More About Those School Days…

While Brandy’s first years of school were up and down, both of my boys had quite the opposite experience.  Neither boy was shy, they always had great teachers, and excelled scholastically.

Brad was reading quite well in kindergarten.  I really don’t know how he picked it up so fast and easy, it was like he always knew how to read.  Brad was given the gifted test in first grade and passed.  Brett scored 100% on his math and reading CRCT in the first grade, but failed to pass the “gifted” test.  When he scored 100% on the ITBS in the 2nd  grade, he was automatically placed in the gifted class.    

When Brad got to the second grade the school day consisted of a lot of “center time” which is another word for “play time”.  I compared his school work with the work that his older brother did in the second grade, and I wasn’t happy.  I knew that he shoud be doing more work, less play.   

In the  meantime, Brett, the older son, was doing great in his classes, but I was getting concerned about his social life.  It seems that 1982 must’ve been the year more girls were born than boys.  There just were not that many boys in that grade, and the ones that Brett liked to  hang around with, were not my friends of choice for him.

Brandy was in the eighth grade and would be going to the high school the following year.  Our county had just consolidated and built one large high school in the middle of the county that year.  There was some rivalry going on between the students from different towns, plus the high school was much larger than what we were used to in the past.  I just wasn’t sure how Brandy would fare in a larger school, with larger classes.

All of these factors played a part in our family’s decision to move our children out of the public school system and into a private christian school.  I can honestly say, that was one of the toughest decisions that we’ve ever had to make, but when we weighed our options, it seemed like the best thing to do for our children.  It was a sacrifice, to say the least.  It required almost my entire salary to pay monthly tuition/bus fee for three children.  Looking back, I know that we did the best thing for Brandy, and probably for Brett, too.  He would’ve done fine academically, anywhere, but he would’ve never had the experience of playing basketball on a team that was runner-up for the State Championship in our public high school–he did at PCA. 

Brandy's class her first year at PCA(she's marked with a sticker)

Brandy's class her first year at PCA(she's marked with a sticker)

We transferred the children for the 93/94 school year.  Brandy was in the 9th grade, Brett was in the 6th grade, and Brad was in the 3rd grade.  It was a whole new world for them.  I know that it was toughest for Brandy.  High school is tough for anyone, but to leave behind everyone that you know makes it ten times worse.  Brandy became friends with a couple of other new girls, but they moved after that first year.  She was devastated.  She and her long-time boyfriend, also broke up that year.  Tenth grade was awful, she cried off and on most of the year.  Finally, by the eleventh grade, things were looking up and the last two years were a whole lot better than the first two!  All’s well that ends well???  I know that we did the right thing for Brandy, educationally, even though it was tough emotionally.

The thing about private schools is they eat, sleep, and breathe sports…Brandy doesn’t have an athletic bone in her body, so sports didn’t interest her.  Brett only liked basketball, but he worked hard and eventually excelled at it.  Brad was sort of like Brandy, but he did try basketball a little while, but lost interest.  One out of  our three liked sports–but only one sport!  We became a traveling, basketball-watching  family.  The games were held all over the state of Georgia!

Brett's class the first year at PCA (he's marked with a sticker)

Brett's class the first year at PCA (he's marked with a sticker)

Brandy and Brett graduated from private school.  After they graduated, Brad just wasn’t  happy anymore.  He begged to transfer to the public high school in the ninth grade.  We refused.  It was a rough year, he wasn’t happy and didn’t apply himself.  Finally, we made another tough decision to let him transfer to public school for the tenth grade.

Brad's class the first year at PCA (he's marked with a sticker)

Brad's class the first year at PCA (he's marked with a sticker)

We were very unsure of our decision, but it turned out to be the best decision that we could make for Brad.  He got reinstated in the gifted/galaxy program.  Because of that, he was eligible for an internship– take classes part of the day/work in a local bank part of the day.  He did that for over 2 years, and retained his job at the bank after high school.  He also was eligible to take a college english course in high school to “jump start” his college education.  None of those opportunities were available at the private school. 

I’m very proud of all three of my children and of the education that they have received.  Both boys were honor graduates.  All three children,  qualified for our state’s HOPE scholarship(B or better) for college upon graduation from high school.  Brett received a full scholarship for his first year of college.  Both boys earned college degrees.  Brad earned his 4 year accounting degree while holding down a full-time job.  Brandy attended college for a while, but decided that college wasn’t for her.  She’s had several interesting jobs in hospital-related work,  but is currently working at her most challenging job yet,  being a stay-at-home mom.

Published in: on September 23, 2009 at 9:59 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Not all private schools are all about sports. The school where my children attend is way too small. But they get a better education than in the public schools without all the junk they try to teach (evolution, same-sex marriages, I could go on but I won’t).

    It’s good that you made decisions individually based on your child’s needs. I was just thinking the other day that when the kids get a little older that we will have to handle our decisions on what’s best for that child, not well one did it so the other has to do it too. Thanks for confirming that!

  2. Very interesting. It is a hard decision to make, changing your kids into different schools.
    My kids had the “luck” of attending one school their whole high school. Actually there only is one here in our little town, so we didn´t really have a choice. But it was a Christian high school and we were happy they could go there.
    Sounds like your kids all have found a good way in life.

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