We chose the public school this year, for too many reasons to detail here, many of which were very pragmatic. It's less than ideal in some ways. But the reality is, we can't hack a long commute in the car and neither are we sure that spending upwards of $40,00o/year to privately school five children is the best use of our resources.
I'm sympathetic to other parents who have even fewer options than we do. I think of my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, living in one of Chicago's worst neighborhoods. The public school is out. Kids are throwing chairs by second grade. A more academically sound magnet school draws them out of their neighborhood, a community where they feel called to put down deep roots and extend God's love. And the neighborhood Christian school isn't inexpensive. So go the stories for so many families. You want the best for your kids, and in some way, the best feels out of reach. For us, in this season, what's out of reach is school as we want our kids to experience it. Should I reconsider homeschooling? We've thought of it. We basically calculated that a full-time nanny that we'd hire so that I could homeschool would cost less than three children in the local private Christian school.
For next year, Audrey and Nathan will be back at Edison. For all its failings, we're going to choose to thank God for a school which is safe, whose teachers are genuinely invested in their students, and which, I won't lie, is a stone's throw from our front door.