I honestly think it depends on the area (city, state, etc) and the child.
Schools are SO different every where you go, and each child thrives in a different environment so it’s really situational IMO.
Personally, I went to a private Catholic school from pre-school through 2nd grade. It was a teeny school (only about 20 kids in each grade), so I didn’t get much exposure to different kids/races/lifestyles, etc. Looking back, I think this made me really shy and nervous and closed-minded until, like, high school.
The Catholic school also had a budget that barely existed so we had NO extracurriculars. No band. No cheer leaders. No sports teams. No science club. No art club. No drama club. Nothing. In 2nd grade, that isn’t such a big deal, but I think it is once students hit 6th – 12th grade. I think extracurriculars are REALLY important.
Luckily for me, I attended public school 3rd -12th grade. At first it was a rough transition. I had triple the number of kids in my class and they were all SO different – different races, backgrounds, personalites, etc. Kids were mean. Kids were weird. Kids thought I was weird.
But around 8th grade or so it got better. And I’m glad I was exposed to so many different kinds of people.
PLUS I had an amazing opportunity to be part of a huge, competitive marching band. We traveled all over the place, got to compete, win awards, and even played for President Bush once and at a pro football game once. I met SO many incredible people and learned SO much about music and life in general. And I met my first love there 🙂
I would have never gotten to do those things in my private Catholic school, and in my opinion going to public school let me find myself and become a more well-rounded, happy person with passion for different things in life.
But then again, I know that there ARE private schools out there that are big and offer various activities and opportunties, so it really just depends.