Open Enrollment. You’re all the rage. Certainly the grass MUST be greener elsewhere! Why be tied to the school that our home lands in when there are SO many other schools out there? I must tour 300 of them before I make a decision.
Sure, you just do that.
I have a LOT of people ask me how we decided what schools to send our kids to.
And I just send them to their assigned school. Now, I was besties with Great Schools when we bought this house. We moved into the place we did, and the district we did, because I knew the schools were great. Likely, some of the best schools in the state.
And I get that not every person has that option.
Now is where I reveal that I am a total hypocrite writing this piece.
- In California I decided to open enroll my kids to a different school. There were several reasons I decided to do this:
- At the time, teachers were able to pick any school they wanted, it was a “perk” for working for my husband working for the district. I wanted all the perks I could get, right?
- I did not know a soul at the our home school. Our neighborhood was mainly older or too young for school when we made that decision.
- Our home school was the only school in the district that mandated uniforms. Something just didn’t sit right with that decision, for me, and it was a negative in my mind.
- I had a friend who LOVED her school and I just felt like it was the right option for us.
- I send my teenage son to his non-home school. It is hardly any further from his actual home school and my husband, up until a year ago, taught at that school. At the time it made sense. Will I send my next there? Time will tell.
SO, I trudged my oldest to a wonderful school for 6 amazing years. We loved that school, I had a wonderful friend base there and he had a first rate education. But, we moved at the end of those 6 years and I realized that I no longer wanted to drive my kids every day. I wanted their friends in their neighborhood. There were plenty of mornings when myself or a child wasn’t feeling well and I still had to drive him to school that I re-thought if it was really worth it.
And my conclusion, for us, is that it probably wasn’t.
I could’ve had friends in my neighborhood, and I’m sure the teachers at the other school were just as great as the school we went to.
And I spent hours and hours driving him to the other school every day, for all his playdates, for every birthday party. We basically lived in that other town, and slept at home.
I’m not saying that I’m against charter schools or open enrollment in general. It can be horrible to be tied to a specific school that isn’t working for you.
But, in general, I really do think that parents need to stop over-thinking the school game.
The reality of school is that if you get a poor teacher, your year will be poor. No matter if the principal is as bright as sunshine and every other teacher at that school is like Albert Einstein with a Mr Rogers Twist.
It truly hinges on a good match as a teacher. And that just won’t always happen.
And that is true of any school.
But finding a love for your neighbors and your neighborhood. Having playdates that are around the corner instead of 12 stoplights away. That is a huge benefit to your child. It’s a huge benefit to your heart. Just knowing you have a strong base within walking distance is worth quite a lot in my book.Having playdates that are around the corner instead of 12 stoplights away. That is a huge benefit to your child. It's a huge benefit to your heart. Just knowing you have a strong base within walking distance is worth quite a lot in my book.Click To Tweet
So, if you’re asking me. I say check out your home school. Unless there is something REALLY wrong with it. Go there, love it. Become part of the community and build where you stand.
Says the hypocrite. 🙂
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