Today marks the last day of school (for elementary grades at least). For parents this day is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you have a period of time where you don’t have to get the kids up in time for the bus (and you don’t have to remind them about homework). On the other hand, you worry about the tremendous amount of free time they have, and what they are doing with it when you are at work.
In addition to the summer “worries”, I am starting to think about the looming search for a school for my about-to-be eighth grader. Starting next fall we have to research schools, apply and go through the interview process, and at the end make a decision.
We went through with this with son number one, and although we very much did not want to send him to penimia (dormitory high school), he insisted. Herb Keinon sums up the feelings of most American olim about this phenomenon in his piece in the Jerusalem Post, and I can certainly relate.
Now it is time for son number two. He is a bit of a Yekke (very good for the report card) and is already bugging me to make a list of schools to check out. So I have started asking all of the parents I know who just went through the process this past year.
The trick, of course, is to find a school which is just right for your particular child. Wolfish Musings writes a post about this, and I agree with him completely. The problem, though, is really knowing if your kid and the school are a good match. Even after you do your research, and find a school that seems right, you have to keep in mind that your kid is a teenager. Teenagers have this annoying habit of changing (goes with the territory, I guess) and what may seem wonderful at ninth grade might not be good at eleventh.
I comfort myself that thousands of parents have gone through this before me, and if they can survive, so can I.