Playing the Lottery for my Child’s Education

No, I’m not buying scratch off tickets- but after what I learned today I might have a better chance winning $20,000 than getting E into our choice kindergarten. Sadly, in Charlotte, NC if you want to get your child into a good school you either have to be rich to afford the $10,000-$15,000 yearly tuition or you have to play the lottery. There are very few good home schools (schools you are districted for) in Charlotte. 90% of the best schools are magnet programs that you have to “play” to get in- or of course private.

In our neighborhood, there are 3 elementary schools you can be chosen for. Yes, 3. I’d rather homeschool than send my kiddo to our home school for multiple reasons. And that says a lot. After this year of homeschooling I’ve learned that I’m not the best teacher. I have no patience- especially when I know E already knows something and she’s trying to play dumb. This has resulted in some yelling matches, tears, time outs, and temper tantrums from both parties.

I’ve toured a hand full of schools over the past couple of months and have come to the decision that Montessori is the best schooling method for E. She was diagnosed with SPD as well as PDD-NOS this year and the kicker is that she has a IQ of 125. We are sure it’s higher, but the testing was done before we knew she was on the spectrum. She will not flourish in a traditional classroom and will spend more time in the principal’s office than in class. She is stubborn and she also doesn’t like to admit she knows something until she’s mastered it. This won’t work in the traditional public school system. But with Montessori, she will learn at her own pace without the pressure. She will be hands on and have the freedom to discover what she wants. Everything in my gut tells me this is right.

But to get into a private Montessori school, it is $1,000 in fees, plus the $12,000 tuition or $6,000 if you can get financial aid. Umm, this is Kindergarten- not college! So today I toured the public Montessori school. I found out they only let a handful of 5 yr olds in since they start at 4 yrs old. The 4 yr olds parents pay $3,000 in tuition, so most of the open spots go to them instead of the free riding 5 yr olds. There were at least 50-80 parents attending today’s open house and there is another next week. I feel like I could cry!

So I’m playing the lottery for E’s education. She will go into a pool with the other 50+ kids trying to get a spot and we just have to pray they choose our number in February. This is so stressful and scary! I’ve met a child who is the male version of E and everything I’ve feared about public school has happened to this boy. I hate it!

So please, say a little prayer for us. We have another 2 months before we find out if we were chosen. My stomach is in knots!! E so needs to be in a school, but the right one! Anyone else dealing with lotteries?


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