School Search

When I first started thinking about where to send Vivien to elementary school I would talk to other parents about what they were thinking. I often said, “Hey, I’m not going to stress; I know it’s all going to be fine where ever we send her.” That was the point in the conversation where the other parent was suppose to say, “Right, totally.” Or nod. Or do something other than what they did do which was looked appalled that I wasn’t freaking out about this issue.

What’s the matter here? I thought. Well, the pod people eventually got me.  Yes, I have lost sleep over this issue.. just a little

14 thoughts on “School Search

  1. Oh Daph,

    I know what you mean. I am so tired about hearing how amazing such-and-such school is. I mean really…..did our parents have these discussions? Really?

    We all went to our local neighborhood schools, had cookies and milk and listened to stories in Kindergarten. My son is in Kinder and we went to the orientation last fall. I couldn’t believe the questions that the parents were asking the poor teacher (i.e how much homework per night, what reading curriculum does she subscribe to, etc. jeez!)

    Good luck with finding the right fit for your daughter;)

  2. we considered private school for kindy, only to get around the age requirement (daughter’s bday after cutoff), but when we found out the age requirement was also in place for first, we decided to not buck the system and just go with the flow with our neighborhood school on the district schedule and everything worked out just fine. of course, this is after having bought a house in a good school district, so we didn’t have to worry about the ‘public option’ being less than.

    i think lots more people think about (get worked up about!) school options for their kids now-a-days than when we were kids. some of it I think is good, some is overblown. in the end, you have to go with what will work for you, your kid & your family, and not worry about what others think is the “best” school, because it may not be best for you.

  3. At present, I know we live in a good school district. Though I am NOWHERE NEAR able to keep up with the Joneses in our neighborhood, I really have no desire to as long as my daughter is a)happy, b)clothed, c) fed, d)well educated (though not necessarily in that order). Right now, that means when she finishes with her early intervention program, the school district will keep up with whatever services she requires after next year. In kindergarten, it means, they learn CHINESE, have access to art and music and lots of books… computers and if necessary, whatever services Sarah needs – including an inclusion classroom or being sent to an out of district program. At this point, I am just content to have options, as I know a lot of families who do not.

  4. yes, I know. I have some options in the public realm as well and that is lucky. Even pre madoff I couldn’t stomach paying 25 grand ( norma here) for kinder.

  5. I went through something similar not too long ago when the hubs and I were choosing a preschool for our daughter. I live in Georgia so there are a bunch of established, 1,000+ member mega-churches that have preschool programs.

    We visited one of them b/c their preschool came HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. We didn’t like it for many reasons, one of them being that they were OVER-THE-TOP religious, almost crossing the “fundamentalist christian” line so we got OUTTA THERE! (our daughter had a MEGA temper tantrum while on the school tour so we kinda had to leave the tour early – and we thanked her for that…LOL).

    We went to this other preschool that was smaller and it really had a feel of community, apart from the fact that it has a great program, the teachers are so nice, and the school itself is not affiliated with any religion. So, guess which one we picked? 😉

    Needless to say, we’re happy with our choice. We went with what felt right, and our choice was very clear.

  6. My daughter was in the same school district that *I* went to Kindergarten in! Knowing what I know about those schools & teachers (who yes, 21 years later were still teaching Kindergarteners) I really wanted something different for my daughter.

    I looked into scholarships…but we are white & healthy, so those were no help (jeez, you can’t just be poor anymore!)…and the magnet schools were in AWFUL neighborhoods (I guess they do that on purpose so “underprivelaged” kids get to be near good schools, too? Hey, we’re underprivelaged…we just got a break on rent!) and she’d have to be getting on the bus at 6:45 in the morning and TRANSFERRING twice. Nuh-uh!

    THEN I found a charter school. Which is when a private group says, “Wish we could be a school, too bad we can’t afford it!” And the county goes, “Wish we had some more classrooms to offload some kids into to get these student to teacher rations under control!” And they meet, get married & have babies & live happily ever after. And what you get is a publicly funded “private” school. 15 kids in the kindergarten, one or two classes for each grade through 5th grade…about 100 kids TOPS in the school. It was awesome.

    Then we moved and I didn’t have a choice…she goes to a “primary” school where it’s K-3rd grade & there are 500 kids. There are 25 kids in her class, but the teacher seems experienced…and this area is so podunk people are still driving carriages with horses pulling them! (Okay, so they’re Amish..big whoop!)

    I was the youngest mom in my daughter’s kindergarten class…This was my first “baby” going to school…it was most of the other parents’ ONLY or last baby going to school…we didn’t click well…they didn’t talk to me, and ran terrified when they saw my car in the parking lot. I don’t blame them…I hit a lot of stuff that can’t manage to get out of the way.

  7. Oh Daphne, move to Alabama and you will understand why us southern-folk have that reaction when we find the “right” private school. Which we did. And I am just that ecstatic when people ask me about my kids’ school!

    But I totally get your point. :o)

  8. I’ve heard of this from big cities.

    I live in a very small town (less than 10,000) and all our public schools are wonderful.

    BUt I can see where people would be alarmed re schools in a larger city.

    Good luck, Daphne…you’re so stinkin’ smart, I know it’ll work out…

  9. I think the “AMAZING” and “SO GREAT” is relief at the decision finally being made (and avioding buyers remorse) and a mental comparison to the worst school they checked out.
    I have 3 more years to figure this stuff out, we’re right across from the elementary I went to, but their test scores are really not as good as they should be for the socio-economics of this neighborhood, so I’m a little worried. But then I remind myself that I can pay for a HELL of allot of lessons and tutoring for a fraction of the price of private school.

  10. No options as far as private school here either unless you want to send them to a religious school which we DIDN’T.

    Put son in the local catchment elementary school which he loved until grade 5 and then he didn’t. His teacher that year no doubt heavily influenced his opinion.

    So found another school which happened to be very small one not far from where we lived (but far enough that driving them there was key) which they ALL loved the entire time they were there. Was it a school someone told me they LOVED and OMG it is the best? No. But it turned out to be just that.

    Trust your instincts and then let Viv guide you.. Through your interactions with the school during meet the teacher, your daughters reaction, and her willingness to GO will guide you and reassure (or not, but no worries) whether you have made the right decision.

    Make your decision and then let your child be the judge.

  11. I’m going through this right now (my daughter starts Kindergarten in Sept 2011)… I’m a worrier by nature and my school experience wasn’t the best so the ‘where to send my child to school’ issue is a big deal to me. I am trying to choose between a charter school and our neighborhood public school. Both are good schools, both are free–up to now that’s as far as I’ve gotten in my research LOL.

  12. People say AMAZING about elementary schools for a few reasons:
    1. To justify their obscene investment in a private school.
    2. Because they are stunned and overwhelmed that a public school is a really good place.
    3. Because they secretly mean “my kid is amazing and he is kicking ass at this school!” Give them a few more minutes and they will get to this. Except they will call it “thriving” vs. “kicking ass.”

    My son is in a really nice public elementary where his is doing well. I would recommend it to anyone. (It just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?)

  13. I honestly would say to look at the children coming out of the school….are they well behaved? Do they have have structure when the parents are picking them up…. I saw both. My sister went to both and the one with more structure and the children came out happy and eager to share what they had done that day—and the one where the children didn’t come out looking so happy. Look for the one where the sweet little innocent children don’t come out completely opposite =D

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