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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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FranklyStein: High school search, full throttle ahead

Our household is deep in the throes of the high school search.

The past couple of weekends we’ve been cramming open houses in between soccer, field hockey and lacrosse games. Our oldest, Maggie, has to make a decision in the next couple of weeks about where to apply, and Lilly and Adam, 7th graders, are just beginning to think about where to look.

Frankly, I don’t have any idea how this all came about. Just yesterday we were touring grammar schools and settling on where to send our kids for the next nine years. How could that be over? And for the last three, we’ve been spoiled by having them all at the same school. All good things must come to an end, however. In a nanosecond, they will be off to college.

But I jump ahead.

Maggie is close to making her final selection. One school was far too big and easily ruled out. The other two she struggled over a bit. One had all the bells and whistles (iPads for all students for example) but the other felt more like the right fit for her—strong academics, warm, close nit, filled with tradition. Luckily, the school she’s leaning toward is just a couple blocks away.

That’s a good thing because Adam is insisting on visiting a boys’ school on the other side of the city despite a perfectly good one five minutes down the road. We visited the nearby school last weekend and I loved it. It had it all—great teachers, a homey feel and plenty of bells and whistles. When we were leaving he conceded he liked the school but is still insisting on visiting the one across town—a 40-minute drive on a good day.

So I guess we will let him see the school. Hopefully, he will decide against it. If he loves it, we’ll have problems. Even with all the kids in one location, I’m barely squeezing out enough time in the day to get done what needs to be done. If Adam decides that is the school for him, my sanity might be compromised.

If your family is in the midst of the high school search, please share any tips and tricks with me. If you’re just beginning, you might want to check out our private school guide and a few tips from area schools. It will help get your started. Make sure you only let your kids know about the schools that work for you’re family. That will mean screening the mail for open house post cards and throwing away the ones you don’t want your kids to know about — before they see them.

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FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 13, Lilly, 11, Adam, 11, and Jonah, 7.


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