Author Topic: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?  (Read 1336 times)

farmer

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Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« on: February 02, 2018, 10:28:04 AM »
We just recently got out of debt. Our kids are 4, 3, and 2.
My wife started homeschooling our oldest but soon realized how much work it truly was with the two younger ones. So we started looking at private christian schooling for them. I like everything about private education... except the cost. Eventually with the three of them in school it'll cost $18,000.
We were also looking to start them in sports. House league hockey costs $1000.. then there's traveling, eating out, amount of time spent away from work.
I'm thinking of starting a new business just to pay for all these extra costs...
Anyone out there who's doing all this? I'm wondering if it's even worth it??

jezebel

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2018, 10:49:58 AM »
Sure, I know people who do this but they are far from mustachian and either in debt or have robust incomes.  Why not public school?

DMoney

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2018, 10:53:08 AM »
Hi there!  Congrats on getting out of debt!  I have 3 kids, just a little older than yours.  Here's my 2 cents.

Your kids are too young for formalized activities.  Just focus on being active, playgrounds, soccer in the yard, hiking, playing in the mud, singing songs, etc. 

We've wasted a lot of money on gymnastics, and the kids hate it.  I spent tons of time and money getting the kids to swim lessons - hasn't really paid off.  Now we just go the public pool as a family on weekends and work on stuff.  Young kids WANT TO SPEND TIME with their parents more than anything.  So putting them in expensive lessons where someone other than Mom and Dad coral them hasn't worked great for us.

Once more school aged (6+) I think it's better to do the more formal "activities".  My oldest loves soccer which is at the public school after the school day and isn't too pricey ($120 for 6-8 weeks). 

farmer

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2018, 11:38:27 AM »
We aren't planning on doing organized sports for a few more years but I'm seeing it down the road and trying to work it out with my wife.
I also agree that younger kids just want to spend time with their parents.
In the summer I'm working 100+ hours per week so I'm wondering what the future will look like....
Also wondering what 25k per year in investments would look like when i'm in my 50's.....

Plugging Along

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2018, 11:45:04 AM »
You need to pick and choose and make more money, or some combination of.   Go back into debt  not be an option.  If have to go back into debt for any of it, then you cannot afford private.   

With private school, itís not just the tuition, but all the the things the schools provides.  One we looked required a new Mac book pro for grade 1, they did international trips, spectacular fields and always fund raising.  We choose private Montessori school for the early years because it was tha5 much better and then went public school. 

For sports and activities again itís a choice.   I personally think that every kid in Canadaís should taking hockey or skating, but only had my kids do skating.   Donít know if you are in Canada though.  I sa6 that because skating parties and events are really common where I am from, itís up there with swimming as a life skill.   All other activities are just optional.

We decided that the education and achilcare were most important.  So we focuse our money there.  We save in other areas such eating out, cooking, travel.    We also made the choice that we are intentiall6 not retiring early. Without kids, we could have retired in our forties, we are choosing to retire to When they each finish their first degree.   In our case because we didnít do private school, it freed up a lot more for activities and other savings.  You had t9 decide where you want your money going.

In terms of hours at, having kids makes a big difference even 8f there is a stay at home parent.  Do you want to miss all the events, what about when the6 are socks, etc.  For us, we had a nann6 to help 7s with all of this.  It worth it based on our incomes and hours.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 11:48:09 AM by Plugging Along »

farmer

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2018, 11:55:06 AM »
I agree with you that I am not willing to take on debt to fund these things. I am willing to start another company but having difficulty working it into my normal schedule.
Yes I'm in Ontario and grew up playing hockey. We went to the rink today and watched my brother in law's kid play. Both parents took the day off work and they invited us out to lunch. Obviously declined. I can see how much things add up. They travel for it a lot too.

calimom

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2018, 01:09:07 PM »
Like @Plugging Along I chose Montessori for preschool and all three of my kids have attended public from kindergarten on. I would not be interested in taking on debt to finance any sort of continuing private school, nor have the income loss of home schooling. OP, have you investigated public schools in your area?

My kids have generally always had about one activity or sport going at a time each. Any more than that becomes a financial and scheduling nightmare, and it's hard to see the upside of that. We live in a very Little League crazed town, my son did T Ball and Little League for a few years, then switched to the swim team as he got older. I was very glad as the idea of being involved with travel baseball and the attendant costs and time-suck were not at all appealing. Not everything that's fun and interesting for kids has to cost a fortune.

Congratulations on getting out of debt, that's a huge milestone. Just don't take more on, you don't need to, and if you decide to start a business that's great. But the profits from it don't need to funnel into expensive private school and activities.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2018, 01:17:22 PM »
You're already working a large number of hours and you're considering starting a company to make more money?  Is your priority sending your kids to private school, or spending time with them?

Are the public schools that bad?  If private schooling is primarily for the religious component, could you and your wife provide that for them at home?  You could spend the extra hours you'd put into a business into supplementing their education yourself.

I have friends where one parent stays at home and the 3 or more kids go to private school.  Those families will not be retiring early, and they are not saving that much right now.  Their kids don't do expensive activities because that's just too much extra money. They are passionate about the private schooling and very very involved at the school,  and they are confident they've made the right choice for their family. 

We bought a house in a town with good schools, so ours aren't going to private school.  They do some activities, but we don't sign them up for the expensive ones unless the child is truly passionate (e.g., oldest took recreational volleyball classes, LOVED it, so I put her in medium-$$ mini-league, which she LOVED, so next year I'll let her try out for a travel team that costs $$$.  Middle kid likes soccer.  We pay low-$, she runs around the field for an hour every weekend, she's happy.  No travel.)  The kid money is part of our budget, and our savings rate is pretty high.
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Hula Hoop

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2018, 01:43:28 PM »
You're probably not going to like the answer but public schools here and cheap activities. I can't imagine spending that kind of money on schooling - particularly elementary school - college maybe but not elementary.  I went to public schools in a not so great school system and it was fine.  Actually it was good for me as I'm from a very middle class background and I learned a lot about life and people from diverse backgrounds by going to school with them.  I still use the people skills I learned at public school in my job today.

Currently the kids (6 and 9) do scouts which is cheap, roller skating which costs 30 euro per kid per month but we could easily cut it out and just take them skating in the park on the weekend and older kid just started piano which costs 50 euros a month.  I shopped around and found out that the cheapest and best way with piano lessons is to do them through the school. 

I think MMM has a blog post on Ivy League Preschool Syndrome - maybe you should read that?

FireHiker

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2018, 02:20:41 PM »
Public schools here, although ours are very highly ranked we pay for it by living in a HCOL area with mello-roos (ugh...at least we live 2 miles from work). It astounds me to meet people in our neighborhood who pay for private school given the caliber of our public schools. We actually are trying to decide whether it makes sense to stay put for the younger two (big gap between #1 and #2) or move somewhere with a lower ranked high school. Frankly the pressure at our local school is a little bit nuts, as we're seeing with the oldest.

 As for sports, we started out with one rec sport per kid per season, IF they wanted to do it. Rec soccer per season in our area is $140-$165, with a 10% discount for the second kid. We did do two years of club soccer with the oldest after he was recruited as a keeper, and that was $1400/yr total, 7th and 8th grade. Now he plays high school rugby, $250/yr, and does track and field, $100-ish donation per year. My youngest is in Girl Scouts, which is super cheap, although we're in cookie selling hell right now.

The key is to give them an opportunity when they're young to try a handful of things when activities are much cheaper. Then, if there's one they really like, you can focus in on that as they get older. Usually park and rec, YMCA, or Boys and Girls Club options are pretty affordable options to determine if there's actual interest or not. I know dance through the park system here is MUCH cheaper than all the fancy dance studios. We were lucky that my daughter got to try dance through a preschool program where the teacher came to the school, $40/mo. It was enough exposure to determine that it wouldn't make sense for us to do something more serious because she wasn't that into it.


clarkfan1979

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2018, 10:55:15 AM »
Private school is fine as long as you realize that tuition cost is uncorrelated with academic success. Just because it costs more doesn't mean it's better.

Sports are great, but I will not pay for teams with extensive travel. My brother and I both got scholarships to play college baseball and we never did a travel team. I understand $300 for equipment. However, I'm not paying $3,000 for travel.   

My wife went to private school because of the Christian values. I think that is a reasonable justification. However, she was less prepared for college because of her private education. She got a 4.0 in high school, but there was a conflict of interest. If she got anything less than an A, her parents would complain. The teachers were very nice, although they didn't really challenge the kids academically.

Her first semester of college at a large state University she got a 1.8 GPA and was immediately put on academic probation. She was not a party animal, she just couldn't handle the college work load. She finished college with a 2.5 GPA, working her ass off. I think most of her friends from high school had similar paths and struggles. 

I went to public high school and graduated with 3.1 GPA. Even though I didn't really like my teachers, they did challenge me. I went to a similar large state University and graduated with a 3.5 GPA. I probably gave 75% effort my first two years. My last three years I did give 100% effort.

I think the biggest difference between private school and public school is that public school builds resilience and prepares kids for life. That has definitely been the case with my wife and I.

big_slacker

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2018, 04:19:35 PM »
$18k for 3 kids? That's DIRT CHEAP compared to these parts. The private christian schools here start at $10k/kid per year and go up from there.  But even at the $18k/yr level have you considered $1500 extra a month in rent/mortgage and moving to the nice part 'o town or state where they have really good public schools? Or is it purely a religious thing?

As for as sports IMO athletics are critical for childhood development, but you have to weigh costs vs benefits. If a kid is gunning for a scholarship, possible pro, olympic development, future non-athlete career in athletics, etc. Then it can make some sense to spend multi thousands/yr. For most of us it just serves as body/mind/character development and possibly a future hobby, so spend accordingly.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 04:22:26 PM by big_slacker »

farmer

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2018, 04:46:43 AM »
$18k for 3 kids? That's DIRT CHEAP compared to these parts. The private christian schools here start at $10k/kid per year and go up from there.  But even at the $18k/yr level have you considered $1500 extra a month in rent/mortgage and moving to the nice part 'o town or state where they have really good public schools? Or is it purely a religious thing?

As for as sports IMO athletics are critical for childhood development, but you have to weigh costs vs benefits. If a kid is gunning for a scholarship, possible pro, olympic development, future non-athlete career in athletics, etc. Then it can make some sense to spend multi thousands/yr. For most of us it just serves as body/mind/character development and possibly a future hobby, so spend accordingly.
I don't pay rent but I collect rent.
My area has grown exponentially in the past 5-10 years and class sizes for kids are now 30+ per teacher whereas private is 12-13 per teacher.
One child is near 10k but this school has a multi child discount.

Freedomin5

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2018, 05:25:27 AM »
$18k for 3 kids? That's DIRT CHEAP compared to these parts. The private christian schools here start at $10k/kid per year and go up from there.  But even at the $18k/yr level have you considered $1500 extra a month in rent/mortgage and moving to the nice part 'o town or state where they have really good public schools? Or is it purely a religious thing?

As for as sports IMO athletics are critical for childhood development, but you have to weigh costs vs benefits. If a kid is gunning for a scholarship, possible pro, olympic development, future non-athlete career in athletics, etc. Then it can make some sense to spend multi thousands/yr. For most of us it just serves as body/mind/character development and possibly a future hobby, so spend accordingly.
I don't pay rent but I collect rent.
My area has grown exponentially in the past 5-10 years and class sizes for kids are now 30+ per teacher whereas private is 12-13 per teacher.
One child is near 10k but this school has a multi child discount.

Unless your kids test into the gifted program in Ontario. Smaller class sizes in gifted classes because each child receives a bit more funding.

$10k per year is very high. I mean, Peopleís Christian Academy right smack dab in Toronto charges $10K. North Toronto Christian School again right in Toronto charges less than $10k. Stouffville Christian School charges $8k, because theyíre not in Toronto. They all offer significant multi-child discounts. I donít know where in Ontario you live, but maybe shop around a bit? Surely, if I can do a quick search and find good, solid private Christian schools in Toronto for less than $10k, there must be some in other areas of Ontario for less than $10k. And I know the schools I listed are decent schools because I attended one and most of my friends attended one or another of those schools.

farmer

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2018, 06:24:09 AM »


Unless your kids test into the gifted program in Ontario. Smaller class sizes in gifted classes because each child receives a bit more funding.

$10k per year is very high. I mean, Peopleís Christian Academy right smack dab in Toronto charges $10K. North Toronto Christian School again right in Toronto charges less than $10k. Stouffville Christian School charges $8k, because theyíre not in Toronto. They all offer significant multi-child discounts. I donít know where in Ontario you live, but maybe shop around a bit? Surely, if I can do a quick search and find good, solid private Christian schools in Toronto for less than $10k, there must be some in other areas of Ontario for less than $10k. And I know the schools I listed are decent schools because I attended one and most of my friends attended one or another of those schools.
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We are looking at a Christian school which is down the road from where I live. We are involved in the community (especially my wife) and knows quite a few of the teachers as well as parents who have kids enrolled in the school.
I have a few friends who have put their kids through that education system and now their kids are in college/done college. They've shared some experience and it freaks me out because they've had to remortgage their homes a few times and don't have much if anything saved for retirement.. these guys are in their mid to late 50's/early 60's. I'm not seeing their kids getting high paying jobs.. actually their kids seem average or even below average and still mostly living at home.
I think it's important that we can't just throw our kids in a private school and expect them to come out being a genius without us parents still being super involved in their education. Problem is that when you commit to the system, you've put yourself on a treadmill of private school payments.. and we automatically end up putting more time into trying to pay the bill over spending quality time with the kids.

boarder42

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2018, 06:31:55 AM »
25k a year for the next 25 years is 1.7 million dollars compounded at 7 % annually.

If you make either of these choices you're not making it with retirement in mind. Put your kids in public school. Private schools are gross wastes of money. It would be more important for your kids education if you worked less and we're there to help them with their school work.
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gaja

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2018, 08:08:01 AM »
I don't pay for my kids' education - I strongly believe it is much better for them and for the local community to have kids from different socioeconomic backgrounds attending the same public schools.

For sports, they were allowed to play freely until they started school. Then we had them both in folk dance ($30/year (for both kids, not a typo)) for 5 years, and the youngest has also been swimming for the last 3 years ($360/year, but cost is covered by a governmental subsidy), on doctor's orders. They wanted to quit dancing last year, but need to keep active. So now we pay for climbing ($420/kid/year). Expensive, but very good exercise.
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big_slacker

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2018, 02:28:46 PM »
I don't pay rent but I collect rent.
My area has grown exponentially in the past 5-10 years and class sizes for kids are now 30+ per teacher whereas private is 12-13 per teacher.
One child is near 10k but this school has a multi child discount.

That's why it says rent/mortgage in my post. 

Moving somewhere that may be more expensive but offers a significantly better public education experience as well as hopefully other benefits. Not saying you have to, just that it's an option you may not have considered. I'm not just randomly bringing this up, I did it myself and I've been pretty amazed by the quality of education my kids are receiving. FWIW their school is 21:1 teacher:student. My son is in 1st grade and performing several grades higher (more in math), they have a STEM curriculum including coding and robotics, they have a virtue of the month (kindness, courage, etc.) teach conflict resolution and so on. Really great experience.

About Christian private schools I talked to a friend who sent his kids to one and was active in the school. I had no idea that private school teachers make significantly LESS than public school teachers and of course have to belong to the religion in question. Not that there is a 100% correlation between pay and quality, but I wouldn't automatically think that the kids would get a better education at a private religious school.

Once again, not trying to sway you one way or the other but throwing some options and experience around.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 07:14:15 AM by big_slacker »

Chrissy

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2018, 04:51:29 PM »
We're preparing for a life of private school and, yes, some amount of activity expenses.  We've got a 2-yr-old and one on the way.  How will we pay for it?  Both parents work!  My husband is full time, and I'm semi-retired (part-time hours, Spring & Summer off).  According to my calculations, we might have to push our FIRE date out by a year or two to accommodate the private school, but nothing drastic.

If I was a SAHM, we would HAVE to do public school.  No other way around it.

fuzzy math

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2018, 06:08:40 PM »
Hey at least you aren't my neighbors putting their quads through 12 years of private school!

By the time your kids are school aged the school system may have better absorbed and allocated schools or classrooms to fix the large class issue. In many parts of the US, K-3 class is mandated to be 24 or less. Not sure if you have anything like that. You could always reach out to friends w older kids or get involved in the community meetings etc. but it sounds like you want private school for religious reasons, which others have already given a rebuttal to. I'd say the only way you'd even mildly come out even would be if your wife took a job at the school in some capacity. Might be worth looking into in a couple of years.

In the meantime look for free library or community social programs for the < 5 crowd. That's about as organized as school needs to be for the 2-4 crowd.

You asked if it was worth it, I'd say no to all of it. Unless your kid is a sports virtuoso it's unlikely they will progress to the level of hockey to make a living from it. You may even end up with a kid who hates sports. Why not wait until they are old enough to ask them what they want? It would save them a lot of heart ache and you a lot of $$
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 06:11:07 PM by fuzzy math »
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Freedomin5

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2018, 04:45:29 AM »
Maybe a hybrid option could work too. Private school for elementary and middle school, and then a good public high school. Then itís more financially manageable, and your kids still get a good solid Christian education. At the same time, they will be more ready to live in/defend their faith in  this world and be academically well-prepared for university.

The way we are planning to afford a private school education is by working at the school - our kid gets free tuition.

asauer

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2018, 10:19:29 AM »
As with most parenting decisions, it really depends on what you place the most value on.  For me, it's time with my kids and sharing experiences together.  So, that means, no private school for us.  Also, my kids each get to choose ONE activity per season (3 seasons) that must be offered through school, our town or a neighboring town parks and rec.  I won't do travel teams or things where we have to buy a crap ton of equipment.  As of now (both 11 yo), they'd rather play outside with their friends than just about anything else.

That said, if exposing them to certain sports is super important to you, maybe that's what you prioritize.  If a religious based education is very important then you do that and don't do a lot of other things.  It's just all in what you value.

boarder42

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2018, 10:47:42 AM »
you've basically answered your own question in post 14 - there is no inherent link between a private school education and high performing careers - what there is a link between is the time parents spend with their kids and focusing on education and getting better grades and doing better academically overall.  So to mortgage your future and your time with your kids to keep up with the jones's around you seems to not be fullfilling what you believe you're trying to do- which is give them the best in life.
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farmer

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2018, 11:20:37 AM »
Thanks for your replies everyone.
Wife and I decided that we're not willing to pay for private school because in our opinion it won't have an as direct result as being more personally involved with our kids.
Also we think it'd be more beneficial to be able to take the family on mini vacations.
Huge benefit is having a healthy emergency fund as well as healthier investments and better opportunity costs if I decided to open another business.
Our kids still benefit from our involvement with our faith based community.
If I made more disposable income then I'd go for private school.. but for now I'm just not willing to.

LiveLean

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2018, 11:57:33 AM »
I'm a product of private high school but send my kids to public. There are three reasons to go private.

1. Safety -- Almost always overblown. Your public school is safe.

2. Religion -- You want some sort of "religious education" for your kid, however you define it. I went to a terrific Catholic prep school but the religious classes we had to take were tougher than physics or calculus with tests every day. All those religion classes did was make me feel smarter when I watch Jeopardy and Alex Trebek rolls out biblical-related categories. That time could have been better spent on other classes. Or study periods. Or sleeping. Or anything.

3. Better schools -- My college prep school was better academically than the public schools. That's because in the 1980s it attracted a demographic of parents that wanted a better education for their kids -- not because they saw it as a status symbol to go with their Benz SUV or $75,000 kitchen. Tuition my senior year in 1987 was $2,200. Today it's $15K. Even adjusting for inflation, that's way off. Now it's a status symbol and you get a more entitled student body. That's why most parents go for private schools today. They want their kids in a certain demographic, nothing more.

I don't live anywhere near my old high school. But even if I did I wouldn't send them to that school or any other private school.
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cats

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2018, 12:25:19 PM »
Purely anecdotal evidence, I grew up Catholic and went to public schools.  Had quite a few friends from church who went to the local Catholic high school.  Some parents definitely had the attitude that "awful" things went on at public schools.

As adults, I don't see a huge difference in terms of who is still practicing Catholic vs. who went to public or parochial schools.  Some of the kids who are now the most visibly committed Catholics went to public schools.  One of the girls from the Catholic HS now considers herself a practicing Wiccan.  From my experience, I don't see that it delivers a lot of value in terms of keeping your kids practicing the faith of your choice. 

Also, in our area, it was not uncommon for kids who had been problem kids or even expelled from public schools to wind up in a private religious school.  JUST the kind of kids you want influencing your kids, right?  One girl from the Catholic high school that I was friendly with wound up dating a guy who had been expelled from my HS and was now attending the Catholic school.  He was pretty awful and she later confided to me that he had pressured her quite strongly (and successfully, to her regret) to sleep with him, he also got her into smoking and drinking.  Meanwhile, in my large public school, I was in the gifted classes which meant I was highly unlikely ever to come into contact with someone like the boyfriend (I didn't know him at ALL from the time he had spent at my HS).  I led a nice boring squeaky clean existence, focused on studying and nice geeky after school activities like quiz bowl and debate team.

It sounds like your wife is a SAHM so she should have quite a bit of time available to work with your kids on academics outside of school or volunteer at their school.  I have no idea how testing for gifted programs works in Canada but if it is similar to my childhood experience in the US, that should give your kids a big boost in testing in and allowing them to get the best options in the public schools.  Bigger schools can usually offer more programs, advanced classes, etc., so further down the line may be better able to prepare your kids for university or whatever career paths are looking hottest 10-15 years from now, if your kids have that inclination.

Pigeon

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2018, 12:51:56 PM »
We have great public schools and we sent our kids there.  I don't agree with every little thing that went on over the course of their 13 years there, but it was overwhelmingly positive.

I went to the best local Catholic school through junior high, although as an adult I am an atheist.  My brother sent his kids to the same Catholic elementary school.  It pales in comparison to the  public school.  My kids had tons more opportunity, much better extra-curricular activities, fabulous music and art programs, more highly qualified teachers and were at a significant advantage when they entered high school in terms of being able to take accelerated classes.  There was much more diversity as well, which is important to us.

If we didn't have good public schools, I'd move to a neighborhood that did.  Paying for college is important to us and if we had to pay for private schools, that would be out of the question.  The good secular private schools around here are $25K/year.  The religious schools are cheaper but not very good.

We did choose to pay for many extracurricular activities.  The public school had a wealth of high quality activities and if we didn't want to do extra, they would have found plenty of good school outlets.  My kids got good music lessons in school, but they both love music, so we paid for extra private lessons. One of my kids was in a competitive regional youth orchestra and one took ballet lessons.  They were active in many school activities as well.

blinx7

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Re: Parents: How do you pay for your children's education/sports?
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2018, 02:13:04 PM »

You will not hear many voices on this site in favor of private school.  Somewhat ideological, somewhat because it slows FIRE.  I have little kids and may or may not send them to an affordable Catholic school for some or all of their education.  In terms of education, I think it's fair to say there are some private schools that are better than many public schools, and some public schools that are better than many private schools.  And what's better is in the eye of the beholder. 

In terms of the finances, I have a few ground rules:

  • Would need to first have saved several times annual living expenses in a compounding stash.  (DONE.)
  • Would need to be able to save at least 25% of my income after paying for school.  (Yes, this will delay FIRE.)
  • Would need to be reasonably satisfied with life circumstances (e.g., job, location, etc.) such that I felt no imminent need to really march towards FIRE. 
  • Needs to be unanimous -- if either parent or the child in question wants to go public, that's what we do. 
  • Will reassess for each kid and reassess as things progress.  We could easily use the nice little Catholic school near our house for K-5 and then go to public for middle and high school.

Little kids are too young for all of this sports stuff.  We signed our 4 year old daughter up for a few things and she didn't want to go after a couple times.  She doesn't care about soccer, she wants to go to the pool and play with us and not the teacher, and she loved the silly gymnastics class with her friends and didn't like the ballet one where they actually tried to make her do stuff other than run around in circles and twirl and goof off. 

I'm hoping my kids are only mediocre athletes and won't ever be on travel teams, honestly.  And hockey is way too expensive.  Some low key soccer, basketball or lacrosse team close to our house that plays locally and where every kid gets to play and where there isn't too many practices sounds just fine to me.  The point is to run around and get exercise and make friends.  If my kids get super in to certain affordable extracurriculars of their own choosing that is great, but as long as they are learning at school and making friends and having a happy childhood that's fine by me.