Help! Deciding the Fate of My Children!

OK. It’s midnight and I can’t sleep because my husband and I are in the midst of a big decision. . . Where to live when we move to Atlanta.
It used to be so easy BK (Before Kids). We could just up and move (it never seemed quite that easy at the time, but now it seems like a cake walk). Now we have to consider commute times (so we can be home to be with Boog and Hercules), daycare and doctor locations, neighborhoods, and (gulp!) schools. Oh. And that pesky price thing too.

After a LOOONG weekend of looking at houses in Atlanta, GA we’ve narrowed it down to two houses and what differentiates them is making it really difficult for me to compare them and make a decision.

Here’s the summary: It comes down to a house/cost vs. school decision

House #1:
• House: Love It! (no work needed & lower price)
• Neighborhood: Love it! (down street from swim/tennis, nice open feel to the streets, active community)
• Schools: OK (score a 7 & 8 out of 10) but most people (60%) send their kids to private school; principal is new and supposedly great

House #2:
• House: OK (older, needs work & has a higher price)
• Neighborhood: Good (on a cul de sac, active community with swim/tennis, streets seem a bit busier, but people rave about it and never seem to leave – they even move within the neighborhood a lot)
• Schools: Great! (score a 10) and almost everyone sends kids to public

Bottom Line/Biggest questions:
• How important is it for kids to go to school with kids in their own neighborhood? We’re thinking that it’s important to build these relationships; otherwise they won’t really know as many kids in the neighborhood; they’d be outsiders to all the private school kids. (because our children would attend the public schools)
• How much do lower scoring kids “drag down” other kids? (I’m of course assuming here that Boog and Hercules will be on the higher scoring realm, but I could be wrong) Is this the reason for the lowers scores for the elementary school near house #1?

I was totally leaning towards House #1, but now I’m thinking that we’d be chancing it with that option and I don’t want to “chance” Boog and Hercule’s futures. I’d appreciate any advide on questions above. I’m not assuming it’ll make my decision easy, but it would be great to have more input and thoughts — especially since I’ve never gone through having an elementary student before!

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7 Responses to “Help! Deciding the Fate of My Children!”

  1. Rachel April 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm #

    I live in Atlanta (just north in East Cobb/Marietta). That’s a tough issue you have there. Personally I’d choose the house that you really want to live in. I think there are lots of options for children & that parents play a major role in their education regardless of the school. With that said, my husband & I both went to private schools and had plenty of friends and even though we live in a highly rated school district we’ll most likely send our child to private school at some point.
    Either way, feel free to e-mail me if you have more questions. Good luck! :)

  2. Jen E @ mommablogsalot April 30, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    It seems like you really love house #1 and honestly a score of 7 or 8 out of 10 doesn’t seem that bad – at least it’s not a score of less than 5 or something. And I agree with Rachel that you as parents can make a major difference regardless of where they go. I like the idea of going with the house you love the most, the neighborhood that feels like home… Good luck!

  3. christy April 30, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    Hmm…I have a different opinion. I would go with house #2. I like having home improvement projects; I like making a house my own. I think going with the better public school district would make a big difference…but I only have a baby, and haven’t had to encounter any of these issues yet. I’m sure whichever house you choose will be the right one for you, and I’d love to hear more about it and see pictures!

  4. Monica April 30, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    hmmm, we know no other kids in the neighborhood because we are never home, especially during the day. My kids play with their school, church, and dance buddies. I would love to have a “7-8″ public school to send my children to let alone a public “10″. That being said we make huge sacrifices to send our kids to a private school I consider a “10″. So in our house we put education first and following that I would choose #2. But, Brian wants to see pictures because he may change his mind based on what they look like :)

  5. Debbie Curtis-Magley May 1, 2009 at 9:16 am #

    Amy – tough to offer advice without know the Atlanta neighborhoods you’re considering. I live in Decatur (which we love – great schools and neighborhood vibe), but it is a bit of a commute to your office in Sandy Springs (I work down the street at UPS). Both Roswell and Dunwoody are also great and close to your office. It’s helpful to keep in mind that private school is an investment – in Atlanta you’re looking at $10K to $20K per child per year. You could invest that money in House #2 and make it something spectacular. Regardless of your decision, we hope you enjoy living in Atlanta.

  6. Meverly May 1, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    HelllooOOO! As you know, I am BK (before kids), and BM (before marriage), BE, etc… so sorry I can’t offer you too much help on this dilemma. BUT, I am so excited that you and the fam are moving down soon! I’ve missed Philly and everyone up there, but have enjoyed Atlanta, the new office, and of course Goody since my own move. Anyway, no matter which house you choose, I would be delighted to babysit anytime… at home or even in the office should those situations arise! See you in ATL~

  7. Erin --It's Your Movie-- May 1, 2009 at 9:24 pm #

    We moved from a bigger house to a smaller one to live in a good school district. It’s such a personal decision, but we don’t have the money to send 2 (plus more, hopefully, someday) kids to private school. Our new house is much smaller, but nice, and I really do love it here. And the constant stress of wondering what we were going to do about school is GONE. I didn’t even realize how stressful it was until it was off of my back. I don’t live in Atlanta, so I don’t know your area. Like I said– totally a personal decision, that’s just my experience!