Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Modern Day Preschools

Ok, I'm just going to rant a bit... call it frustrations from a SAHM.

I'm in the middle of the search for a preschool for Little Mister. We opted to home school this year, always with the intention of sending him to the Catholic school that Big Sister attended for six years. We truly love it there and couldn't have asked for a better foundation for her education and supplement to our religious upbringing.

Yesterday, preschool enrollment was opened to the public. I got up early, showered, did my make up, and dolled up the kids. We dropped big sister off at school, stopped by the pediatrician for shot records, and headed confidently to enroll Little Mister in the preschool program for three mornings a week. The tuition would be steep- $120/month in fact. But I felt it was worth it as we'd be introducing Little Mister to the school where he'd spend the next several years of his education. Perhaps more important, he'd be learning in an environment that shared our faith.

When I sit down to fill out the registration forms, I find no three morning option available. Huh. Only a 5 morning option for a whopping $180/month. I'm a bit thrown off and opt to write a check for a non refundable $180 to hold his spot. We visit with two of our favorite teachers, Little Mister visits the first grade classroom for a bit, and we were on our way.

Then I started to think... ponder... fester... fume. After I talked to my husband, I called to let the school know that we would not be attending preschool as they no longer offered an option that was in line with our educational needs for our kid.

Then I fumed a little more. Because here's the thing.

It is next to impossible to find a traditional preschool, at least around here. The vast majority cater to families with two employed parents and are day care/preschool combos. Not such a huge deal, right? Nope. It's a HUGE deal in this mom's opinion. You see, the entire concept behind our beloved Catholic school has been that the parents volunteer their time in order to save employment costs and keep tuition reasonable. The thing is, when the majority of the families enrolled have two employed parents, it leaves little time for volunteering. The result is increased salary costs to fill positions that would normally be filled by parent volunteers. And how does the school compensate? They have no choice but to raise tuition. If those families were choosing jobs to gain stability, I certainly wouldn't mind having to contribute more financially, but when the majority are driving luxury vehicles and living in homes that are worth four times as much as ours, I sort of want to scream. Because families like mine are helping to pay for their material goods by volunteering countless hours around the school, paying inflated tuition prices, all the while driving a car with nearly 300,000 miles. (Maybe that's just my family)

None of this bothered me when there was an option for families like mine, but now our option has been removed, and today, in this moment, I feel like we've been pushed out of our school by a huge number of two-income families. And it makes me mad, and sad. But more importantly, it makes me feel very humbled and thankful to have had the ability and priority to raise our own children full time.


Mrs. Haid said...

I also sometimes defeated by two income family lifestyles that are not compliments to our one income family.

(Maybe a 1.25 income family soon. But still, we're driving the same cars with the same amount of miles.)

Boo. I hope something comes up that is wonderful for you.

Nel Lenae said...

Bummer... I am so sorry that this happened :o(
Why can't things be reasonably priced for 1 income families as well?!?!?!?
I get so frustrated with everything costing an arm and a leg everywhere you turn.
But I feel that you will find the right place for Little Mister...

Amanda, Joseph, and Scottie said...

It is rough trying to hedge into that world, when the options all cater to two working parents. I had friends in Memphis, whose husbands were optometry students (so they were very broke), that ran a coop preschool. I think they did two days a week. Each week one mom took the kids and did the lessons, giving the other three a break and it rotated like that on a 4 week cycle. We also had a Mom who ran a Christian based preschool in her home with the option of a 2 or 4 day schedule. Both worked very well for those involved, helped socialize the kids, and kept costs down.
I was blessed to have Scottie in a program that was run through the high school. It was 3 days a week and only 35 a month because it was an actual class to teach the high school kids. He loved it.
When the Lord shuts one door, he opens another, sometimes it can be rough trying to find it. School decisions are by far some of the toughest, may you be blessed in your journey.

Shell said...

I had a hard time even explaining that I wanted a PRESCHOOL and not DAYCARE for my kids around here and that just because you happen to do some educational activities does not make you a SCHOOL.

StumblingServant said...

I say you find some good catholic families around, and start your own like Amanda, Joseph, or Scottie (hmm, who's actually writing there...haha) talked about. There's gotta be some other kids around . . . I'm not sure how you'll find them though. :-\

Holly Rutchik said...

Wow! I am jsut starting to think about these things as my oldest is coming up on this age and I too do not want a day care/preschool.
I don't want to add fuel to your fire - but I would be LIVID! There choice to have 2 incomes is all fine and good - and none of our business, until it makes OUR choice more difficult. I can't believe there is not an option for you. How sad.

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Jessica said...

I'm not looking forward to the preschool thing, it's fast approaching for us. Alexis will be 3 next month.

Check my blog tomorrow. I'll be tagging you in my post!