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    #20627 - 07/19/08 03:47 PM How many commute to a school?
    Belle Offline

    Registered: 03/15/08
    Posts: 435
    I was curious how many people on here commute to get their child(ren) to a school? We have pulled our DS5 out of the preschool Montessori he has been attending for the past almost 4 years (we should have pulled him a long time ago..another long story) and have been working with him at home. He qualifies for the Florida McKay Scholarship for the Fall(for children with an IEP and the belief that public school will not meet their needs, Florida basically takes what the state would have spent on that child in the public classroom and gives the money to the parents so that we can enroll him in a private school)...we know that Montessori fits our little guy perfectly and there are no Montessori McKay approved schools in our county. We found one that is 38 miles away in the neighboring county and took about 40 minutes to drive to - my son and I visited on Friday and he really liked it - it is smaller and despite the fact it doesn't look like a "school" (it is in a home that has been completed converted into a school) and might not be the "prettiest" place from the outside - the school has every imaginable montessori tool and the teacher (owner) really knows her stuff - she and my son connected right off from the start which really says a lot. Her true love is Math and Science as is my son's. They currently go up through 3rd grade and have plans to begin an addition to go up through 6th.
    Does anyone else commute to get their child to a good fit school? With the McKay completely paying for his yearly tuition and some left over to be able to hire someone to come in and do OT and Speech once a week at the school with him the only issue is the gas - but we are thinking that we would just be using the money we would have spent on tuition and that will go for gas. The only downside is that I have been running a fairly successfull business from home where I design Literacy kits for early childhood teachers and lately it has really taken off...with the commute it would not make sense for me to drive him almost 45 minutes and then turn around and drive home 45 minutes and then have to drive back out to get was considering either offering my services at the school to just volunteer all day long or looking at possibly finding a storage unit place near to his school that has a/c, electrical hook up and maybe setting up a temporary office and working from there so as not to travel back home....would love to hear opinions/comments. We really have a good feeling about this school and would be willing to commute.

    #20628 - 07/19/08 04:02 PM Re: How many commute to a school? [Re: Belle]
    bianc850a Offline

    Registered: 12/02/07
    Posts: 312
    Loc: California
    We have been commuting for 2 years now. About 45 min to an hour each way. If it is a good fit your child, it is definitely worth it.

    #20631 - 07/19/08 06:56 PM Re: How many commute to a school? [Re: bianc850a]
    Kriston Offline

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Congrats on the scholarship! What a great thing to win! smile

    We considered a 45 minute 1-way commute to a private GT school for this coming year, but chose homeschooling instead. The school we considered is really small--DS would be only the 7th child in a combined 2nd/3rd grade class, so REALLY small!--and we wanted more social contacts available if we were going to commit ALL that time and ALL that money to his schooling.

    I think anything you do has to work for the whole family. If you love your work, then your child's school has to fit with that. How you make it fit is up to you, and there may be many ways to solve the problem. Using 2 minutes of brainstorming, here are a couple of things that I come up with...

    Could you find a nearby library, bookstore or coffeeshop with Internet access and make that your office-away-from-home? Could you work out of the school in a quiet back room in exchange for donating some of your services? (Maybe then you could have lunch with your son every day as an added bonus. smile )

    If your business is doing well, then maybe having some office space nearby works fine for you. But there may be cheaper ways than renting space if money is an object.

    I don't know if that helps...Hope so! laugh
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

    #20634 - 07/19/08 08:23 PM Re: How many commute to a school? [Re: Kriston]
    Texas Summer Offline

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 216
    Loc: Texas
    We commute to school. It is a short commute, about 15 minutes each way, but longer than the 10-yard walk to the bus stop to go to our neighborhood school. About a year ago I did have about an hour round trip commute when my children were going to two different school (of course gas was not $4/gallon then). If the school is a good fit, it can be worth it, especially if you can be creative in the use of your time as you suggested in your post. If you do not foresee any significant negative consequences I recommend giving it a try.


    #20637 - 07/19/08 11:38 PM Re: How many commute to a school? [Re: Texas Summer]
    sfb Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 09/28/07
    Posts: 32
    We commute about 1 hour round trip to get my older son to his GT school. We actually just changed day care / preschools for the little one to get closer to where big man goes to school to help with the commute b/c the old daycare was WAY out of the way. All I can say is - it has been ABSOLUTELY worth it.

    Your son's experience at the new school reminds me of mine. He went for a half day visit and LOVED it. He left the montessori school where he'd been for a year and a half without so much as a backward glance, and started at the new school, mid-year without a hint of fear, nervousness or shyness (this from a boy that for the prior year and half had cried, clung on to, or in some fashion made drop-off a heart-breaker!). It just felt RIGHT. And the commute, as bone-headed as it is for us (we drive RIGHT BY OUR WORK every morning on the way to school, and don't actually arrive at work till about an hour later...) has been absolutely worth it.

    I think the options Kriston suggests are great - and if you can find a way to make it all fit (i'm a big fan of evening work, for example, after the kids go to sleep) - i say it makes ALL the difference and is definitely worth it!

    Good luck! (and congrats on the scholarship! what a great system!!)


    #20669 - 07/20/08 07:30 AM Re: How many commute to a school? [Re: sfb]
    delbows Offline

    Registered: 04/25/06
    Posts: 778
    Loc: Midwest
    Our long commute will begin in August as our son starts as a day student at a college prep/boarding school which is located anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half from our home, depending on traffic. Since we decided to make this commitment for our son, we looked around for an option for our daughter and found an excellent college preparatory curriculum high school within ten miles of our sonís school for her also.

    #20728 - 07/20/08 04:27 PM Re: How many commute to a school? [Re: delbows]
    squirt Offline

    Registered: 03/31/08
    Posts: 323
    Loc: Back in Texas, alas!
    What about carpooling with other parents? Or, paying someone to drive him to/from school?

    Sounds like a great system in Florida to get that scholarship. Congratulations!

    We looked at a private school that would have been a 1 1/2 hour drive each way (at least, more depending on rush hour traffic). It is an excellent school but we decided against it because of the drive, the price ($20,000/year), and Pud's age. It is a very rigid school and we might look at it again later but it just wasn't for us right now. Might regret that later . . .

    Back to you, Belle, would the school offer any kind of after school care that maybe would make the day a little longer so that it made sense to go home and back? Or maybe a day care close to the school that runs a bus service to/from school? I'm just thinking that if you had long enough at home, it would be worth your while. But, at 5, making the day longer might not work for him. Just some thoughts.

    #20734 - 07/20/08 06:08 PM Re: How many commute to a school? [Re: squirt]
    Belle Offline

    Registered: 03/15/08
    Posts: 435
    Thanks guys for all the posts - I really appreciate your input - we have been looking for months and months locally and I just happened to stumble on this Montessori school - we have the option to go with a more rigid, top of the line, state of the Art Montessori school that is local and goes from pre-k to middle school(about 25 minutes drive) and it looks beautiful but they don't take the scholarship (which is about $8,000 for the year that we qualify for - which would pay his full tuition and some left over to hire out an OT and Speech teacher for a session a week) and they aren't as flexible in dealing with a gifted child who has sensory disorder (when I asked the director who gave me a tour earlier in the year about how they handle gifted children - her response was "all of our children are gifted" and she had generic answers for most of my questions) where as this school that is a drive - is a home made into a school, doesn't have all the bells and whistles on the outside but is fully stocked with every imaginable montessori activity inside, the teacher knows her stuff and is very laid back and very dedicated...the rooms aren't as large as a typical montessori but it is very much do-able. The whole family drove out again today so my husband could look at it and it is very charming and my son is intrigued with the fact that there are 25 chickens and 4 pea-hens and the children are in charge of collecting the eggs when the chickens are laying...there is huge room for growth - it's on a 12 acre parcel of land...and I am amazed that he seems comfortable there - I guess I am just in that mommy mode in hoping that we are making the right decision - to travel to what seems like a really quaint school with a very dedicated teacher who seems willing to learn the quirks of my son as opposed to attending a very well known, top of the line Montessori school that is right around the corner...gut is saying to go with the quaint school and worst case scenario - we leave if it isn't a good fit and either homeschool or look at the possibility of the other montessori school and we would just loose the scholarship. (catch with the scholarship - no homeschooling allowed, no online school programs allowed and if you lose the scholarship by going to a non-McKay private school, you are not eligible for it again unless your child attends public school for one full year)...

    Husband and I talked that tomorrow we are going out to do the paperwork at the commute school and will look at purchasing a laptop so as I can work at a starbucks that is about a 10 minute drive from his school when I need to get online and we were going to offer tomorrow (when I meet with the owner/teacher) my volunteer services for some hours during the day in hopes that she will let me finish my other work in one of her back rooms in the school. An afterschool program would just be too long a day for him - school starts at 9:00 which means we would leave a little after 8 and school gets out at 3:00 and they said that they would allow him to leave at 2:30 so as not to get home so late. Thanks so much

    #20740 - 07/20/08 07:08 PM Re: How many commute to a school? [Re: Belle]
    Kriston Offline

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    I think your gut is right. (FWIW...not much!) The school with the drive sounds wonderful! "All our children are GT" is a dead giveaway that your child is not going to be understood. And the chickens and laid-back attitude sound just right for your child as you've described him. Good work there, mom-gut! wink

    Keep us updated on how the year goes. I write in coffee shops and bookstores a lot, so I can tell you that it's not a bad way to work. You just have to keep your grazing and your book-browsing to a minimum or you wind up with a fat rear and a light wallet. Easier said than done, though, when all that good stuff is right there for the purchase!

    Best wishes for what sounds like it will be a great year.
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

    #20758 - 07/21/08 04:25 AM Re: How many commute to a school? [Re: Kriston]
    Dazed&Confuzed Offline

    Registered: 04/05/08
    Posts: 1815
    Belle, it sounds wonderful! And I think the work arounds you have planned (laptop, volunteering etc) sound great and very doable. Good luck!

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