First, let me say that I have no problems with public schooling in general. My husband and I are both products of public education (including state university), and we’re both fine, productive, reasonably intelligent adults.
However, the city I live in has absolutely awful public schools. Like many citie there is much poverty, which tends to translate into overcrowded classrooms, teachers who spend much of their time dealing with discipline issues, lack of parental involvement, and absolutely 0 arts programs.
My daughter will be 2 years 9 months in September, and I’m starting to think about whether or not to take her out of home daycare and put her in pre-school. We’re also seriously considering looking for a house in a community with better public schools. There are many in the area, but housing is incredibly expensive compared to the city where we live. (We’re in Worcester, Massachusetts. Our home would cost two times what we paid if it were in any neighboring town.)
I’m not averse to spending some money on private schooling, to avoid moving. We’re already paying for daycare, so we would just continue to pay for school. It would be around 2K more per year. It would be a wash with buying a new home after a few years.
My daughter is very, very bright (she could count to 20 by the time she was 18 months, knows her ABCs, is beginning to recognize numbers and letters, and speaks in complete sentences.) I want her to be in a school where she is both nurtured and challenged, and is never bored.
Searching the Dope I found this thread on Montessori schools.
It’s an interesting discussion on the pros and cons of Montessori, but I don’t want that to be our only option. I’m interested in Montessori, but also interested in hearing about Charter schools, other private programs, parochial schools (though we’re not Christian), and good public schools.
I hope this is a respectful discussion, that highlights your personal experiences. I’d rather it not turn into a Great Debate, which is why I put it into IMHO. I assume if it becomes a debate, a mod will help us out and move it. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.