Public vs Private Schools

Updated on November 16, 2009
B.S. asks from North Aurora, IL
33 answers

I am wanting to hear other opinions on the benefits of both public and private schools. My husband has always said he wanted our daughter to go to private school. I on the other hand had not considered it because I have heard great things about our public grade schools. Obviously there is a cost to going to a private school - is it worth it?

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M.C.

answers from Rockford on

I went to private school from 1-8 and had a great experience. My dearest friends in my life are from grade school and I still talk to many of my classmates now. If my husband and I are able to afford it my children will be attending Catholic school as well. To this day I remember as a freshman (at a public school) being in total shock that my fellow classmates had already experienced drugs, alcohol, and sex. I remember in 8th grade it was a huge deal to see a classmate smoke. Now the times have changed and I don't regret public school in high school but I like the smallness of private and knowing that all the families in mine and my siblings class knew each other and feeling like a community.

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K.A.

answers from Chicago on

It depends on where you live. I live in Chicago and "buck up" to private ed. For all of the reasons the other ladies responded. I went to Sacred Heart for K-8 and did well at Lane and College. I think a good foundation says a lot.

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N.P.

answers from Chicago on

you pay lots of property tax to pay for those schools. If you invested what you would spend on private tuition instead of paying tuition with it you would have a GREAT college fund. Even if you ended up having to spend some on tutoring or other enrichments you will still come out ahead money wise.

If you don't live in a good school district, then move. Seriously. If the schools are good the neighborhood is good and why would you want to live where the schools/neighborhood isn't good?

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K.K.

answers from Chicago on

As a former public school teacher, I take offense to some of the comments posted here! I treated my students as if they were my own kids, as did the excellent staff working with me! We would have done anything to help a child succeed. To make such an accusation that private schools care about actually educating your kids and public schools do not is ludicrous.

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P.F.

answers from Chicago on

In my opinion the question is not public vs private, the true question is what school is right for your child. YOu will encounter great teachers in both. The questions you need to balance are:

1. what needs (not only educationally) does your child have, if any? Think future too!
2. what interests does your child have? Do the schools offer those (sports, art, music, computers etc)?
3. will your child thrive in a large or smaller environment?
4. is religion important to you?
5. What other opportunities do you want your child to see (mixed races, mixed socioeconomic, community service opportunities , etc etc)

The answer to these questions will lead you to the proper school with the matching skills for your child. Once you know what you want, you need to find that school (it may be that your public offers exactly what you want, you may need to search for a private school to fit your needs).

Every child has different needs and desires and not all schools fit every child. The hard part is deciding what you want for your child first then finding the school. Good Luck.

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S.Q.

answers from Chicago on

I chose a private school for my two kids, even though Oak Park's public schools are considered excellent, because I was looking for smaller class size (14), more parent involvement and a type of school experience not offered in our public schools, one based on the Progressive Education model (like U of C Lab School) which is project-based, social, hands-on. Lots of "learning by doing" with a focus on community-building, problem-solving and the democratic process. No standardized tests, kids' work is recorded in a portfolio and parent-teacher meetings are held several times a year. (Phew, sorry so long-winded tonight!) So, I work during the school day to pay tuition. It is a trade off, like we haven't taken a vacation this year and my car is a clunker, but it is worth it for us. Everyday, something happens that makes me think, "Our kids are in a great school" which of course can happen in ANY school. I have worked in the public school system and saw many great things and lots of involved parents outside the classroom, but very few participating in the day-to-day operations of the school or working as a volunteer in the classroom. But, I am sure each school has slightly different rules. In the public school there is the PTA and perhaps the district school board in addition to being a room parent.

So, I think there is opportunities to participate in your child's education on a regular basis. In the private schools, perhaps there is a bit more opportunity, but I am not sure how other private schools operate.

In private schools, as the previous poster mentioned, special services (OT, PT, Speech, etc.) are very hard to access, if a therapist is even available to provide care. The child needs to be transported on therapy days to the local public school to receive therapy services, which is so disruptive, since school-based therapy is designed to be provided in the course of a typical day. If your children don't require special services, then don't worry about it. If they do, public school wins points on that issue.

For us, the investment is worth it, but you are right that there is a "cost". My kids aren't in class with our immediate neighbors, but they have met kids from several other communities and all over our town. We don't have organized sports teams either, but kids sign up as a group for Park District or AYSO soccer teams, so that is a cool substitute.

Good luck and have fun with whatever option you choose!

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi B..
I think it depends on where you live. I grew up in Orland Park, and the school swere great, so we went to public. My husband grew up in the city and he went to catholic school. We now live in Lakeview, and the public school is awesome, so if we stay whre we are at, we will go public. However, if we move to another neighborhood of the city, we will most likely send our son to private school.

I am a public school teacher, and I disagree with the "bad crowd" comments. There are "bad" kids everywhere. Not just in public schools.

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D.B.

answers from Chicago on

Hi,
A lot of the posters have already put out great responses; I just want to supplement some of the thing I felt were missing. Not all private schools are religion based. Private does NOT equal Catholic, or Christian, etc. There are grammar schools, Waldorf schools, British schools, Latin schools, etc. None of which base their curriculum around a religion. So you're not limited on public school vs. Catholic school.
Keep in mind that many private school educators do not need to meet the same educational requirements as public school educators. Any teacher working in the public school system has to have a bachelor's in education, passed the basic skills and content area state tests, as well as the APT test. There are alternative routes to getting the teaching certificiate, but all require a degree and passing of all the tests. Not so with private schools. Not discrediting private school teachers, but simply being in private does not gurantee better.
Also, private schools tend to very homogenous, which, as we all know, the world itself is not. Not to say that public schools can't be homogenous- because we all know how segregated Chicago is- but the likelihood of it being so is definitely higher than in public.
As for the "bad element," you can get that in ANY school. How children behave has nothing to do with the school a child goes to, it has to do with parenting, and we have parents unable to teach their children proper behavior and respect across ALL cultures and classes. I have a relative who moved all the way to Glencoe expecting for her son to not be bullied there because it was a "better" school district in a "better" town, only to have her child bullied the same as they were in their high scoring CPS school.
If you are happy with your neighborhood schools and or close to any of the options schools (if you are in Chicago) I suggest checking them out. Go to www.greatschools.net and read parent reviews, teacher stats, student stats, etc. Ask parents and children who go to the school how they like it. Go on a tour of the school. You DO pay taxes for the public school education system so it's like paying double if you go to private, especially if your public is worth giving a try. If you live in chicago go to www.selectiveenrollment.org and you can see the many options CPS has as well.
Good luck!

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S.P.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter goes to our neighborhood CPS public school. The state scores are in the 90th percentile, and I couldn't ask for a more committed principal, staff or faculty. The parental community is wonderfully interactive and involved. My child can play with kids that live within walking distance from our home. The school is diverse. My feeling is that if you have the money to spend on private school, convert it to your own energy and time instead and direct it to your public school. It's the only way it'll improve.

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C.D.

answers from Chicago on

Yes! I work from home so that my two older kids can go to private school and have no regrets and never second guess it.
YES, there are great teachers in the public schools, BUT they don't necessarily have the same support community that most private schools have. Working in a supportive community of involved parents, principal, other teachers is priceless to a teacher. I think private schools, speaking generally, have more opportunity to teach outside of the books and test scores, like many CPS schools have to.
Our school is more hands on, with several learning excursions (like field trips, but with more direction) and opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. Just last week, my two kids had three learning excursions, two of which I chaperoned. It was amazing to see the involvement and interaction and afterwards to hear the kids talk to their parents about it- they soak in WAY more when they get to experience something first hand. For the most part, I think most CPS schools have maybe three or four field trips a year.
Another thing I've noticed is behavior. You have no control over who goes to your child's school, by any means, but at a private school, people are generally more intentional about their child's education, behavior, etc.
Good luck with your decision!

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J.C.

answers from Chicago on

I went to a private Christian school, and I don't feel the education was good at all. I switched to public school in 9th grade and I felt like I had to work hard to catch up, especially in math. On the other hand, my husband went to a private college prep high school and got a great education. But his private grade school was awful. (his were Catholic schools.)

I believe in public education, so it was important to me to find an area to live where we could have solid public schools - but obviously, that was an option we had, and not everyone has that option. All other things being equal, though, I think today's good public schools are great. I think media reports don't AT ALL reflect what I see in our school, which is great art and music, solid reading and math, and caring teachers. We have smaller classes, too. Public schools also provide resources for kids who need help in some areas like speech, occupational therapy, social skills, as well as resources for special needs kids.

I think sometimes people think what they pay for must be better, but I really don't think that's always true. Unless you have a specific reason for choosing that type of education (you want a religious education, or Montessori) or your public school district is not good, there are a lot of advantages to public school. I love it that my kids have a built-in community of kids from the neighborhood and that I have a community of parents who all live nearby. I feel our quality of life is really bettered, in so many ways, by being a part of our public school community.

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A.M.

answers from Chicago on

It totally depends on where you live. If you live in Naperville, or Oak Park or a variety of other places, the public schools are great. It also depends on whether your child can place into gifted as the CPS system has so many good options for gifted. And it depends on what style of schooling you want and what you want your child to get from school. If you want montessori style education, it is somewhat hard to find in public school. Also, it depends as well on whether you want your child to grow up in a non-elite, diverse environment. Again if you do, then public school is likely the best option. And then there is the issue of the personality of your child - will he /she like a larger school - by high school a lot of the public schools are pretty darn large. So I think I would line up the pros and cons for your area and your child and then decide. Remember the decision doesn't have to be for ever. If you choose one and then decide that was a bad decision, you can move schools. Good Luck.

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L.M.

answers from Chicago on

My 2 cents worth:
I had my daughter in private school for kindergarten, although as a whole, our public school system in my town is REALLY good. She is a VERY high ability learner, so we thought that they would be able to cater to her needs better than a public school (b/c of smaller classes). Coinsidencently, my husband works for the public schools, and we received a little scruitiny for sending her there. We discovered that her private school is a one track curriculum. She came home everyday and told us how bored she was. Her teacher, for whatever reason, wasn't able to give her work at her level. I figured in a class of 13, she should be able to stay stimulated and challanged. NOPE. So, we didn't reenroll her and ended up sending her to our public school. Can I just say "LOVE IT!!". The public schools have more resources and are able to give her material that she can work on while the rest of the class is working on something else. As far as being exposed to a wider variety of kids, it's actually good for her. Because what happens when the kids are out of school...they're not going to live in a world of only one type of person. My daughter is a good kid, and she knows right from wrong. I think that as long as a parent teaches their child properly in these life skills, it doesn't really matter which school they go to.
So B., if your public schools have a reputation for being good, then there isn't a convincing enough reason to send her to a private school (unless you want the religious education). I'm sure she can succeed at either place.

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S.E.

answers from Chicago on

This is hilarious.

I am a parent who did parochial school - because the public school couldn't possibly be giving a good education and all the wrong element were there etc. After 6 years - prek - 4th, I took the time to really look at the CPS school. They were doing equal and more advanced curriculum and they had resources to help my child with ADHD and they offered advanced classes in grade school level. AND, the children at the local CPS school were 150% better behaved and just better people than the children at the parochial school. They (the students) showed compassion and caring and character and community all the time. The kids at parochial school were rude, spoiled and disrespectful to adults and the peers. The teachers at the CPS school were and are extremely qualified and caring and really work with the students and parents for the child to be successful in their academic career. My child is in CPS high school - neighborhood school, not charter, not magnet, not selective enrollment and the teachers and the education my child is receiving is outstanding. If my child wasn't in the CPS school, I would homeschool. It's too bad people don't get all the facts and learn about what's going on in their local schools before they start talking out the side of their neck.

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E.R.

answers from Chicago on

It totally depends on where you live and what the elementary schools near you are like! I am assuming cost is not a factor for you, as obviously private school will be much more expensive than public.

When you say 'private' school- that can be SO many different things! If you are religious and your husband specifically wants a religious component such as a Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, etc. education, then you should start looking at different schools in your denomination in your area. Don;t just go with the closest one- check out several!

Even so- it might not be the best fit!For example, my fiancee went to a Montessori school as a young child and has really fond memories of that early experience. But in high school he attended a very prestigious private Catholic school (he was very bright and his family wanted him to get a really great education) - and although he got excellent grades, he hated it and has NO friends from those early days.The atmosphere there was one of bullying and favoritism and he insists that he would never send any child of his to that school, although it achieves high marks academically.

I went to a public school, got excellent grades and am still friends with people from 1st grade on. Did he get a better education than I did? Possibly, but we both went to the college of our choice, so its all relative, right?

Or you could be looking for a different school experience, such as Montessori school or the Waldorf method of education. All of these approaches can be really great- but they are not all going to always be the best fit for YOUR child. You need to educate yourselves about the different methods and how they work and how YOUR child interacts and learns and try and get a good match.

On the other hand, depending on where you are, public school can be great. We moved where we are specifically so my son could attend his public school, which is ranked as one of the best elementary schools in the state and has about 300 kids in it. Public schools in our area score very high all the way through high school, which is also something to consider. If you are in the city and the public school nearest you is not one you want your child to attend, you can try and get her into a magnet school, but it is a lottery system, so you might not get what you want.

Do some research on ALL the school options in your neighborhood. Look online at Greatschools.com and see what people say. Talk to parents you know with older kids and see what they say about their experiences at local schools. Call the principals at schools in your area and arrange to tour the school. What are YOUR priorities? Art & music and extras? Strong math and science? It all depends...

You don't say why your husband wants private school- but that is just not always a guarantee of a great school or a good fit for your child. Talk seriously with him about why he feels that way and what his priorities are. Then do some research together and see which schools appeal to both of you.

I have to agree with the comment below- there are 'bad crowds' everywhere!! Lots of private schools have plenty of bad apples. Don't be naive and assume that your kid will never run across one in a religious or private school. Your daughter will mix with all sorts of kids at ANY school and in her neighborhood- its part of life!!Good luck!

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M.C.

answers from Chicago on

One of the great bonds my husband and I have is having attended Catholic schools. He grew up in Chicago, where it was by far the superior school system, even with its old-fashioned norms 50 years ago. So we sent our five to Catholic schools and were so happy with it. They really were good students and it developed their potential and put them on a track to go to topnotch colleges, e.g. Northwestern and UofI in Champagne. Their knowledge of composition and liberal arts subjects is on a par with ours, whereas, many are noting that many young people today cannot write a sentence and are ignorant of basic geology and history. If your children are happy to study, sending them to a private school will suit them. However, if you value diversity and being a little more worldly wise, you may want to opt for public education. A good student will do well in both environments, a follower could flounder in public education as far as choosing friends goes. Of course, quite a few who read what I have to say and have had good public school educations will take exception to some of what I have said. Since I am not personally familiar with public education, except for having two daughters who teach in the Glenbard district, this is my point of view. They, by the way, have taught in both systems and the valuing of education and achievement goals of those in private schools are definitely superior, as is the involvement of the parents.

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S.E.

answers from Chicago on

This is what we did.
Our son went to Private Christian school from PreK - 6th grade.
We home schooled him for 7th and 8th grade and
he decided he wanted to attend public high school so he could play sports.
You really have to have a good reason to choose private school because of the cost. The cost is much higher now that when our son went. Now you can pay over $5000 for one year.
We never regret anything we did. I think that getting a good Christian education at a young age is very important if your family has a Christian foundation. It gives young people a solid Christian foundation.
You can always consider home schooling, since you are a SAHM. Illinois is a home school friendly state. check out www.iche.org for more information.
The solid foundation that our son started out with sustained him through high school with out any problems.
If you asked me I would say home school or private but you need to weigh the odds yourself.

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K.S.

answers from Chicago on

I have a 5th grader at a Catholic school and a 3rd grader at a Chicago charter school. Each school is best for each child. I am not crazy about balancing two schools and two calendars and religious ed on weekends, but with my younger childs learning disability and the Catholic school inability (and at times unwillingness) to work with us we had no choice.

It's a very personal and BIG decision. Talk to families at the potential private and public schools and see what kind of vibe you get. Se if their values and priorities match yours. Talk with your husband and set out your priorities; Faith based, smaller classes, community, best education, school results and test scores etc

WIth two school aged children and knowing hundreds of families with school aged children, the priorites and values are as different as each child. I know a family who spends close to 60k per year in private tuition and live in a two bedroom apartment because their priority was the best education in the city thier money could buy.

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S.P.

answers from Chicago on

I went to private school both for grade school and high school. You can avoid a lot of the bad element that public schools tend to collect, but you still need to warn your children about the dangers of peer pressure, especially at a smaller school. I found I was very naive about a lot of things as I was getting older because I had not been exposed to them the way that public school kids had been. One thing though with private schools, they are much more geared to actually giving your children an education than public schools are able to.

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J.W.

answers from Chicago on

I have a lovely son that is going to turn 4 in 2 weeks. I have been thinking the same question: public or private school? We live in Naperville and the public schools in the district are generally good. So, I do not think there will be much difference in teaching quality at the grade school level when comparing public versus private schools. Personaly, I think the major difference may lie in the teacher-student ratio. I have a good friend who is a professor. She has taught both public and private colleges. She said that the main difference that she sees is that the students in private colleges do spend much more time with each other due to the small class size. They tend to build long lasting friendship. I don't know yet how true that is at the grade school level. But it does getting me thinking of private school more.

A little about me:

I own a small company that specializes in cross-culture exchange programs. It offers me flexible schedule and a satisfying job and income to help the family.

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M.B.

answers from Chicago on

One thing you will find is this is a hot topic. I went to a lutheran school prek-8th and I am sending my children to the same school now. I have many people in my life that doesn't understand why we would pay to send our kids to school especially because we live in a great school district but in my opinion the results are priceless and we live with no regret. Yes it is a sacrifice but again well worth it! I think that it is all about your past experience of your education, your goals for your childs education and the private/public schools in your area. I can only speak of my own experience of my private school and it has been great. The private school my children attend is an accredited school which means it meets the standards of Illinois. I think that is a very important factor. Our education is no less of an education, we believe more. Not only is the education top class, your children have the freedom to learn and grow in their faith, each child is not a number but a important part of the school that will be encouraged to grow strong, the staff of the school are living examples of what it is to be a loving caring person and it truly is a family. In no way do I think the kids think they are better because they attend a private school. I do believe it is a good foundation to begin their lives on. Good Luck in your decision, no matter what you decide it is a choice that you just have to believe in, what is best for your family and if it doesn't work you can always go the other direction.

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D.F.

answers from Chicago on

Hi B.,

I would consider what matters most to the both of you. Do you have the money for private school? Location? Will you need before and aftercare? Are the curriculums similar or different? No matter what you choose, parents make the difference in a childs' success wherever they are, or some form of family support. Lastly, seek out supplemental resources (tutoring, home activities, extracurricular activities) to keep your child engaged and learning, and to sharpen skills. Reinforcing what is learned at school at home is very key to helping your child excel.

All the Best!

S.A.

answers from Chicago on

Hi B.,

My children attend St. Hubert Catholic School in Hoffman Estates. We originally chose that school because we live in a poor school district, and were not impressed with the local public school. We absolutely love St. Hubert and would continue to send our kids there even if we moved to a good school district. Aside from an excellent and challenging education, they reinforce the morals and values that we teach at home, and foster a real sense of community. I love that they see their classmates when we go to Sunday mass. So to answer your question, I definitely feel it's worth the financial hardship.

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J.

answers from Chicago on

Our daughter goes to public school in Naperville (District 203). We have been very happy with the schools and her teachers. However, religion is definately absent from school - which is where she spends most of her time. Our daughter was in a small Christian school in Virginia Beach before we moved here and it was wonderful to have God as part of her day - all day, every day.

Also, the public schools are much bigger than the private schools. The schools make an effort to keep the small feel (and they do a good job), but there are still a lot more students.

Hope that is helpful. Good luck with your decision.
-J.

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L.B.

answers from Chicago on

We feel very fortunate that our children attended St Bartholomew Catholic grade school. The boys graduated from St Patrick high school and our daughter is a senior at Resurrection.
At times it has been challenging to pay the tuition for 3 children but we happily wrote each check as we considered it an investment.
When our oldest son (who BTW was diagnosed ADD) wrote his first college paper his professor commented, "Let me guess. Catholic school, right?"
Our other son has won a full scholarship to UIC and our daughter has already won several high school scholarships.
We have personally known several parents who are CPS teachers, including a principal, who choose to send their own children to Catholic schools.
Either way I recommend you become involved and volunteer your time at whatever school your daughter attends.

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S.H.

answers from Chicago on

Hi, B.! My sons, now 26 and 23, attended Cathlic school from preschool to high school. They are definitely not in any way religious, but the school was close, walking distance, and better than the public schools in our area. I teach a parenting course, and one of the things mentioned in one of the last units when discussing preparing for school is agreeing with the philosophy of the school. My ex was (and probably still is) vehemently opposed to the Catholic church. Religious education did not become a part of my sons' education until second grade, but by then they'd been in the school for a few years, had friends, etc. It caused lots of friction and probably only exacerbated problems that we already had. I say that to ask what do you mean by private school and does whatever school support whatever other philosophies and values you and your husband have. Cost is a consideration, of course, but I think the other factors are more important. Good luck. lord knows enrollments in some private schools are down, they could use the kids, and they do offer some good opportunities. It all depends on what you want or the child needs.

S.
S.

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

There are several reasons to send your child to private school. The first and biggest is your religion. My older 3 children all attended private catholic schools from pre K thru 8th grade. one of them went on to marmion military academy a catholic all boys high school. the other 2 a boy and a girl opted for the public high school. Our daughter got into a bad crowd of kids. In a public school the teachers/staff's hands are tied on so many levels. There were things that would have been addressed much soon in a private school. Things we would have known about just because the network of parents is very tight. now that being said. My son who hit public high school years later did great. Academically they were way ahead when they entered in 9th grade. academics are pushed at the private schools. College is assumed and your prepped for that from kindergarten on. My youngest son is in public school. The down side to private schools is that there are pretty much no special services. our youngest had a speech problem and a processing problem. he has outgrown both and is in 8th grade now. he will be testing for marmion in December. Had we had the choice he would have been in the private school from the start. I like the fact that the staff/teachers/principal and everyone else s mom knows your kid and you. public schools tend to be much bigger and much more impersonal. Those are just my thoughts on them. You should set up a day to go and do a tour of the school your interested in sending your child. Don't bring her with that first time. You need to get a feel for it first as she will go whereever you send her.good luck
S.

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L.L.

answers from Chicago on

My children attend The Children's School, an independent school located in Berwyn (not a religious school). A few of the big reasons why we chose The Children's School are small class sizes (12 - 15 children), project based/hands-on learning, an emphasis on developing critical thinking skills, and the focus on whole child development. Regarding tution, it is very, very reasonable!

If you are interested, you should contact Pamela Freese ([email protected]____.com) ###-###-#### for a tour or you can attend an open house. There are two scheduled for Thursday December 3; 9am and 7pm.

Most importantly, you have many great options in this area and you have to pick the right choice for you and your family. I wish you the best of luck!
L.

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C.F.

answers from Chicago on

Hi B.,

I am a mom to a 5 year old boy who is now in Kindergarden. I struggled with the same thing. We live in Carol Stream and we have very good public schools, however, I had my heart set on a private Christian school since my son was 1. The best thing I could have done was to put my son in private school. The administative staff and the teachers are so much more than I could ever ask for. I do not have much to compare it to as my son never did go to a public school to start, however, what I can say is that the private school has already exceeded my expectations and I think I have very high expectations. I was consistently schooling my son before he even entered Kindergarden. I knew what I wanted and I found what I was looking for. He was always a bright little boy, but since the school year has started, I already see progress. I can go into several details which impressed me very much about his school that I am sure I would not find in a public school. If you would like to know more of my thoughts I would be happy to expand. I can say the only downfall I have seen so far is the constant fundraising. You do always feel like you are fundraising or giving donations to the school (although nothing we have done has been mandatory so far). I know they fundraise in public school as well, but I do not think to the extent that we do!)

To sum it up....after about a year of going back and forth and peer pressure for my neighbors:)....I followed my heart and send him to private school and I couldn't be happy, neither could he!!!

Have a great day...If you have other questions, I am happy to answer.

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M.R.

answers from Chicago on

I think it all kind of depends on your local schools. For example, we live in the city and on the south side where nearly everyone sends their kids to private school. Our option for public schools are not that great, and we live too far away from any decent magnet schools so we will definitely be sending our child to private school. There is no question about that. In other words, there is no way on this earth I am sending my kids to Morgan Park HS or Julian HS!

That being said, I'm a high school teacher and if I lived in the district where I teach, I would not even consider sending my kids to the private schools because the public schools are awesome!

I think it all depends on your neighborhood and your offerings. Having taught in both a private and a public high school, I can tell you with great confidence that there are definite pros and cons to both situations.

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R.C.

answers from Chicago on

I know many people who had their kids in private school and transitioned them into public school for various reasons. First, private schools do not have the resources for helping children that public school does. At this point, there is no telling if your daughter will encounter something that will interfrere with her learning. Secondly, public schools have a better curriculum. They use teaching practices that private swchools do not use. And lastly, older kids have been taken out for middle school to prepare them for high school because the social situations between the two environments are vastly different. I hope you make the right choice!

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L.A.

answers from Chicago on

My children are in public schools, and I have to say that both the elementray school and middle school are great.

Our elementary school has a great bunch of teachers, and tremendous parent involvement. Not all schools in our districy have that involvement, so I think you need to go and see and investigate the schools your kids would be attending.

The public schools offer many different kinds of extra services for the children that some private schools do not.

Now, I would have preferred the smaller class sizes for my older daughter, but she needed the extra services provided at the public school.

So I guess you have to access your child, and visit the schools, and make a decision that is best for her education.

We cannot lump all public schools or all private schools into one category. Every school is different.

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V.C.

answers from Chicago on

Hi B.
I really think it depends on your Religion (if that's what you mean by private school). My Daughter goes to a little Lutheran school she is in Kindergarten now and did the last 2 years of preschool here. I also believe it depends on your child, My Daughter would have been lost in a public school as I did look at our top 5 in the city, sorry to say but not 1 would I have sent her too, the are much too big. She is advanced and is doing great, reading, writing, spelling. I know it is costly but I truly believe you need to start them off the best way possible, 25 - 30 children in a class is simply too many in my eyes, they can't possibly get any one on one attention. There are only 150 -160 kids in her entire school. It's like an extended family, plus I get to help out as much as I can, I'm there 2-3 days a week helping out, you really do not get to be that involved at public schools.
Good Luck with your choice as it is a very difficult one.
Whatever you decide just remember you can always change your mind and move your child if it's not working.

V.

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