SAHM Or Job - Lima,OH

Updated on February 04, 2013
T.S. asks from Lima, OH
26 answers

Ok got a tough one here. My hubby and I have three kids ages 4, 2 and 18 months. Our 4 year old is getting ready to go to kindergarden this upcoming fall but here's the kicker. We refuse to send her to the school to which district we are in due to the test scores and its just not a good school by any means. I am a stay at home mom and been one almost a full year. My hubby works a good job but in order to pay the bills he has to work at least 3 Saturday's a month which right now he can do. My ossue is should I get a job and try to move to a better school district? There is a school nearby we can open enroll her but they have a waiting list to get in and the lady I spoke with said that more than likely she probably won't so have a back up plan. We don't have another school to send her too unless we plan to travel 10-15 miles out of our way. So now we arw stuck. We cannot afford to move now because we don't have the money right now.

I would really like to move but hubby doesn't. He saidbwe should just send our kids to the bad school forba few years and then once an opening comes up for the other school then we can transfer her. Sorry not happening for me. I refuse toblet any of our kids go to that other school. I want the best for my kids and I know my husband does too but we are running out of time. I had an interview today and although I really don't want to leave being a SAHM I may have to so we can move. Can someone please give me insight here?

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S.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

I drive my daughter to a school 16 miles away. She's in 5th grade, so I've been doing this for more than 5 years. It's really not that far to have her go to a great school. Driving seems much easier than moving AND getting a job and dealing with daycare. Then, if a spot opens up in the closer school, you could decide to move her there.

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K.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Have you considered how much you would take home after paying day care for the younger two and before/after school care for the oldest? Would it be enough to move? Just food for thought!

What about applying for a scholarship at a private school?

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V.P.

answers from Columbus on

I'm a little confused -- "We don't have another school to send her too unless we plan to travel 10-15 miles out of our way." 10-15 minutes of travel time out of your way doesn't sound like much. Is that school seriously not an option?

6 moms found this helpful
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C.J.

answers from Dallas on

I think you have some great advice so far. My recommendation is to set up some time to go talk to the principal of the school and tour the kindergarten rooms (well, the whole school).
When my oldest was in Pre-k I was under the impression that our school was not a good school and was kicking around the idea of private school. I took the time to meet with the principal, discuss test scores, how they work with the kids, the number of ESL, how do they handle children who don't speak English in the classroom, what kinds of tests do they take, curriculum, reading scores, etc, THEN I toured the school (they had a REAL school garden, interactive and present teachers, great lessons going on and overall a great multi-dimensional learning environment). I would not have known ANY of this had I not set up time to talk and tour.
So, as you are weighing your options, go ahead and learn more about your neighborhood school. So much more to the school than test scores:) If you have done this and found it sub-par - OK - just offering my insight.

6 moms found this helpful

M.F.

answers from Portland on

If there was any grade where a lower quality school is ok, it is kindergarten.
When my kiddo went to kindergarten the school we had to go to, because of districts, had a "Great Schools" rating of 2...
so yea... LOL
That school was testing about 20% below the state average.
BUT, it was only for 2 and a half hours a day in Kindergarten...

Now, husband has a better paying job and we have moved and her school she is in now is rated at a 6.
And the school is testing ABOVE the state average.

So my opinion would be to be patient, don't stress over kindergarten and try and see if you can move else where next year, or even the year after.

Me personally, I WOULD go back to work... but I hate being a stay at home mom.
You can look at my past posts for my opinion on that.
I have been staying home for 7 years and feel like a prisoner... So if you can get out, get out, in my opinion.
Right now, until I finish school, any money I made would be eaten up by day care costs, so not worth it.

Anyway, good luck!

4 moms found this helpful
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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

Your children don't need the best school in order to receive a great education. You are the most important influence on them. If you think education is important, then they will receive a great education. You will make sure of that.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to send your children to a better school. Just don't get so focused on that that you panic. You have plenty of time before August. Even if you aren't able to make it happen in time for August, it will be ok. It really will be ok if your oldest attends the local school for one or two years.

Relax. Don't panic. Keep an open mind about your options, and you're sure to find the right balance for your family. Maybe you'll decide to go back to work. Maybe you'll find a way to stay home for another year or two. Either way, you are the biggest influence in your child's education. Don't sell yourself short.

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J.O.

answers from Detroit on

With those ages you want life the least stressful as possible.

I would send the child to the kindergarten close to home. Test scores measure the general intelligence of the population at the school. So you can have a smart child and send them to a low performing school; it won't change the fact he's smart. Or you can have a child who isn't highly intelligent and send him to a school with high test scores...it won't make him a star. In kindergarten, you are not "not giving your child the best" based on the school's test scores.

In later elementary school, middle and high school, low test scores can indicate a school culture that isn't what most people would pick, even violence. But kindergarten? I would not worry.

I can't imagine going more than 2 miles to get to a school with my little ones! You know the whole drill, the car screaming, the dangerous roads, the freezing cold, etc. Don't stress, and make life easy right now. :) Good luck!

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J.B.

answers from Boston on

I think you need to look at the numbers and let them help you decide. The numbers might make the decision for you.

If you were to move and currently own your house, would you be able to sell at a profit or at least break even? Or would you have to short sell?

If you move, can you realistically afford to buy in the area you want and is what you think you would make realistic after you consider FT childcare for two children plus after-school care for you oldest, plus possibly before-school care, plus possibly extended K if your district doesn't provide full-day K for free?

Would it be possible to rent in the new school district on your husband's salary instead of buying? That might buy you a few more years at home.

What's so awful about the current school district? What can YOU do to make it better? Is it fundamentally broken or just in need of some parental involvement? Do all children do poorly or is it really a demographic issue? In some areas, schools appear to under-perform because a substantial percentage of children are in situations where it's hard to succeed (uneducated, uninvolved or severly over-worked parents, ESL, poverty). My brilliant cousins went to public school in an underperforming urban school district grades K-5 but they did very well anyway and went on to a prestigious public exam school from grades 6-12. Even at the lousy school they were able to find a peer group of other kids whose parents were educated and heavily invested in their children's education.

Finally, is private school an option for now? Again, a few years of a private school for your oldest might buy you a few more years at home or perhaps working part-time to cover that tuition vs. uprooting the whole family.

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J.K.

answers from Wausau on

Are you absolutely sure that your local school is a "bad school"? I ask because my son's elementary school is fantastic, but if you look it up online it seems to have poor scores and low rankings. The reality is, the online school info sites are often unreliable. A lack of data makes for an automatic low rank. A couple pissed off parents are more likely to submit a complaint than happy ones are to go and submit praise.

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V.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

Have you considered homeschooling your 4 yr old for kindergarten?

And I don't know the details, but 10-15 miles out of your way, what does that mean? My kids' middle school and high school (the only high school in the county) are both close to 30 miles from our home. Now that they are older, they are riding the bus. The only elementary school is 15 miles. I uses to drive my daughter daily (and pick her up, too).

You do what you have to do. Whatever that may be. If you have to drive, and you can, do it. If you can't, put her where you have to, or seriously consider homeschooling. But if you go the home schooling route, do your research. You really do need to teach your child. It isn't just fun and games.

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R.J.

answers from Seattle on

1) Will you make any $ working?
You need to factor in
- daycare costs
- tax brackets
(2 big ones plus)
- transportation/parking/gas
- clothes/makeup/hair/other professional appearance
- etc.

In our area, most SAHs, SAH because they CAN'T afford to work. Just daycare alone costs more than they make, or after figuring in tax bracket increase, etc., they make less then it costs to work (or break even, or make a whopping $1 an hour kind of thing.

So DO THE MATH, carefully, before you make a decision.

I DO know people who are paying to work on purpose... To advance in their field... But if you're paying to work when you need to be aid to work... Then you're just chasing your own tail.

2) Personally... I'd consider driving 10-15 miles totally worth it for a good school. Not sure why you'd rather move than drive? Obviously, living moments away is nice, and maybe something to aim for, but in the interim? I'd drive.

3) Homeschooling

4) No school rather than a bad school

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S.C.

answers from Phoenix on

If you're a SAHM, have you considered homeschooling? At least for kindergarten and then maybe you can move if you decide you don't like it. Everyone has their opinions, I know, but studies have shown conclusively that homschooling (with the 1:1 student/teacher ratio vs. 30:1 in public schools) results in extremely welll-educated and successful kids. And because the attention your child gets is one-on-one, they can learn the same amount in a tiny fraction of the time it would take in a traditional school. Kindergarten shouldn't take more than an hour a day and that's for a GREAT education! Just something to think about...

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X.O.

answers from Chicago on

Do you have any private schools in your area that have better scores that your kids can attend? That might be more affordable than to move, and might be affordable without an extra salary. If you get a job, after all, you'll have to pay for childcare for 2 kids. Paying private school tuition for a kindergartener should be more affordable than paying for 2 kids' childcare expenses.

ETA: I do drive my son about 15 miles a day for school, because we plan to move near that school in the next few years and I wan't him to have a continuous school experience. For us, 15 miles is about a 30 minute trip, since it is local roads. I find it worth the drive and time.

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J.T.

answers from Victoria on

just drive the 10 or 15 miles! its not that far for a great school, pleasing your husband and still get to be a SAHM. The school districts are all messed up with there testing here and they lifted the districts. so any kid can go to any school. idk how busses are but just take them out of the way to the better school. were in the same boat with our school being horrible but were hoping the districts will still be liftend and we can send our son to a diff school .

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M.L.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Have you considered homeschooling? I don't know what the laws in Ohio are about it, but if they're OK, you might try to contact other homeschooling families in your neighborhood.

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L.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Here is the solution we came up with. We both work as college professors in a very expensive area, so where we can afford to live is a poor area with a lot of gang violence. Our public school is literally in the middle to two different gang territories...so not an option for us. If we try to move, we might be able to get into a slightly better school district, but not by much. So, we both work and we live in a very modest, affordable house and we send our kids to private schools. (very few vacations, not many luxuries and a lot of budgeting--we both work a lot of overtime).

My 8th grader is applying to private high schools, which we can barely afford, but he just received a merit scholarship due to his academics, leadership (all things that were fostered and supported at his excellent private k-8 school). We are also applying for financial aid.

We have spent hundreds of hours trying to figure out exactly the situation you are in. My advice is that you plan everything out before you make a choice. Then make sure that you have a back up plan. We chose private school over moving at this time because it gives us flexibility. (If we lose our overtime or have to take a pay cut, we can move the kids from private school instead of possibly losing our house because we cannot afford it any longer, for example.) Be sure to include the cost of child care in any plans.
By the way, the other posters who suggest that you really investigate the schools that seem to have a "bad rep" is absolutely correct. Also remember that your child is an individual. Some kids will be fine in an environment that would be very damaging to others.
Good luck to you.

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C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

ETA: Sorry - I don't read ahead...looks like I said much of what others said!!
__________________________________

Okay - education is IMPORTANT. However, you, yourself are going for your RN. Can you work and do the RN degree at the same time?

There are several things I would do. I would:
1. Talk to the bank and find out how much of a loan we qualify for.
2. Go to via greatschools.net to see which schools would work for me and my family.
3. Find out how much houses go for in that district.
4. Is there one that fits my family?
5. How would it change our lives?
6. How would this impact my husband's commute to and from work.
7. Check into private schools.
8. Check to see if we can qualify for grants or scholarships at the private school that works for me and my family.

If you go back to work, you will need to figure in:
a. cost of daycare - will you make enough to cover day care costs, taxes, etc.?
b. can you afford the gas - food - wear and tear on the car to go back and forth to work?
c. what about personal maintenance....clothing, hair, makeup, etc.? Yeah, it's those things...

If the answer to those questions is - no - then I would home school my child. I am already at home. I would find out the state laws regarding home schooling and look around my area and see if there is a home schooling network, as there are some subjects I am not good enough at to teach my child.

Get your ducks in a row. KNOW your information - costs, etc. - then make the decision from there.

GOOD LUCK!!

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D..

answers from Miami on

I never homeschooled my kids, though I did work hard to get them school ready. If I were you, I'd consider homeschooling. Your options are very limited if you can't afford to move. If you own your house, it's a big endeavor to sell it. You have to have it ready to show all the time - hard with 3 little ones.

It's going to be hard for you if you don't eventually move. You can help yourself a great deal by downscaling as if you ARE going to move. Get rid of stuff you don't need, fix things that will need to be fixed in order to sell your house, check the tax laws as to what you can use as a deduction and what the timeline is for the deduction. Talk to a realtor and ask questions, including what would help and what wouldn't, in terms of prepping your house for selling.

If you will not be able to sell your house for enough, waiting for a few years may be what you need to do. If the test scores are the only reason why you don't want to send your daughter to school, you could work hard with her at home to teach her in addition to getting used to handling school itself. Then when you can afford to sell the house, she would be ready.

Good luck with figuring all of this out.
Dawn

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S.R.

answers from Washington DC on

For me, I would never leave my kids at those very young ages to go to work. I think I agree with your husband, to start your kids off in your regular school. Honestly, our school is considered one of the best around and our kindergarten program was horrible...so you never know. I wound up having my dd go 1/2 day and I taught her what I wanted her to learn in the afternoon. When kids are that young, they frequently learn at home more than they do at school (at least academically). They can pick up many of the social skills at school and a few basics.

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J.T.

answers from New York on

I'd drive the 10-15 miles unless it's in horrible traffic so would take you an hour each way. Is it 10-15 highway clear sailing miles? Make sure you put it into "time" vs mileage. My sister lives in the country and I'm pretty sure it's that far to her kids' private school. They have plenty of money and she drives that far. Otherwise, I would homeschool. If neither of those work, then I'd go back to work if I were you. We're very well off financially but I work to ensure my kids go to good schools. I'd much rather be home but I won't risk my kids going to subpar schools... I also want to save and pay for their college educations.

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L.O.

answers from Detroit on

I live in school district 'A" but we send our kids to school district "B'. the school they go to is about 4 miles away from our house..

I like the school the kids go to..but I do not think my kids are getting a better education at the school. 46 states have adopted " common core curriculum" it is a list of items that should be taught at each grade level. Michigan follows the common core.. so no matter what school my kids went to.. they would be getting the same material covered in each grade...

The biggest determination of test scores.. is parents.. There is only so much a school can do. if the kids are not read to at home and taught at home the schools cant make up for that.

I personally dont care about the test scores fo the school.. I only care about my childs score.. and i send them to school but I teach them at home too.

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G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

You do have a dilemma. This is what I would do if you are truly determined to put your kids in a different school.

I assume you are a home owner and would have to sell your home before you could move in any way. Houses are not selling well now and most that are getting offers are finding them to be lower than expected. In OKC homes that were worth over $300K a couple of years ago are for sale for less than $200K and still on the market. The offers they are getting are for $150-$175. Less than the home owners owe on the homes. My sister has been trying to sell her house for a while and they have been looking for half a year. They have a buyers market because people are desperate to sell, even if they take a loss.

So you need to plan ahead. Get your home ready to sell. Get a Realtor and make the repairs and upgrades needed so it will at least make a reasonable offer. Then put it on the market. Once it sells you can then find an apartment in the school district you are wanting and can live like that for some time. You'll have a lot more pull to get in the school if you actually live in that district perhaps.

So there is a lot to do before you even think of making plans to move.

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J.R.

answers from Toledo on

If you get a job, how much will you net after day care expense for your other two kids?

What is wrong with current school? If it's unsafe or mean kids/teachers, I would push for a move. If it's just under-education, I would stay there while you are on the waiting list and supplement at home.

If you move without being financially ready, it could introduce a whole other set of problems!

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L.J.

answers from Cincinnati on

My Thoughts:

Have you looked into Private Schools? They tend to cost more so that could be a downside unless you can get financial aid.

Another thought is charter schools. Granted I know that when people hear the word Charter it tends to come with a bad rep, but not always.

My last thought is since you are already a SAHM why don't you teach your child? Home school her.

I have a few friends who are SAHM and home school their kids and love it because they are able to bypass the curriculum their child would have to follow in school. They also go to the YMCA and library to interact with other children and various other places so that they aren't stuck at home all day. Your other two children may like some of the places you could go to as well.

And then while you do that you can wait until she gets into the school with a waitlist.

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H.D.

answers from Cleveland on

I would personally do what ever I could to get my children the best education possible. My husband bought a house while we were still dating because it was in a good school district. We weren't even engaged yet!! He had my dad (who builds multi-million dollar homes) look at it to make sure it was an OK house to own. He also had me look at it to see if I liked it (he said, "I was going to ask you to marry me, I knew you'd say yes, & I knew we'd have kids."). The house is not our dream house (we can't afford the fancy houses my dad builds ~ I'm a teacher & my hubby runs a SMALL company). We've made changes & upgrades over the years as we get $$. Our house is now paid off. We don't mind not living in the house of our dreams as long as our children get the best education possible. Good luck in whatever you choose.

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K.N.

answers from Cleveland on

I homeschooled my kids until they got into a nearby school under open enrollment. I used an online school and my kids did really well and the transition to public school has been great. DD who started school in grade 3 is still a straight A student, and get along very well with her peers.

Some other things to consider with open enrollment, most operate on a first come first serve basis. Find out when they start taking paperwork and have it done THAT day.

Chances are they won't bus your child, so if you go back to work later you will need to plan around picking up and dropping off your child

Generally once one child gets in siblings have priority, and you're other kids will have an easier time getting in, but it's still important that you always get the paperwork in ASAP.

Dragging little ones out in the snow and cold, stinks (it takes me 2 hours to pick the babies up from daycare, get my daughter from 1 school and my older boys from another school)

Whatever you decide to do good luck.

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