should i stay or should i go now....

caroline has been at her current elementary school since kindergarten. despite what others may think based off of test scores alone, her elementary school is a great school with some really amazing teachers. in fact, all of her teachers thus far have been great. caroline has flourished at this school. she is in the school gifted program called discovery. initially the discovery class met once a week for 2 hours but this year her school was able to add an additional teacher allowing the students to go to discovery for an entire day one day a week. this year the school also got a new principal who has been eager to make positive changes for the school. the school is already benefiting from involvement and his act-now type of attitude. all in all, i have been very pleased with the education caroline has received.

all that being said, we have the opportunity to transfer caroline to a public school within our county that is strictly for high achieving students. i have only heard amazing things about this school, basically attributing it to a private education for free.  to apply to this school, the student must have a certain gpa as well as a certain percentage on standardized testing scores.  even if those qualifications are met, students are then entered into a lottery system for admittance.

we applied for the school/lottery with the attitude if she gets in, great. if not, that is ok since she is doing great where she is.

of four students picked from her school, caroline was one of them. and that changed our thinking altogether.

i kind of have the attitude sometimes that if something isn't broken, don't mess with it. that is how i feel on some days about caroline at her current school. she has only been very successful here, has a great group of girlfriends, and feels comfortable where she is. why mess with that?

why mess with that you say? because i also think that things happen for a reason. i think there was a reason caroline's name was selected in the lottery. we should jump at such an opportunity for her, an opportunity so many others were hoping to get. this school for high achievers also allows her to stay within an amazing school system rather than transferring back after she has completed the 6th grade.

all in all, this new school provides caroline with so many positive opportunities:

  • learn to play an instrument
  • learn to speak german
  • a chance to be with all gifted students
  • gym every day (she is excited about this one)
  • lower classroom size
  • field trips
  • huge selections of clubs

cons, of course, would be caroline having to leave her friends. i understand that is a big deal to a 9 year old girl. she has been with most of the same girls since kindergarten so i can't blame her for not wanting to start over in the make-a-friend area.

then i get stressed about the workload for caroline. up till now, she's had about 20 minutes of homework max. that isn't much. at her new school, they said to expect 30-60 minutes per night. that is kind of a lot i think. i still want her to do her extracurricular activities like piano and gymnastics but know that our nights are already stressed and tight, seeing how we don't get home from work/school until 5:20 or 5:30 normally. i know she is a really smart girl, so it isn't that i am worried about whether or not she can keep up. i am more worried about her not having fun either. it is only elementary school, not college we are talking about here. playtime is a big part of childhood and i definitely want to make sure there is an even amount of fun and work happening for her.... maybe not even. maybe more like 60/40 or 70/30. and what if caroline is so used to only getting 100's (which she is used to this and it happens easily for her) and then starts making B's at her new school, what will that do to her confidence? B's in my book are ok, especially at a more challenging school, but i want her to be ok with it as well. she is a type A personality for sure and definitely harder on herself than we are on her.

man, why do decisions have to be so stressful. parents never want to make the wrong decision when it comes to their child's education.

after all is said and done though, caroline will go to this new school in the fall. there are jut too many reasons for her to go for her not to go.

if after a year she is not happy, she can go back to her old school.

i seriously doubt that will happen.

1 comment:

Ginny said...

It's never easy to make decisions for your kids. That's when you learn to trust your gut and do your best.