We’ve had our yearly discussion of high schools at our house. For clarification, we are talking about private schools. Which, of course, means I can never run for mayor. Anyway, it doesn’t matter that my kids are only starting the 4th and 5th grades this year. We must talk of these things because of the sheer cost involved.
I have to budget for high school now, because of the huge variance between what we pay for tuition now (which is very, very reasonable), and some of the high schools we are looking at. The difference in cost can range from an amount that is roughly what we’re paying now for elementary school, to $18,000 more than we are paying now. (I won’t be sending my kids to that one).
(NOTE: Yes, we could always have a discussion on what a rich elitist I am. However, since any such discussion would be based on a false premise grounded in ignorance, let’s stick to the subject at hand, shall we?)
The cost also varies wildly based on whether or not I convert to Catholicism. Don’t think the thought hasn’t crossed my mind. 🙂
But that’s not what I came here to talk to you about.
My concern right now is academics. And I have a strange question for you academic-type people.
Right now, my kids go to an academically rigorous school. Oh, they don’t kill them or anything, but my kids have always tested about 4 or 5 levels above their current grade levels, yet they are middle of the pack when it comes to their peers.
And that brings me to high school. Let’s say our goal is getting the kids into really good universities one day (hopefully, with scholarship), and successful careers after that. Are we better off sending them to a high school with a very rigorous academic department, with the prestige that accompanies it, or do we send them to a less rigorous academic school, with sights set on them graduating at the top of their class?
Which looks better to a prospective university?
Compounding the issue, right now my daughter wants to go to an all-girls school. There are currently two in Nashville, and one of them is out of the question (because my last name is not Frist or Ingram). The other is very good academically, but I might have to get a second job to afford it. But I’ll do what it takes. Anyway, once puberty hits, I don’t think she’ll be as keen on the idea of an all-girls school, but I could be wrong.
My son? He doesn’t care, as long as the school has a good baseball team.
Of course, my job could always go away tomorrow, and this won’t be a concern anymore. Thanks to SSA, at least one of the reasons I send my kids to private school isn’t an issue anymore.
Anyway, the question at hand: High Academics (middle of the pack), or Less Strenuous Academics (top of the class) ?