DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My husband went to a K-12 private school run by his great-uncle. He is convinced one of the foremost reasons he got into Princeton was because of the superior start he had from the very beginning of his time in school.
Of course, he fails to remember that because his great-uncle was the headmaster, his family paid for uniforms, books/supplies, and extra-curriculars only, not the $20,000 a year tuition.
Our son goes to the local public school, which is rated highly both county- and statewide. It earned Blue Ribbons two years in a row, and was one of the main reasons we bought the house we did. I think paying a higher mortgage in a good neighborhood with a highly-rated public school that feeds to one of the best high schools in the region should be enough, but my husband now is on this kick to hire a tutor for our seven-year-old son!
Just to make him happy I looked into a couple different private tutoring options, and we’re talking about a minimum of $50-$75 an hour. I honestly can’t imagine that it would be worth it for our son, who at our parent/teacher conference had a great report both on the academic and social fronts.
How do I convince my husband this would be a waste of money we could do much better things with? --- DOESN’T NEED A TUTOR
DEAR DOESN’T NEED A TUTOR: Perhaps a concrete list of some of those things you feel are more beneficial to your son in the long-run would be a good place to start in your discussions with your husband.
Opening a college savings plan or a traditional savings account for your son to be used for or by him when the time’s right are the first things that come to my mind, especially in light of the exorbitant cost of higher education these days.
If your husband’s set on beefing up your son’s academic strengths, it’s possible the local school system has enrichment programs available before or after school and continuing on into the summer break. For instance, our local school district has some offerings geared towards students who’d benefit from additional academic challenges. Investigating such options might be worth it, especially since there’s a good chance they’re free of charge.
As we get closer to the summer, you could check around for more academic-based camps or programs, also through the local schools or recreation departments.
You may be surprised what’s out there that’ll potentially help satisfy both your husband’s ambitions for your son’s mental development and your desire to put your money to what you consider a more beneficial use than spending a bundle on a private tutor at this point in your son’s academic career.