is a bunch of hooey. Unless you are choosing to send your child to a public school that may not be able to accommodate your child's ability and desire to learn. But this post isn't a rant about public schools. Or a love letter about homeschooling. Although I do love homeschooling. It's a post about what has become my reality. Trying to find a school where a gifted student can thrive- one that costs wayyyy less than the $18,000 a year one that I really want them to go. Because here's the thing; In staying true to my unschooling theory- to let the girls take the lead- I have come to recognize two very important things: 1) Mackenna is a social butterfly who needs the attention and company of people all of the time and 2) Shaye, in addition to being a gifted student, avid reader, lover of all things math and science, she is a born leader and longs to have peers to lead. She is missing participating in group projects, interest fairs, etc. and is starting to verbalize wanting to go back to a school setting but is adamant that she does not mean her old public school.
I have been researching private schools and have found several non-religious private schools that offer what we are looking for at a price we could never afford and some other schools that fit our budget, offer what we we need but are... Catholic schools. We have narrowed it down to two, and by we I mean me, because the girls' and John have a clear favorite, but it is the one of the two that puts way more emphasis on the the Catholic part of being a Catholic school than I am comfortable with. My husband and I were both raised Catholic. I attended a Catholic school for a time in my life. I was confirmed and married in a Catholic church. I baptized my first two daughters in a Catholic church. But as an adult, I didn't practice "my religion". While I believe in a higher power, I never went to church and I don't agree with a lot of the Catholic positions. I got divorced. Remarried. Had two more daughters that were not baptized (although this still bothers my husband, even though he doesn't practice "his religion" either). I have used birth control, and now my tubes are tied. I support gay rights and am pro-choice. You see my dilemma.
This first choice school is wonderful- offers an amazing academic program, great extra curricular activities, the cutest uniforms ever- at a very reasonable price, BUT also daily religion classes, plus morning and afternoon prayers, with extra prayers thrown in at the teachers' discretion, and the principal stressed on our visit that the girls would be prepared for all upcoming sacraments, and baptism, but them actually receiving them is something we would need to search our souls about. Talk about peer pressure. If we stick to not wanting to choose an organized religion for the girls when they are children, they will surely feel left out. I kind of feel like I have to sell my soul for an affordable, good education for my daughters- even if it is to the right side of purgatory.
What do you think?
**UPDATED 5/20/09** In an interesting turn of events, I have been contacted by the public school system that, despite (or maybe because of) all of my