Monday, February 11, 2008

Hard to choose

I've been wrestling in my head with a very first-world problem for the last couple of days. Where do we send William to school next year, and for how many days each week? Yes, he's not even two years old, and I'm already all angst-ridden over his education. Didn't I just pay off my own college student loans a couple of years ago?

Of course, this all assumes that I will not be working next fall. I had assumed that I'd probably have another job by now, but I don't. I kind of still think I'd like to have a job by this summer, but I have no way of knowing that will happen. So for now, I have to operate as if the current situation will be the status quo, come Labor Day. Which it well may be.

So anyway. Here are my two big issues. First, should I enroll William in our own church's playschool program, or should I keep him in the church program that he currently attends? Secondly, should I enroll him for two days a week or just one, which is what he does now?

The second question seems easier to answer. The little prince currently attends school on Fridays. He loves it. Loves it. Would probably love two days a week now. As he gets older, I think he will only continue to thrive, so it makes sense to send him two days each week. Especially since, as David pointed out, he will be going on three years old this time next year. I can't imagine not having him in school two days a week at three year of age.

I guess I initially hesitated because it will cost more to send William to school two days a week. But it's not that much more expensive than, say, attending one day of school each week and going to Gymboree one day each week. And I think he would enjoy it. Admittedly, David and I are kinda biased (okay, very biased), but we think he's showing signs of being reasonably bright. He has a huge vocabulary now, and he's putting together phrases and short sentences. He already knows some shapes and colors, and he is incurably curious about everything--and he usually remembers things that he's learned. It could only help him to be in school an extra day each week, I think. Investing in that sort of thing could only be a good investment.

So, where to send him? One factor looming large in my mind: our church program does cost more. I'm not sure, though, how much more; it may turn out to only be like ten or twenty dollars per month more. It is further away from home than his current program. And he has absolutely loved his current program this year. We really have adored his teachers, and it seems to be a very low-key environment. But he will not keep the same teachers even if he stayed there. Several of the teachers at our church program already know (and adore) him from the church nursery, so it's not like he'll be in either an unfamiliar setting or with completely unfamiliar faces if he goes there. Also, our church program is nationally accredited, and they have teachers who do music and gardening as sort of "enrichment" for the kids. David said he thinks that would be great for William.

I serve on a church committee with the director of our church's program, plus one of the moms on the board is in my Sunday School class. I know both of them, have regular contact with them and like them, so that's reassuring. William has had some interaction with our church's program already because he stays in the nursery on Monday mornings while I attend my disciple class. He's done just fine. We don't know a soul at our current program, but William has done really well there already, so I feel sure he'd be happy as a clam there in the fall, too.

Sometimes I get a snobby vibe from some of the parents who bring their children to our church program, but given that I have never spoken to them, I have no idea if that's fair or not. also, I admit I chafe at the fact that some people actually join our church just to be able to send their kids to the playschool and kindergarten programs there...because they are the so-called "right" programs. I tend to have a fit of reverse-snobbery at that whole notion. Besides, there are several Hummer-drivers who bring their children to William's school now, too. It's not like it's immune from that sort of thing, even if it doesn't have the "right" designation. Gah. Now I sort of understand why David doesn't always want to admit he went to Princeton. You don't want people to think you chose a school, or whatever, just because it is the "right" (read: socially acceptable) choice. Or at least I don't. Or am I just being perverse?

See? See how hard this is? I want someone to just TELL me what to do. David and discussed this the other day, and I'm sure we'll talk about it some more tonight, too. I guess we'll come to a decision. It's hard to know what's right to do. I mean, there's not really a downside. Either way, at either school, I'm sure William will be fine. He's curious and social, and he'll fit in wherever we take him. It's just hard to choose.

1 comment:

heide said...

Hey Jennifer. I was thinking about your school dilemma and sent you an email, but I'm not sure if you'll see it. It's probably too late, anyway. But I think you should send W to the pre-school at your church. If it was me, that's what I would do.