Do/will you have a Kindergartener in the next year or two? Read below on some things we’re thinking about for school options.
Thanks to National School Choice Week (NSCW) for sponsoring today’s post. As always, all opinions and content are my own.
Our oldest turns five in the late fall, so Kindergarten enrollment is one of the major things on our list of things to research this year. In our state, the age cut off for school enrollment is September 1, which means he will be starting Kindergarten in the fall of 2018. I’m actually grateful that this gives us some extra time to research our school options and feel confident that the school we choose for him is the right one.
I’m a whole-hearted believer that each child is unique and that school options that are good for one family are not necessarily the best for another family. I feel grateful that we live in an area where we have several different options when it comes to our kids’ education. Even more so, I feel pretty confident about our local public education system because my husband and I are both former students of a nearby school district. A is currently enrolled in a private preschool that he attends part-time three days a week. So we’ve had experiences in two different school options in the area. As we dive head first into choosing a school next year, here are a few things that I’m going to keep in mind as we narrow down our school options.
1.) Nurtures Creativity & Play
While A loves to learn and is academically on par/ahead of his age group, he is a creative kid and finds so much joy in his love for the arts and music. He loves all sorts of arts and crafts, he loves imaginative play and physical activity is crucial for him to get his energy out in positive ways. The school we choose for him will definitely need to focus on the importance of learning through play. Especially in their younger years, I want our kids to learn organically and to develop a genuine love for learning. A school that encourages this is really important for us in our decision process.
2.) Good Relationships with Teachers
Like most parents, D and I want to develop genuine and honest relationships with our kids’ future teachers. We want to feel comfortable with our ongoing communication with them and a school that encourages this type of relationship between teachers and parents will be something that I pay close attention to in our upcoming visits. I would also like to visit classrooms and see the teachers in action, so that I can see their interactions and relationships with their students. A is used to being around grown ups and takes time to acclimate in new situations. I know that the relationship he develops with each of his teachers will be a crucial one, not only for the immediate comfort as he makes his transition to a new school. But, more importantly throughout his school years, as he develops both academically and socially. Teachers are such a big part of our kids’ circle of influence that this is high on our list of things to consider and review.
3.) Encourages Learning
Like I mentioned earlier, learning through play is really important to us. However, A is a kid that needs to be challenged academically. He loves to learn new things and can get bored without mental stimulation. While I don’t believe in schools that are too focused on numbers or standardized testing, I do want a school with an academic program that will cater to A’s needs and thirst for knowledge. I think a good school will offer a flexible option as far as encouraging each individual child to learn on an academic scale that is fit for them.
4.) Social Interaction & Practical Learning
Right now, A is enrolled in a private preschool that he attends part-time three days a week. Due to our kids being “Grandma-care” babies, we decided to enroll him early (2.5) to get socialized with his peers and also have some time away from family as caretakers. He’s done really well the last couple of years and loves his friends and teachers at preschool. I know that the transition to Kindergarten will be a big one for him. Especially since, we will be sending him to a brand, new school. While it will be an adjustment, we’re excited for A to experience a new school and meeting new people. I know that it will be super important to choose a school that encourages healthy social interaction and provides options for essential extracurricular activities for the immediate transition, as well as for his future years in school.
I know that this will be one of the most important decisions we make in the next year for our kids. I’m sure I’ll take forever to actually decide on one school and/or school system. But, I’m glad that we have a good starting point into researching our school options. For those that are in the same boat, what are some things you’re thinking about as far as school options for your kid(s)? Any pointers from parents of older children?
For those of you looking for more detailed information, National School Choice Week is hosting more than 20,000 events nationwide to help families find education options that are tailored to meet their child(ren)’s needs. From traditional public schools, to charter schools, online academies, private schools and homeschooling, NSCW encourages families to participate and learn more about the options for your child(ren). Click here to find a NSCW event in your area and learn more about the different school options in your area!
Have you looked into the different school options for your kids?