So friends ... let's launch back into the crazy world of schooling (am feeling robust today).
We're going to send our son to a public (government) high school. In some circles (especially Christian) this is quite a talking point. So I'm going to share the reasons why we chose the public system. Just because I want to throw our thinking into the mix. NOT to place judgement on other's decisions. In talking to my friends this year about how they've made their decision about high school - it is very rarely a straightforward, easy decision.
I really want to emphasis that while schooling is an area that we are very excellent at judging one another on (experienced first hand in my earlier post), I can't see a clear right or wrong way to go on this decision. All of us make a decision based on the information we have in front of us at the time - we can only do our best with that information. Each of us are unique (as are our children) so the decisions we make and the reasons for them will be varied and complex - very complex in some contexts. More complex than we often realise when looking in from the outside.
However, here's our thinking (just in case you're interested) why we think our kids will be OK in a public high school. As you'll see, some of our thinking is quite personal and unique to our context.
- Our kids are reasonably bright, don't appear to have learning difficulties and seem to socialise pretty well.
- We live in an area where we have public schools that appear to teach kids and they learn stuff. I can't justify spending a lot of money for a service that I don't think we need in our context.
- Even though we would get a discount at a private school (because Rowan is an Anglican minister) we still can't afford to pay the fees (plus everything else).
- I don't want to work to just pay for school fees - at the moment I don't feel I would cope well with that pressure.
- We don't believe that our kids will only become a Christian if they attend a private/Christian school - it is only through God's grace that they will be saved.
We had enrolled Aidan in Leichhardt High but were thrilled for him when he got accepted into a public selective school (school for gifted/talented/well-tutored children) - it will suit him a lot. My next child doesn't even want to go near that type of school so we're interested in our local girls' high school for her.
Will it all go smoothly? I completely expect not. But what school experience does go perfectly? Teenagers - I taught them - they are hard work and not always very nice to each other. Whatever school you send them too.
I'll keep you posted!