There comes a point in many a parent's life when the painful truth must be faced: it might be time to apply to private school. No, not for you, but for your kid. In Los Angeles, this can be a truly mysterious and painful process. Competition is stiff. You and your child are subjected to massive scrutiny and testing on many a front. And, after all that work and worry and wait, a big fat envelope might not be in your future.
The Toad knows this well, having just gone through the process. And I wish I'd had this incredible resource handy: Beyond the Brochure. Beyond the Brochure is both a book and a blog completely devoted to the private school admissions process. Offering tons of tips and info, these resources help you apply to private schools in the most intelligent, strategic way possible. So, even if you don't make five million dollars a year and have the Spielbergs as your best friends, you still might be able to wrangle a spot for your child in one of L.A.'s best schools. Although this book and blog focus on Los Angeles, the advice could be applied to any private school admissions process across the country (how about New York, which sounds 100 times more savage than L.A.).
If you're even thinking about applying to schools in the near future, check out Beyond the Brochure. It's a safe place in which no question is stupid and the advice is golden. I only wish I'd known about it when we went through the turmoil; it could've saved us some guesswork and depression!