Planning WELL ahead

With just over a year to go before my son finishes primary school, I've started looking around at high school options.

I could send him to the one on-campus, but I don't like the way they're going. They've got a VERY conservative fundamentalist principal, and he's giving the place a pretty bad reputation locally... I'm not sure I want my son in that environment. (Have just received their fees - not much less than the ones given a few paragraphs below at the "expensive" school!)

I could send him to any one of a number of public schools - but a few are very hard to get into, and emphasize academics so strongly that my son would struggle there.

I could home-school him. And we're still considering that option, though I don't want him to miss out on the friendships he would form in high school. IF we still manage to get going through Africa (debatable at this stage, but still a dream), we'll do the home-school thing. If not, we'll see. ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) is one option, and works through a local school as home-based study with their support.

But this afternoon I have an appointment to check out another school here. It's a private art school offering either part-time or full-time high school classes, in addition to various art-related things. They only take 25 kids per year, the parents determine much of what goes on, including the fees. Which currently stand at a whopping R1,800 per month! That's like our entire food budget and then some...! On the plus side, a friend's kid is there and is loving it. He had similar "learning problems" to my son, being creative and not easily fitting into the ordinary schooling mould. But he's thrived and grown in this school. He's doing excellently. So this afternoon we're off to check it out and see if we can squeeze in an application. However, I will need a better-paying job if I'm to cover those fees, and yes - I'm still looking for one.

Other parents of kids in my son's class haven't started looking yet. But I'm going to make sure I have options (well, my son has options at least!). We're going to investigate all the possibilities and try to make the best possible choice for him.

It's the start of a whole new phase in our lives!