Private vs. Public

So for the last 4 years Faruq and I have been going back and forth on whether to send the kids through the Public education system or to pay big bucks to go the private route.

We thought we had it all figured out a few years back when Hayden started in a private Montessori preschool but sadly he wasn't really a Montessori type kid so we both felt that the private elementary school we had selected just wouldn't work.  

A friend had suggested we check out the Traditional Learning Centers that are run under the Calgary Board of Education. We went to their open house and listened to the principal talk about the program.  We left that night with the feeling that while it was a good program the class sizes scared us  - 24 to 1 (with another 1/2 time teacher to help her).  The positives for us were it was an academically enriched program so the kids would be working at a higher level then the normal elementary and it was a uniform-based school.  I particularly liked were the school was physically located but it would be about a 20 minute drive both ways everyday.

I had many sleepless nights trying to decide what was best for Hayden.  We toured a few of the private schools and noted lots of positives about them as well.  Classes size were smaller in some but surprisingly not all.   I think all were uniform based as well.  

One problem was that I was schooled through the private system and my husband via the public.  We both received excellent educations so we both had feelings where our kids should go.

The TLC program wasn't a for sure thing as you still had to submit an application then go through a lottery process.   We submitted the application so that we would at least have the option of sending him there if we so chose.  We also applied to one of the private school.  In March we got accepted to both schools and then had to make the decision on which place send him to.  

We took Hayden to both schools for a visit where he was able to participate in a class for a morning.  The TLC class was very active and busy to which he loved He cried when he had to leave at lunch and begged me to go back in the afternoon.  

We then went to the private school where I think the overall school has something like 120 kids so it was vastly different then the TLC experience.  There ratio is 10 to 1 for teacher/student.  Of course,  mommy loved it and wanted him to start that day but Hayden didn't react quite the same way.  It was much quieter setting and I think he felt to much attention was put on him.  He is a very shy  & quiet kid so the TLC was perfect as he just blended into the mix.  

So we listened to our kid and went the TLC route...He is 6 months into the program and seems to be loving it.  He wants to go everyday, has made lots of new friends and we are generally happy with the educational learning he has done. 

His vocabulary for both written and verbal has exploded, he is writing short stories and reading books that he wouldn't have tried to read last summer. He is tired when he comes home because I have seen first hand that this program is challenging for the kids.   But of course I'm having these feelings that if he is doing well in this school with this many kids what would he capable of doing if placed in the smaller school setting.

I just feel we have one shot with each of children to try to get it right so here I sit wondering if we should move him or not.

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