra =-.

  8. Part of the stress for me is that the folks at private have A LOT of money. I fear that I can’t offer Cam things that they can and it’ll be a constant “well, so and so has this and so and so has that” but I’ve had to get over MYSELF and realize that this is the best for Cameron (and eventually Leah, after all what we do with one we’ll be doing with the other…ack, the stress!)

  9. Chica – right now I am looking at VPKs – voluntary Pre K – for Keeg. Thankfully, it’s free and statefunded. But I already know where I want to send him for Kindergarten … and that’s so not free. It’s Catholic/Private. I compared it to a Montessori that I also had my eye on … same price more or less. I wonder about Public … but get the shivers. LOL. I went to Catholic until the 3rd grade, Private until the 7th grade and Public the rest of my education. When I went from Private to Public, I was SO ahead of the game. I want my kids to have that same advantage.

    As for what organs to sell? LOL. Truthfully, I am putting $$$ aside from what I earn with the Mom Buzz. It’s piddly now, but I have a year to get the moolah in hand.
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Make a Love Connection with Avon =-.

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