Public education is free – well mostly. So why should you pay for a private education? It all depends on what you want for your child. If you can find what you want in your local public school then you are fine. There is no problem. If however, you cannot find what you want or what your child needs in the local system then you must explore alternatives. Home schooling is an option that some choose. This requires an investment of time that many cannot make. There is also a question of being able to handle many of the subjects encountered within the high school curriculum. There can be other personal reasons both for and against home schooling.
If home schooling is not an option for whatever reasons, then private schools are another alternative. Such schools exist in order to fill niches of education not covered by the public system. Those niches can be academically based, artistically based, or value based. Each private school has its own mandate and vision. If your child is not succeeding or not achieving what you believe they can and should be achieving then you may want to explore the world of independent schools.
Most people have a preconceived notion of a private school as a posh, elite place where the children of rich and famous people go. This is true of only a very small portion of these schools. The majority of private schools are neither posh nor sophisticated. They are based on strong values, whether or not of an organized religion. They are created because the schools founders believed that something crucial was being neglected by the public system. Most schools have a strong moral underpinning and have a philosophy which reflects their values for a good education. Schools can be run in church basements, in old houses, in other structures within your community. They are elite only to the extent that they must charge tuition in order to survive and therefore parents or families must have the financial resources to afford them. Many schools have financial aid available.
Before discounting the private school option as only for social snobs it might be of value to check out the private schools in your area and visit them. You might be surprised at how down-to-earth and “normal’ they are. You also might be surprised to find some of your neighbours’ children attending the school.
Considering enrollment in a private school has less to do with money and more to do with the value placed on education and the kind of education that you want for your child. Don’t make your decision based on Hollywood perpetuated assumptions. Come and see what private schools are really like.