Parenting & Family

Private Schools - Would you send your kid if you had the money?

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Jan 8, 2013
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OAKVILLE

Private Schools - Would you send your kid if you had the money?

Hi fellow parents. My older one is 6 and going to a public school here in Oakville, Fraiser institute rates it as a good school.

Some of the folks I know are sending their kids to private school.

Question, is it worth it? Its not like I have money to throw but if its worth it, I would put my kids to a reputable private school instead of say move to a bigger house, car or put money aside for retirement.

What are your thoughts?
108 replies
Deal Guru
Oct 9, 2007
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Personally, I would never do that. Public schools are a closer representation of the real world that your kids will soon have to navigate on their own. The only exception is if you live in a district where the assigned PS would be a gang-filled, drug-fueled cesspool. Even then, you could send your kids to a Catholic school to get around that a bit - crazy to me, but some people would pretend to be Catholic (or interested) just to avoid having their kids go to school with a certain demographic...
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hkazmi wrote:
Jan 24th, 2013 2:39 pm
Hi fellow parents. My older one is 6 and going to a public school here in Oakville, Fraiser institute rates it as a good school.

Some of the folks I know are sending their kids to private school.

Question, is it worth it? Its not like I have money to throw but if its worth it, I would put my kids to a reputable private school instead of say move to a bigger house, car or put money aside for retirement.

What are your thoughts?
I don't think it is worth it personally. If you provide your children with an encouraging environment to succeed in at home and support him/her through school there I think they will succeed no matter what. I never went to a private school so I'd be curious to see what other people have to say. I have a three year old right now so this is something I will have to consider down the road.
Jr. Member
Jan 23, 2007
107 posts
I would suggest talking to some parents of children at that school to get an experienced opinion. Private schools aren't an instant win.

I am in much the same boat but our local school is closer to the low end of the scale. Compounding this is we currently have her in private daycare where she "started" reading and writing at 3 1/2. So putting her in a lower end school would be less ideal as she would be bored for several years. "If" she is ahead of the curve now, I would like to put her somewhere where she can continue to grow at the same pace.

My personal thoughts are you also need to put equal parts of effort into teaching/raising your children as any school does to get an optimal result. So if you want your child to get ahead, you need to put a ton of effort in as well as picking the right school that is appropriately focused. Usually those good schools have children that have parents with the same priorities as you. Private or public, it is more about to the partnership between parents who put in effort and the schools with good teachers and expansive programs.

I state the above knowing some parents that have children who have gotten university academic scholarships and seem very happy and well balanced, and knowing a bunch of in between and less than successful parents/children. I am stating the optimal, not necessary the average or mean.
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No, I would not.
All kids are different. Hence, different kid has different need.
I have not figured out in what situation, I should put my kid to private school.
If my kid is smart, they will shine in public school system.
If my kid is dumb, they will really suck in private school (I think) and will have hard time to stay there.
If my kid is average, may be.

I prefer my kid to know the real world. i.e. there are rich people, poor people, under-privilege people, well being, problematic, etc. and interact with them all instead of only one class of people.
Too many people spend money they haven't earned to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like. -- Will Smith
Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
Stay hungry, stay foolish.
Jr. Member
Jan 23, 2007
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gman wrote:
Jan 24th, 2013 3:17 pm
No, I would not.
All kids are different. Hence, different kid has different need.
I have not figured out in what situation, I should put my kid to private school.
If my kid is smart, they will shine in public school system.
If my kid is dumb, they will really suck in private school (I think) and will have hard time to stay there.
This seems like an overly simplistic view. Like rule in heaven or serve in hell. Definitely agree that the childs personality comes into play here on how they would react to one vs the other.

I send my child to school to learn the academics with a secondary focus on learning to work with others etc. As a parent, I can handle the real world education myself and can present other opporunities to learn other skills via family time, sports, charity work etc. I don't think parents should expect any school to do all the work for them.

Maybe I am reading too much into your post. :)
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Tsun wrote:
Jan 24th, 2013 4:04 pm
I send my child to school to learn the academics with a secondary focus on learning to work with others etc.
This begs the age-old question "what do kids really learn in school?" and reminds me of that famous poster that says "Everything I ever needed to know I learned in kindergarden"
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Dec 31, 2005
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My wife is a guidance head in the public system (was also in the private system and is very much sought after to return) and I trust her opinion. She would not want our kids to be sent to a Private School.

Interestingly she believes that as far as achievement, it is the mediocre/average kids that benefit most from the private school environment. The very bright will succeed regardless of where they learn. The very poor will not do as well and many private schools have mechanisms to remove them (you wouldn't want to hurt their performance numbers :D )...but seriously, there actually is a better established structure for learning disabilities in the public system.

Long way of saying no we are not sending our kids to private school. We'd much rather take that 20-40k and go on nice trips and enrich our kids in other ways.
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nalababe wrote:
Jan 24th, 2013 5:10 pm
My wife is a guidance head in the public system (was also in the private system and is very much sought after to return) and I trust her opinion. She would not want our kids to be sent to a Private School.

Interestingly she believes that as far as achievement, it is the mediocre/average kids that benefit most from the private school environment. The very bright will succeed regardless of where they learn. The very poor will not do as well and many private schools have mechanisms to remove them (you wouldn't want to hurt their performance numbers :D )...but seriously, there actually is a better established structure for learning disabilities in the public system.

Long way of saying no we are not sending our kids to private school. We'd much rather take that 20-40k and go on nice trips and enrich our kids in other ways.
Well said - couldn't agree more (and I used to teach in a private school).
Newbie
Aug 14, 2008
84 posts
No, I wouldn't send my kid to private school, not in Canada at least. To me, the only pro for going to a private school is smaller class sizes. But as Nalababe said, the bright kids succeed in any environment (public or private)...

Food for thought: Did you know that private school teachers get paid significantly less than public school teachers? And private school teachers do not need to be certified as they do in the public system? Teachers coming out of teacher's college target public school, so one can assume the teacher quality is better at public school. I'm sure there are private school teachers that are there because they haven't gotten the right breaks, but from a statistical point of view, the chances are that the better teachers are in the public system.

Also, Canada has such a great public school system (relative to other countries), and I pay taxes for it already, so I would (and do) send my kids there, even if I could afford private schools.
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We send our kids to private school until they turn 6. And majority of our friends do too, as most of a kids learning and development occurs between the ages of 3-6. The public school system is pretty ridiculous at these ages, because all the kids do at school is play. But York Region has some great public schools, which is why the private school principals openly admit most kids re-enter the public school system at grade 1, because of the quality of schools in the area.

Essentially kids need to re-enter the public system, to get used to it before going to university (where class sizes are even bigger than that of public schools). So the big debate is, when is best to re-integrate them?

For the OP, I think at age 6 its too late to enter private school to get a benefit that warrants the cost.
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the_reds wrote:
Jan 25th, 2013 10:47 am
Also, Canada has such a great public school system (relative to other countries), and I pay taxes for it already, so I would (and do) send my kids there, even if I could afford private schools.
LOL, this comment is pretty debatable, about the quality of our public school system. Yes we pay for it, but the returns aren't always there. From my own schooling days, I think I've only had 2 great teachers for my entire public school life (out of over 20 teachers when you include high school).

The number of teachers who can't teach is outstanding (don't know the material, don't assign homework because they dont want to grade it, are there in person but internally just want to leave as soon as class is over, or just teach straight out of the textbook rather than give applicable real life examples).

There are a handful that go that extra mile, but to me, those are far and few. If you get one, you better appreciate them. I still keep in touch with my top 2 teachers. They claim the teaching profession has changed for the worst recently. But thats because the older teachers who are qualified for retirement, aren't retiring. Leaving older teachers in the system who don't volunteer, don't know how to communicate effectively with the youth, and who don't really care in the classrooms; rather than replacing them with ambitous, go-getter young teachers who are recent graduates.

The proportion of young, ambitious teachers who want the opportunity to help develop the youth is decreasing at an alarming rate; and this also has to do with the state of the economy though.
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Aug 14, 2008
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Crinkle_cut wrote:
Jan 25th, 2013 11:36 am
LOL, this comment is pretty debatable, about the quality of our public school system. Yes we pay for it, but the returns aren't always there. From my own schooling days, I think I've only had 2 great teachers for my entire public school life (out of over 20 teachers when you include high school).
Agree that it's not perfect, but I was saying that our system is great relative to other countries (i.e. US, England). I also agree with you that good schools depend on the area... you mentioned York Region, which I agree. I don't think the teachers are any better or worse in York than other regions. What it is, is that schools get a reputation, and families that value and push education tend to move into those areas, thus raising the bar.
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the_reds wrote:
Jan 25th, 2013 12:28 pm
Agree that it's not perfect, but I was saying that our system is great relative to other countries (i.e. US, England). I also agree with you that good schools depend on the area... you mentioned York Region, which I agree. I don't think the teachers are any better or worse in York than other regions. What it is, is that schools get a reputation, and families that value and push education tend to move into those areas, thus raising the bar.
Very good point. Because this is especially true in Markham and Unionville. And the funny thing is, a lot of the caucasions are moving out from these areas to places like Stouffville, Aurora, Keswick and Newmarket, claiming that the immigrants that are moving in are raising the bar for academics too high, and how marks shouldn't matter because they want their kids to be balanced. And how these academic kids aren't good at sports. Last time I checked, sports rarely gets you employment or a university education versus doing well academically. Although I do understand the need for balance.

Personally, if I could surround my kids with smart kids, why wouldn't I? Figure it must influence my kids somewhat, even if my kid is on the lower end of the spectrum.
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Captain Snazzypants wrote:
Jan 24th, 2013 2:49 pm
Personally, I would never do that. Public schools are a closer representation of the real world that your kids will soon have to navigate on their own. The only exception is if you live in a district where the assigned PS would be a gang-filled, drug-fueled cesspool. Even then, you could send your kids to a Catholic school to get around that a bit - crazy to me, but some people would pretend to be Catholic (or interested) just to avoid having their kids go to school with a certain demographic...
Catholic schools in bad areas aren't any better than their public school counterparts.

Some of the posts in this thread are just way too naive.

Academics != success.

The experience at a private school is about much more than being around a bunch of book worms.

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