We are nearing another pivotal point in both our lives and the lives of our children. The school they currently attend ends at 6th grade. 8 years ago we visited several schools and after much worry and debate made the decision to send them to an independent private school. Mostly because it was the most amazing place I’ve ever visited. Seriously—this place is freaking magical. This decision meant a lot of things. It meant I would have to work full time. It meant we would not be getting new cars unless ours were completely dead to the world. It meant we would have to get creative if we were going to do any vacations. It meant a LOT of time would be spent in the car. I do not love these things. I have tried to find the silver lining in most of them but honestly—life would be easier in a lot of ways if we had made a different decision.
But I regret absolutely nothing. Because it also meant our children would be completely in love with school. It meant they would experience joyful learning from day one. It meant they would learn to creatively solve problems and to do so with grit and teamwork. It meant they would learn compassion. They have discussed topics that adults struggle to discuss without it becoming a yelling match. They have learned empathy. And not just empathy for those who closely resemble themselves. They have learned to value ALL people. They have learned to question the majority and to think for themselves. And they have done all of that in a safe supportive space.
So now what? It is time to decide once again… Do we move and send them to an amazing public school. One with a billion class and activity options where they can meet so many new people. The school is diverse, it performs well. We walked the halls and the kids seemed like good kids. They would have friends who lived in the same town and we would certainly have more money than we are used to. We could take cool vacations. We would not be spending an hour of each day in the car…
But it is also HUGE. What if they fall through the cracks? Get lost in the bureaucratic shuffle? I know we will be on top of it, but would the school back us up?
We also visited another private school. Once again I saw students who were being pushed both cognitively and creatively. Who were coming up with solutions to problems adults are struggling with. Who are learning some serious ethics and what that means in all aspects of life. Who were allowed to come up with their own projects and see them through with support. It was amazing. And by amazing I mean these kids are going to be world changers.
But it comes at a cost. An astronomical cost, in fact. Which would mean all the sacrifices we are making already plus more. I am not sure we have any more to sacrifice…
So here we are. One year and two months away from a life change. And we are not sure what that change will look like yet. I will be sitting in this discomfort that entire time. But I will not forget how blessed we are to have this decision to make in the first place.