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Paying for Child's Education

RichieG

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High School - Not University

How many people would or do send their children to a private school?

If so why did you choose this way? Or why did you choose the government driven schools?

Things I can think of that could be a difference -

- standard of teaching
- class sizes
- families with money
- specialist lessons
- discipline and manners
- quality of person

I am not saying what is right or wrong but what is or would your position be on where you would send your children?
 

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Get Right

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The majority of US parents (whom are millionaires) send their kids to the best public education system in their area. They supplement that education with tutoring/sports/outside learning. I'll try to find the exact statistic/percentage.

Private school in my area would cost me $30k/year. Multiple that times 10 years and you get $300k. Now look what you get from that 300k in terms of academic performance. In my area, I'm not seeing the +EV in kids getting out of that system. Are they really going to make that back?

Now what would happen if you took the same $300k and bought a house for your kids? No student loans and no house payments. Which path do you think sets them up for life? Sounds a lot like the college debate doesn't it?
 
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RichieG

RichieG

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The majority of US parents (whom are millionaires) send their kids to the best public education system in their area. They supplement that education with tutoring/sports/outside learning. I'll try to find the exact statistic/percentage.

Private school in my area would cost me $30k/year. Multiple that times 10 years and you get $300k. Now look what you get from that 300k in terms of academic performance. In my area, I'm not seeing the +EV in kids getting out of that system. Are they really going to make that back?

Now what would happen if you took the same $300k and bought a house for your kids? No student loans and no house payments. Which path do you think sets them up for life? Sounds a lot like the college debate doesn't it?
I thought about the University argument. I think at 18 paying for an education is pretty pointless. However from 11-16 children are learning and developing and are children. Whilst I think the general curriculum is pretty dire there are some good skills that can be picked up. If a child goes to a state school with bigger classes and is quite bright what happens if they are bored and not challenged?

In reality school is a baby sitting service and wouldn't you prefer to pay for class size, standards, challenging, mixing with money, specialist education etc.
 

MTEE1985

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If a child goes to a state school with bigger classes and is quite bright what happens if they are bored and not challenged?
Presumably the exact same thing that would happen if they went to a private school and were bored and not challenged.

Your question is important but more in the overall scheme of education. You’ll find that most, if not all parents on the forum, will say that regardless of where their children attend school they are not counting on our current school system to fully educate them. Instead, they send them to school and then (see quote below)

They supplement that education with tutoring/sports/outside learning.
Here in Arizona we have BASIS (STEM) schools which are ranked remarkably high in the country for education but the stories I hear are that the kids well...don’t get to be kids. They are too busy learning. So to answer your question, we will be sending our children through the highest ranked public system in our city. I find the social/extra curricular benefits of a public school to outweigh a possible “better” education from a private school.
 

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Our family has chosen to take the money we would've spent on private education and instead use it to buy a house in the best possible public school location we could find in our area. (Just like Get Right stated.) Our kids still get a good education, and that $$$ stays in our pockets in the form of equity. We'll move back to a cheaper area once the kids graduate.
 

Kak

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Homeschooling is becoming an interesting play. Not public school and not private school expensive either.

I am definitely in favor of the best possible education for my eventual children and I will do everything in my power to make sure it doesn't have to be public school.

That said, I went to public school... I was one of the few that go from a public HS to a private university. Big difference in the kind of people I was surrounded by.

The ROI points by @Get Right are excellent. You would have to ignore ROI and focus on the fine points to make the decision. Is even an incrementally better educational foundation worth a pretty large chunk of money? I hope to not have to worry much about that.
 
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The Abundant Man

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I hear are that the kids well...don’t get to be kids. They are too busy learning.
South Korea is consistently one of the top nations when it comes to education yet has the highest suicide rate in the world.

When I was in Korea the kids had Hakio(school) then Hagwons(After-Schools). 24/7 kids are doing something school related. Education is a major part of the Korean culture. It's ridiculous. No wonder they have a huge drinking culture too.
 

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South Korea is consistently one of the top nations when it comes to education yet has the highest suicide rate in the world.

When I was in Korea the kids had Hakio(school) then Hagwons(After-Schools). 24/7 kids are doing something school related. Education is a major part of the Korean culture. It's ridiculous. No wonder they have a huge drinking culture too.
Totally. My high school had an exchange program that was mostly South Korean kids. They're unbelievable students, to the point of robot-ism. I felt bad for them.

Not to mention that sometime after high school or during college they had to return to SK for their mandatory two year military service, which nets them nothing here in the US.
 

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I was lucky enough to go to a private school for high school after going to a public elementary school and then later a public college. I agree with @Kak that the people that you meet are very different, in a good way.

While private school has a reputation for spoilt kids who don't know how to work, my experience is that this is rare and almost exclusive to the Eton's of the world where kids are destined to inherit fortunes.

Otherwise, the average kid at a private school is incredibly driven. They are taught that you are responsible for your actions, that you can get ahead if you work, unlike many in public school whose family and teachers will tell them that the game is rigged and that rich people are the problem.

You also get far more opportunities to network. Kids are forced to play sports to a high level to develop competitiveness, toughness and physical ability. You tend to have smaller class sizes, dedicated teachers and therefore people who can spend way more time crafting you into a valuable member of society whom any top university would be lucky to have.

There are certainly downsides, but I wouldn't have had it any other way and I'll do everything that I can to give any of my future children the same opportunities that I had.

This isn't to say that you can't have the same disciplined and driven kids in public schools, it's just that it's less common in my experience.

To answer the question in a roundabout manner, I think paying for private high school and middle school is far more valuable than college. Especially consider that top caliber students will be able to take loans and get hefty grants to pay down the costs of any education that they could want.
 

SquatchMan

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I know a decent amount of public school teachers and they are mostly nice people. However, they are certainly not the type of people I want to influence my child in their formative years. The same goes for university professors.

Private school all the way. The camaraderie at a private school is also worth the cost. This is especially true of an all-boys private school. I went to one and it really is something special.

Plus, a top tier private school like Georgetown Prep will allow for so many big time connections (for my child and me). Even the high-end local private schools will have lots of local connections.

Just look at the notable alumni of Georgetown Prep. Multiple congressmen, a Federal Reserve Chairman, 2 US Supreme Court Justices, and an NFL team owner. Those are only the ones that have a Wiki too.

Georgetown Preparatory School - Wikipedia
 

The Abundant Man

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I know a decent amount of public school teachers and they are mostly nice people. However, they are certainly not the type of people I want to influence my child in their formative years. The same goes for university professors.

Private school all the way. The camaraderie at a private school is also worth the cost. This is especially true of an all-boys private school. I went to one and it really is something special.

Plus, a top tier private school like Georgetown Prep will allow for so many big time connections (for my child and me). Even the high-end local private schools will have lots of local connections.

Just look at the notable alumni of Georgetown Prep. Multiple congressmen, a Federal Reserve Chairman, 2 US Supreme Court Justices, and an NFL team owner. Those are only the ones that have a Wiki too.

Georgetown Preparatory School - Wikipedia
Isn't that the one where the Brett Kavanaugh went to school? I know his actions and behavior are clearly his own but it does reflect very poorly on Georgetown Prep.
 

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SquatchMan

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Isn't that the one where the Brett Kavanaugh went to school? I know his actions and behavior are clearly his own but it does reflect very poorly on Georgetown Prep.
Yes. How does it reflect badly if his actions and behaviors are clearly his own and the school didn't sanction the alleged events?

Oh wait, you used the word 'but.'
 
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RichieG

RichieG

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South Korea is consistently one of the top nations when it comes to education yet has the highest suicide rate in the world.

When I was in Korea the kids had Hakio(school) then Hagwons(After-Schools). 24/7 kids are doing something school related. Education is a major part of the Korean culture. It's ridiculous. No wonder they have a huge drinking culture too.
Valid points. The private school we are looking at seems really balanced in terms of education, recreation and rounding the person.. To be honest we have now seen 4 local schools. 3 public 1 private. The confidence, politeness, knowledge, smartness and potential these children showed were miles apart from the state schools.

It seems that the larger state schools are more like crowd control and moulding you into the system.
 
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RichieG

RichieG

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Presumably the exact same thing that would happen if they went to a private school and were bored and not challenged.

.
This seems to happen less though due to class sizes. Plus there is an external source within the school whom maps the child's education to review if they are behind or ahead of the curve and react accordingly
 
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RichieG

RichieG

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Our family has chosen to take the money we would've spent on private education and instead use it to buy a house in the best possible public school location we could find in our area. (Just like Get Right stated.) Our kids still get a good education, and that $$$ stays in our pockets in the form of equity. We'll move back to a cheaper area once the kids graduate.
That's a different idea but what happens if the property value tanks whilst your child is at school and you are locked in that area? ( or take the hit then you have paid for an education )
 
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RichieG

RichieG

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Homeschooling is becoming an interesting play. Not public school and not private school expensive either.

I am definitely in favor of the best possible education for my eventual children and I will do everything in my power to make sure it doesn't have to be public school.

That said, I went to public school... I was one of the few that go from a public HS to a private university. Big difference in the kind of people I was surrounded by.

The ROI points by @Get Right are excellent. You would have to ignore ROI and focus on the fine points to make the decision. Is even an incrementally better educational foundation worth a pretty large chunk of money? I hope to not have to worry much about that.
We are looking at homechooling as well. That takes the "training for the system" completely out of the equation. There are lots of online tutors available now plus there are social groups that allow your child to mix.

I went to a public school but i think comparing schools/society/children is different to 10,20,30 years ago. Do I want my children mixing with consumer driven children who want to look 10 years older then they actually are?

I'm thinking a smaller private driven school if you can find the right one has more accountability when looking after your child during the day.
 

Kak

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Isn't that the one where the Brett Kavanaugh went to school? I know his actions and behavior are clearly his own but it does reflect very poorly on Georgetown Prep.
Maybe... But the man is a supreme court justice now. I bet Tobin and Squee have gone on to some pretty high end positions too. :rofl:
 

MTEE1985

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I was lucky enough to go to a private school for high school after going to a public elementary school and then later a public college. I agree with @Kak that the people that you meet are very different, in a good way.

While private school has a reputation for spoilt kids who don't know how to work, my experience is that this is rare and almost exclusive to the Eton's of the world where kids are destined to inherit fortunes.

Otherwise, the average kid at a private school is incredibly driven. They are taught that you are responsible for your actions, that you can get ahead if you work, unlike many in public school whose family and teachers will tell them that the game is rigged and that rich people are the problem.

You also get far more opportunities to network. Kids are forced to play sports to a high level to develop competitiveness, toughness and physical ability. You tend to have smaller class sizes, dedicated teachers and therefore people who can spend way more time crafting you into a valuable member of society whom any top university would be lucky to have.

There are certainly downsides, but I wouldn't have had it any other way and I'll do everything that I can to give any of my future children the same opportunities that I had.

This isn't to say that you can't have the same disciplined and driven kids in public schools, it's just that it's less common in my experience.

To answer the question in a roundabout manner, I think paying for private high school and middle school is far more valuable than college. Especially consider that top caliber students will be able to take loans and get hefty grants to pay down the costs of any education that they could want.

Great post and points. Now you guys have me reconsidering..luckily we have some time until we need to decide.

*Caution - Forum rule breaking below*

Another factor to consider is with a private school you don’t have the separation of church and state. If we did go the private school route it would be centered around our religion.
 

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My parents sent me to one of the best private high schools schools (at great sacrifice b/c we had no money) in my hometown and it was one of the best things they ever did for me. (Of course tuition was about 5k/year there at that time.)

I know this is forum heresy, but there is a lot more to a great education than maximizing future economic output.

We homeschool our young kids, at least for now.
 

ryanbleau

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After my next move my son will be in a private school. He's in 1st grade. The public schools are not built to understand and encourage his mind the way a school i'm paying for will be.
 
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RichieG

RichieG

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My parents sent me to one of the best private high schools schools (at great sacrifice b/c we had no money) in my hometown and it was one of the best things they ever did for me. (Of course tuition was about 5k/year there at that time.)

I know this is forum heresy, but there is a lot more to a great education than maximizing future economic output.

We homeschool our young kids, at least for now.
Hi Kruiser - can I ask what age your kids are ( ball park ). With the homeschool do you do it personally or via tutors/online.

We have a great prep school so our girls are great till 11. The thing is we have been spoilt as its a small school. So small class sizes, combined with outdoor learning and great teachers. This just highlights the issues and inefficiencies with standard state schools.
 

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Kruiser

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Hi Richie, We homeschool our 9 year old and 7 year old. My wife does 99% percent of the work. We use the Memoria Press print curriculum. Tough, but really good. Previously, we were involved in a Classical Conversations community that met once a week. It was really good, but with a toddler and the driving, it was just too much for us. I don't have a good sense of what is out there for 11 year olds and older, so I'm afraid I can't be of much help.
 

Nigel B

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@RichieG I do not see a location, but given you say High School I am going to assume you are in the US - I think geography is VERY important in a discussion about education, private or public (by the way in the UK Eton is traditionally called a Public School - even though it's private).

Anyway. What you want for your child is the best education for their needs.

Home school is excellent for applied learning combined with other focus (sport or some other activity which means traditional school is compromised). Your child needs to be engaged, and needs to understand the importance of the school work. They need to have a social life - sport might bring it, or other activities.

Public/state school is fine for the many (esp. where you are saving for a stupidly expensive, low-return post-secondary education but that's a different discussion) - and there are many programs to allow the student to push themselves. The problem is the social side, and or the the disruptive element - that is down to local school performance, staffing and student demographics. I see radically different programs within a school district let alone from state to state. So this is a serious research project.

Private. As noted elsewhere the 'right' school might introduce you to 'the right people' - useful contact now and later - equally it might introduce you to some expensive and destructive habits depending on the demographics again. In the US there are far more religious schools offering private education than I was aware of in the UK. Some offer truly excellent education at more sensible prices that some of the other private options.

We looked at one private option close to our house. It has the reputation some mentioned "spoilt kids, with too much money", but also seemed to have good facilities and a good faculty. There are also 4 IB schools within 'reasonable' distance of our home. I talked to the state university offering the program most likely to interest my daughter at the time she was choosing her high school. I asked which would deliver more credits - IB, or the private school. The answer on the private school was extremely non-commital - depends on graduating year, grades, etc - no fixed system. The answer on IB was - here's the table, they get this grade, they get that credit.

So if you are looking for straight academics - there are lots of choices, and most of them do not involve close the university costs per annum. If you are looking for something more - social connections, etc. - then the right school might deliver. But you need to be able to afford the school AND the social side of the school (think 20-40% premium to be part of the 'in crowd'), and you need to find the right school.

Hope some of these thoughts help. We've been really happy with the IB program as a solid academic foundation which many universities really like - albeit my daughter is going very non-traditional for her post-secondary education so credits now make no difference.
 

Nigel B

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Of course tuition was about 5k/year there at that time
This is the problem with education as a whole - somehow the price went up drastically - but by measure in most cases the value delivered dropped.

I'd have paid $5K p.a. for 4 years if I thought it would make a difference with no worries - but @ $20-30K plus the 'being a community member' premium which can be very high at some schools ... well that's a different story.
 

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I know this is forum heresy, but there is a lot more to a great education than maximizing future economic output.
Ding ding ding.

This fact that tends to be almost universally agreed among the successful entrepreneurs and business-people I know.

But, I find that the sentiment around education tends to be very different on online entrepreneur forums than it does in the "real world" of entrepreneurs...at least in my experience, which admittedly could be atypical.
 

Nigel B

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I find that the sentiment around education tends to be very different on online entrepreneur forums than it does in the "real world" of entrepreneurs
Do you mean they will say that traditional college education does not prepare you properly, but then invest heavily in it for their off-spring?
 

JScott

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Do you mean they will say that traditional college education does not prepare you properly, but then invest heavily in it for their off-spring?
No. In my experience, there is a anti-intellectualism and anti-college sentiment in Internet forums. But, also in my experience, there tends to be a very pro-intellectualism and pro-education sentiment among real world entrepreneurs (see below for an expansion on this).

I would even go so far as to say -- again, just in my experience -- there's a direct correlation to the scale of the entrepreneur and their belief in the value of education. I know many entrepreneurs across many industries, and it seems to me that the more successful they are, the more likely they would say that formal education and structured learning were instrumental in helping them get where they were.

Note that I'm not saying all entrepreneurs in the real world think college is right for everyone. I know plenty of entrepreneurs who would say that if you don't go to one of the top ten business schools in the country, you might as well not go to college. But, if you can get into one of the top schools, it will be more beneficial to your career than anything else you might do to prepare.
 

Nigel B

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there is a anti-intellectualism and anti-college sentiment in Internet forums
Hmm, anti-college I see a lot, less anti-intellectualism.

I think there's a fundamental value proposition issue that has developed with college (at least here in the US). When the top schools in the country are only twice the price of a very average in-state education, it means the majority are overpaying for their education. Those schools are not offering anything like the ROI they should be. We are also driving all sorts of people towards college, who would be better suited not getting into massive debt, for a weak degree they will seldom, if ever use.

At the other end of the intellectual food-chain, top companies like Google, Facebook, and even staid IBM are realizing that a very sound strategy is to take High School graduates, give them a good job and allow them to get a degree (if they want) over an extended period of time while earning good money, developing solid skills and building a career-lasting network of coworkers.

Today I see too many families send their kid to college - because they need a degree, not because they know what they are doing. Result: debt, a degree and 5-8 years later realization they are in the wrong career (or worse have no career having bounced around from job to job in various industries). So they have to go get a second degree (or alternate retraining of some variety).

Providing a way for these less certain/mature adults to figure out properly what they want to do BEFORE a $100-250K education would be good for everyone; family finances, the individual, employers (sick of training graduates who know nothing useful) and ultimately the economy as these people would move more directly into a role they can provide more value, and therefore earn more, buy more and fuel the economy. College debt is a huge burden on the economy.

I know plenty of entrepreneurs who would say that if you don't go to one of the top ten business schools in the country, you might as well not go to college. But, if you can get into one of the top schools, it will be more beneficial to your career than anything else you might do to prepare.
Now that makes more sense. It seems to me that the entrepreneurial benefit of being in college is much more about the connections, the individuals you meet than it is the actual education (with the exception of places you might develop IP for future businesses like MIT, and various other specialty programs which are typically science-based).

So getting into a 'top' college AND being able to network are likely very solid foundations for future entrepreneurial endeavors - I can see that.

Business fundamentals are also important, but I don't see you needing an MBA for that - they can be learned from many sources.
 

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