Paying For Private School- Part II

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood.
Henry V” (5.3.44-51)

A little more than a year ago I wrote a post called The Day School Dilemma- Paying For Private School. It is a simple post in which I expressed some of my concerns about the challenges of paying for a private school education.

So here I am halfway through the second year of his private school education and I find myself asking some very tough questions of myself. They are not easily answered. They are not the kind that you can say yes or no to, at least not in good conscience.

Part of me says what the hell am I thinking paying this much for school. Part of me says that if I am really interested in acts of masochism it would be far cheaper to take one of my Zippo lighters out and just set my hair on fire. Not only would it solve the problem of how to wear my hair it might improve my tan.

But then again when I consider all of the options here it becomes clear to me that I have to fight to keep him in a day school. Here is why. Being Jewish is very important to me and I want to do all that I can to see that my children grow up with a Jewish identity and raise their children as Jews.

In the interest of anonymity I am intentionally obscuring things, but let’s go with this. One of his great-grandparents has many great-grandchildren. Not one of them is being raised to be Jewish. Every one of them is being raised to be Christian and I find that to be unacceptable. I can’t guarantee that my children won’t fall off the derech, but I can provide them with a foundation that makes it less likely.

Second point. The local elementary school just isn’t up to snuff. It is not good enough. It is a good school, but it is lacking in a number of areas and I just can’t see sending the kids there. I have looked into moving, but at the moment the options just don’t make sense.

So at the moment the choice isn’t much of a choice. Soon I shall be forced back into the breach. For you Tolkien geeks it feels a bit like Helm’s Deep. I keep fighting but the battle isn’t going well. Every day I look for the White Rider and wonder what is going to happen.

Every day I wonder.

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6 Comments

  1. RR January 6, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    I feel for you. Private/Jewish school tuition is just ridiculous. My college tuition was cheaper!

    I really have to hand it to you for sticking with it. You’re paying a lot now, but hopefully you’ll continue to reap the benefits for many years to come.

  2. Jack's Shack January 6, 2008 at 3:39 am

    You’ve got to pray for the trees to show up. You know, the ones with money growing on them…

    Boy am I ever.

    Orie,

    We all do what we can.

    Jill,

    I went to public school and received a very fine education. In this particular situation I am not convinced that it is available for my kids.

    GT,

    I am sure that you mean well, but your comment is ridiculous.

  3. GT January 6, 2008 at 2:46 am

    There is a place where every child, regardless of religious upbringing is loved by all it’s relatives, regardless of their religious views. That place is deep inside.

    I sense a binary approach to religion in this entry:
    good /bad, male /female, black /white

    Isn’t God supposed to be non dual/ omnipotent/ omnipresence?

    I hope your child gets a good education and loves not only his own religious perspective, but those of others as well. Almost all have the same basis, past layers of Ego and Patriarchal conditioning-

    there
    is
    compassion.

  4. jill January 5, 2008 at 2:31 am

    As the daughter of a public school teacher and a public school teacher myself, I am deeply committed to our nation’s public schools. I also believe that good people need to send their kids to public schools to help make them good schools. With that said, I feel that the most important thing you can teach your kids is not how to be a good student, but a good person. And part of that is passing on your faith to your children. So save your pennies, nickles, and dimes and do what ‘ya gotta do if private school is the way to go for your kids!

  5. orieyenta January 3, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    There was a recent article in the World Jewish Digest titled “What’s Wrong With Our Hebrew Schools”. The comments in future editions pointed out that many families are sending their kids to Hebrew school but then not re-enforcing the Jewish life at home. In effect, they seem to be expecting the Hebrew school to do it all. There are kids in LO’s Hebrew school who have never been to a Shabbat service, who don’t have the first clue what keeping kosher means, who don’t know the Shema, etc. My point is, that you can encourage your children to love and embrace their Jewish identities without sending them to Day School. Would I send LO to Day School if I could afford it? Absolutely. Do I think she is less in touch with her Jewish identity because of not going to Day School? No way. (I challenge anyone to find a more Jewish kid then this one.) As for the quality of the public schools, I know that story well. Florida is one of the worst states in terms of public schools. I admire you for enduring the financial hardship for “Little Jack”.

  6. FlutePrayer January 3, 2008 at 8:47 am

    I just read the Helms Deep part. You’ve got to pray for the trees to show up. You know, the ones with money growing on them…

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