Recently I’ve begun looking into preschools for my two and a half year old, and it’s gotten me thinking about what life will be like for her getting an education in New Hampshire. As a state, we have plenty of bragging rights. We’re always rated at the top of states to live in, to raise a family, to feel safe in. Not to be denied, we are in the top ten states when it comes to great schools, as well.
There are so many factors to consider when picking a place to send your child. The friends they make, the place where they will form so many of their foundational memories and ideas, all are elements to be considered outside of whether or not you think the curriculum is adequate. What is the culture like? Do you live in a town that shares your basic values, and will your child be bullied for not sharing them later on? Given how great our schools are rated nationally, does it matter if the school you attend isn’t high on the list locally?
Then there’s the worry about value. As New Hampshirites, we often hold ourselves to a high standard, and we are a very politically involved group. People in town have lively discussions about how much will be spent on our schools, because it directly affects our wallets. If you no longer have a child in the system, but you have astronomical property tax, is it worth paying so much into education?
Not growing up here, the way New Hampshire schools are structured is a little foreign to me as well. I never heard of readiness before I came here. Also, how are there two levels of elementary school, one middle school and one high school? Sometimes two of those are packaged into one, depending on the size of your town! Some towns have one building just for first grade. Just, what?
I guess I’m worrying a lot about things that will happen regardless of the decisions that I make. As a parent, I want a scholastic experience that benefits my daughter in the best possible way, socially and academically. It is why I chose New Hampshire above anywhere else to raise her. As we begin our journey, I can only hope that no matter what comes our way, our community will be caring and welcoming, as New Hampshire folk so often are.
What was your experience like in the New Hampshire school system? Was it positive? Negative? Have you met people outside of here that wish they’d had what you did? Do you wish it had been different?