School system

Josh is 3 1/2, so he’s due for kindergarten next September. It might seem like a long ways away, but apparently I have to register him this fall in the school system already!

Both Cliff and I grew up in the public school system. Of course, I went through the Taiwanese school system, which is quite different from the Canadian one. But either way, neither of us have any experience with private schools, or independent schools, or religious schools, or language schools, etc. The choices are overwhelming. How does a parent know what’s right for their child?

At a work function last week, I overheard someone preach about the importance of putting his kids in private schools. He said that he worked his butt off so his kids can have the best education there is in the world, so he had to put them in a private school. Ok, I can see the logic in that, sort of. But who’s to say that the private school education is “the best” you can give your child?

One day I phoned an independent school about their information session. Their philosophy sounds so great (child centered philosophy, teaching kids that they have a voice and a choice). But when I spoke with the enrollment officer, she sounded so artsy fartsy and nebulous that I was a little turned off. All I could envision is Joshua dressed in a tie-died t-shirt and chanting with his eyes closed in a smoke cloud of incense during PE class.

I don’t necessarily want him to grow up under the stress and pressure I had to live with in the Taiwanese school system. I had an ulcer at the age of 18. I also never learned to deal with pressure other than work harder and work more. I don’t want my kids to have that life. On the other hand, I’d also like to make sure he understands that the real world is competitive and there are consequences to every action (i.e. I don’t agree with the “everyone wins” crap because it’s not the real world).

I’m just going to ramble on and on in this post, because I still have no idea what we’re going to do with Josh’s school choices. I’m just feeling a little overwhelmed and unsure.



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