Yes we had our kids young. Choices were simple – which brand nappy to buy, formula milk, closest good quality daycare. And now, suddenly, we’re choosing High Schools! Aargghhh!! Life goes by so fast!
How do you choose a High School for your kids?
On one hand, it’s a very important decision. This is where they’ll transition from child to adult, go through adolesence, be influenced by others and want to find their individuality. The type of people they hang out with, the wide offerings that the High School has, the inspiration from the teachers must play a huge part in how they grow up in their teens.
But on the other hand, does it really make that much difference in the end? I strongly believe that family values at home are even more important, but I sometimes hear stories of kids from good families that turn out much different in High School. And does it really make that much difference once you’re an adult – I mean, I can’t look at my friends and go, “Oh! You must have gone to XXXX High School because you’re YYYYY.” Even amongst our friends, we have a mixture that have gone to Private Schools and Public Schools, and we all turned out OK in the end. (Little secret – both my Wifey and I were fully Public Schooled from Primary to Secondary).
But there’s that part of me as a parent, like any other parent, that just wants the “best” for their child. Whatever “best” means. What is “best”? Best for now? Best for later in life? Best geography teacher? Best range of subjects? Most expensive hall? Do I even use any advanced knowledge from chemistry or trigonometry in my life today? What percentage of people do? Best exposure to different walks of life? Best reflection of the general Australian population? Best appreciation of making do with what we’ve got?
We’ve included our Miss 10 in the High School choices. Coming from a Catholic Primary School, she’ll need to go to High School in Year 7 – in just one and a half years time. It’s amazing that even at her age, she has preconceptions of various schools, but we have to take it with a grain of salt, as she hasn’t been to hardly any of them, whereas Wifey, being a secondary teacher, has been and worked at various schools around Perth. But Miss 10 seems pretty level headed and did say she would prefer to go to a co-ed school than a single sex.
And so lately we’ve been discussing what was important to us – pastoral care, learning and developing not just academically but in other facets like leadership, charity, change. Miss 10’s interests of music, dance and art are important too – but we can satisfy some of these outside of school. And we have constraints like geographical location and last but not least price.
So where does that place us? We’ve shortlisted a few schools and have been to one interview for a High School so far. I’m sure there will be more next year.
But the reality hit this week when Miss 10 got her first acceptance letter to that High School.
I know it’s not the final decision, and we can always change High Schools once she’s in… but how do we know if we’ve made the right choice?
Will she be happy?