Childrearing

Octo-Mom Says That Private Education Is More Important Than Her Mortgage

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Nadya Suleman, the still-in-the-news Octo-mom, sat down for a chat with Perez Hilton. We’re not expecting an enlightening conversation about parenting techniques. I’m not going to lie, Perez seemed much more interested in Nadya’s sex life, or lack thereof, than he was about how she parents fourteen children by herself.

However, I found one quote extremely interesting. After talking about Suleman’s struggles to pay her mortgage, Nadya says, “The private school for my kids is double my mortgage. I have 13 kids in private school, I’m adamant in keeping them there no matter what and so whatever mom has to do to not only put food on the table in the house and in bills, I have to pay their private Christian school and that’s imperative for them to go there.” Whoa… private education that’s double your mortgage is imperative? Really? Its so important that you’re willing to do reality TV shows, sell ridiculous tabloid stories and interviews with Perez Hilton, because all of those things pale in comparison to public education?

I have to admit, I’ve never fully understood imperative behind private schools. My husband and I have considered private schools, but if we couldn’t afford it, it wouldn’t be on the table. Maybe its just my Midwestern experience, but our public and private schools are pretty comparable. I graduated from a public high school. I think it turned out alright. My mother teaches in public schools and I believe that she does an amazing job of education children. In fact, private schools here pay their teachers less and have more limited choices because of their size. They rarely have the diversity of classes or the opportunity for advanced placement as our public schools.

None of this is to say that I don’t see the appeal to private schools. They tend to feel more like a community and they encourage more family involvement. If religious education is important to you, this is a wonderful way to get it. Though in our city, religious education is offered at every school, you simply get to choose whether or not to attend. A co-worker of mine chose private schools because, “Its investing in the people that our daughter will be going to school with. I know that all of her classmates’ parents care enough to pay for her education.” I can understand what he’s saying.

All of this being said, is private school important enough to cause financial struggle for your family? I’m simply not sure it is. I can’t imagine fighting to put food on the table, all so your kids attend a private school. Maybe its just because I’m public school-bred. So I asked a friend of mine who attended Catholic school her entire life. We’ve discussed private school before, so I knew that it was a priority for her. She said, “I loved my school, but I don’t think that my parents would have sent me if they couldn’t afford it. There are other ways to integrate faith into your child’s life. There’s Bible school, CCD, Teen Life. It’s more important to teach Catholic values at home than it is to send your kids to Catholic school.”

My friend brought up an amazing point. Parents rely on their schools to teach their children everything, from arithmetic to religion. Maybe, instead of defaulting on your home to get your kids in private school, you should spend more time parenting them. As a parent, you can help educate your children, no matter what school they’re attending. Then, you wouldn’t have to do interviews about your sex life with Perez Hilton simply to pay your bills.

(Photo: CelebrityStuff)