25 Jan 2012

Which Way RV Going to Go?

15 Comments Uncategorized

I want to sell our house and buy an RV. Then I want to spend a year traveling the country, eating at diners, seeing national parks and learning the history of the states, going to amusement parks and American malls and science museums and art galleries. And then I want to come back here, rent an apartment in a great school district, send my kid to free school, and look for a new home.

There are two reasons I want to do this:

1. I do not want to spend the absurd and obscene amount of money it’s going to cost to send G to a DK, or developmental kindergarten, which is the school between preschool and kindergarten.

2. I want to know a lot more about this great country we live in, and I want Garrett to see it.

Oh, and 3. I really like diners.

It’d have to be a nice RV. I think we’ve established I’m a bit of a princess. I’m thinking somewhere between RV and Tour Bus. I’d want to cook, because man can’t live by diner alone. It’d probably have to be used, but it’d be clean and lovely and have a comfy, big bed in back and some bunks.  And couches. And a table to eat at or play games and do arts and crafts. And two TV’s.

Oh! I just thought of another reason. 4. It’d give me a chance to get rid of a whole lot of shit and start over when we got home.

This whole “looking for a school for next year” thing is really getting me down. Technically, G meets the cut-off date for kindergarten next year (for public school), but he’d be one of the very youngest for sure. And I don’t think that’s fair, especially since the trend seems to be going more and more toward holding kids (especially boys) back until they’re six. But our options for DK are very slim and they are all very expensive. Then there’s the following year to think about. I don’t love our school district, so I feel like we might be leaning toward private school. But the money that will take, paired with the fear that he might not be getting the “life lessons” he would get by being at a larger school, make me question whether or not private school is the way to go.

When I grew up, this discussion didn’t exist among the people I knew. You went to the school in your district. Period. Maybe it was different with the rich kids. Maybe their parents were fretting over which private school was best, filling out hundreds of applications, touring thousands of campuses. But my parents weren’t. Just typing this is filling me with so much anxiety I’m finding it hard to breathe.

The fact of the matter is, sending G to private school will stretch our finances in a way I don’t think we’re prepared for. And it will leave us with little extra for trips, or extracurricular activities. But sending him to public school might make me feel like I’m not doing enough for him. Like he’s not getting the attention and care he deserves, and like his intelligence might be overlooked because of the class size and student to teacher ratio.

This is all we talk about, by the way. The other moms and I. This is our main discussion. Which schools have you seen? How many are you applying to? How much is it? Are you applying for financial aid? Do they even have financial aid available? Do you know anyone else who has gone there? I hear you have to apply now if you want your kid to go there in two years. I don’t like their philosophy. I don’t like the way their bathrooms are set up. Did you see they have chickens? Their music program is great! They have yoga twice a week. Are they affiliated with the church or just renting space? Do they have options for after-school care?

It’s driving me batty, folks. It is. And I figure the only way to avoid it for a year (before I absolutely HAVE to deal with it), is to sell the house, buy an RV and run away. We’ll come back in time for kindergarten tours, but we’ll be so full of pancakes and knowledge about the USA, nothing will seem too daunting.

Now all I have to do is convince my husband that we can do this. And that we can totally take a year off of work. Or maybe it’s better if I just put the house up for sale without telling him. That’ll work, right?

written by
Lisa Arch likes being a working actress... but LOVES being a Mom!

15 Responses to “Which Way RV Going to Go?”

  1. Reply Kristy says:

    Do it! So fun sounding!

    Barring that though, let me just give you MY opinion as a preschool teacher here in California. Our kids graduate us at 5 and enter K when they are still 5, but close to 6.

    I truly do not believe it hurts to leave a child back but it hurts terribly to push them forward, UNLESS they are so smart and the would be bored to tears being left back, which would possibly cause bahvioral problems.

    I think public school is fine. Not perfect, not great, but fine. I believe G would be fine, because the MOST important part regarding his education and who he grows up to be, he already has. His parents. That is what matters most and what makes the most difference. Kids go to pricey schools but have nothing of value at home and all that money goes down the drain and if they do have value at home, they do (in my OPINION) as well as kids with the same value but who went to not so great schools.

    RELAX! Will it be good for your family to pour money into a private school but not be able to do other fun stuff? Probably not.

    Either way, like I said, the most important part to his future, he already has and that is you and Russ. He is a lucky, lucky child!

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Kristy, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! This is the discussion I keep having with friends and family. Whatever he may lack at school, we will make up for at home. No decision is irreversible, and the extra money will be used to go on family trips and to let G explore extracurricular interests. Getting closer and closer to being happy with this decision. 🙂

  2. Reply Allison says:

    I’m in the exact same dilemma as you, Lisa!
    I never had this problem as a kid. Public school until High school for me.
    Sydney is also at the cut off. I checked out a private school near me. Lutheran is not my religion & it seems to be the fairest priced school over here. To be honest the Jesus class for her freaks me out, but a little God in her life over the lack of Public school funds & over crowding balances my run towards private( religious ) school any day! The other private or religious schools were so Pricey (Westside School wants up to $12,000 a year! ) that is Public State college prices some people. I’m truly pissed paying so much property tax & not being able to send her to her local public school. So, I am still lurking around for the next year & if I also don’t find that “perfect” school…Luthern it is.
    California & L.A. Really needs to get these public/charter schools in order! Very annoying throwing money to the state with nothing in return for my kid/all kids!
    Good luck!!

    • Reply Kristy says:

      Ooh, Charter school. I’d forgotten that in my post. We have a couple great ones here in my town but I don’t know about other places. Lottery to get in though.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Totally agree, Allison. The prices are insane. I know for a fact I’ve spent more on G’s PRESCHOOL than some people pay for college. Nuts!!! I went to public school all but 4th through 6th. And I think I turned out ok. Fairly ok, at least!

  3. Reply Milaka says:

    First – LOVE the idea about the RV. Can I come? And when you get to Austin, let me know and I’ll take you on a tour of all the great diners and BBQ places. Then we’ll go shopping to get bigger jeans.

    Second – I love what Kristy said. I think that as long as the parents are very involved, you can’t lose.

    Third – When Princess was about 3 or 4 we started this whole process. In my circle, the trend is to home school. This was our conversation about home school: Me: Honey, I think we should consider home schooling. Hubby: Um . . . I really don’t think that you’re cut out to home school. Me: (with a great exhale) ThankgoodnessyousaidthatbecauseIdon’tthinksoeither. Now what?

    I’m going to stop counting now because it’s bugging me.

    I got some great advice from a mom who home schooled full time. She said that you can’t screw up kindergarten. Whatever you are leaning toward, try it for kindergarten. You’ll know whether it’s right or not. But the kids are so young and they are learning stuff so quickly anyway, you just can’t really screw it up. That took a load off my mind!

    We did a lot of research and found a school that is perfect for Princess. It’s a University Model school – the kids go to school in a classroom with trained teachers on certain days and then they do home school on certain days. Grades K-4 they have school Mon and Wed and then are home T/Th/Fr. The teachers send home the assignments for the home school days. The parent is never teaching new concepts, just reinforcing what was taught the previous day. Grades 5-8 the class days are M/W/F and home school on T/Th. These grades the student is more independent and the parent involvement lessens. The high school grades have class in the mornings M/W/F and all day on T/Th. It’s set up like college in that the kids put together their own schedule and meet with an adviser to make sure that they are taking all the classes they need to graduate. There are designated off-periods on T/Th so that the students can use time on campus to study or to use the tech lab, etc. I just found out this week that our school is the largest University Model school in the nation. Woo hoo!

    All that to say – we enrolled Princess for kindergarten and she’s still there in 6th grade. We enrolled Buddy for kindergarten. NOT a fit! NOT NOT NOT NOT! The boy needs structure. The boy needs accountability from peers, not from MOM! So he’s been in public school since 1st grade. He loves it! It’s a good school, great principal, great parents.

    You have to find the situation that’s right for you, Russ and Garrett. Screw all the other moms who imply that you HAVE to get in to this school or you just CAN’T send your kid to that school. Just put G where you think he’ll thrive. And if he doesn’t, then try again. But I tell you, you’re SO far ahead just by being concerned about all of this!

    Wow. This is a long comment. Sorry! You guys will be fine.

    And I’m serious about the BBQ in Austin.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Milaka, if we come through Austin you are getting a phone call, DEFINITELY! I love what you said about trying it out for kindergarten. It’s so true. We’ll know if it’s not a fit and we’ll make a change. It’ll be FINE! I love that you paid attention to your kids as individuals and knew that the same solution was not right for both of them. And yes, I need to not care what ANYONE thinks except for Russ and myself. Thank you for this information. NOT too long of a comment. Very helpful, indeed.

  4. Reply Melisa says:

    Move to the Chicago suburbs, I keep telling you!!

    You and your hubby could go work for Rosie O’Donnell, who is taping out of Harpo Studios. 🙂

  5. Reply Tracey says:

    The person who said you can’t screw up kindergarten is right. It’s a SNAP. I love homeschooling and dread the day that Justin goes to high school (he wants to give it a try. WAAHHH!!! Homework. YUCK.) Just think of this: if you travel for a year, he’d be getting exposure to information and individual time that most kids would never be able to dream of.

    Homeschooling is actually pretty easy, to be honest. My mantra is this: if you can handle the homework that is sent home? You can handle homeschooling. And for our schools, kindergarteners had about 30 minutes of homework a night. SERIOUSLY. For 5 year olds. It only got worse after that. Each year, more and more homework. I realized that I was ALREADY homeschooling them, every single night. Only they were tired and sad and didn’t want to sit still. AWESOME. Now we do it during the day. They aren’t angels, but it’s way easier!

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Tracey, I think of homeschooling all the time, but I know it’s not the right fit for us. I think anyone who does it is fantastic and I love the commitment you’ve made. Good for you for letting Justin try an outside school. I’m sure that’s really hard. I’m working on the RV thing. I think it’s more likely it’ll happen when we retire. My husband just isn’t feeling it. 🙁

  6. Reply Christine says:

    You can’t say Diner without saying New Jersey. There are at least 5 within minutes from my house! And I think its a fan-freaking-tastic idea. Do it. Do it, do it, do it, DO IT!!!! Its a dream of mine, and I need to live vicariously through someone, so please do it! And when you get to Jersey, I’ll take you on a diner crawl. And, yes, our diners do serve liquor 😉

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Christine, maybe if all of you who are cheering on my RV idea pitched in some money.. My husband would be more inclined to go!! So, all I’m asking is for $1,000 from each of you. DEAL??? Girl, you know I’m calling you up if I’m in NJ. Find me the place with the BEST pancakes, please!!!!

  7. Reply Maureen says:

    Whoops. In commenting about your more recent post, I just realized you are talking about Pre-K. Have I already told you about where we sent Ben? Didn’t break the bank, but was excellent and accredited at the same level as CSUN’s highly recommended program. You can imagine I was very concerned with making sure he had the school experience I was looking for, and it turned out to have a perfect balance of everything I wanted.

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