1.24.17

Choosing A School For Your Child

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.

school options

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?

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school options

31 Comments

  1. Susan wrote:

    you just described m’s school in your list of wants! I think you guys need to move down south 😛 😀
    I cannot believe our boys are going to start next year!! I start the application process at the end of the year ???? Crazy fast!

    Published 1.24.17
  2. I am stressing about this day already and my oldest is only 2!!! AHHHH! Lol! Thanks for the tips though

    Published 1.25.17
  3. Jenn wrote:

    Saving this for the future!
    -Jenn
    joyfuliowan.com

    Published 1.25.17
  4. Belle wrote:

    These are great tips! My kids won’t be in kindergarten until 2-3 years but I will definitely save this for future use.

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    Published 1.25.17
  5. Danielle wrote:

    As a former teacher (now SAHM) education is super important to me. Annabelle is starting pre-school next year (and I can’t wait). We are touring the school I want to send her to on Friday, and I’m so excited! In terms of kindergarten, I haven’t given much thought. More than likely the local public school.

    Published 1.25.17
  6. I can’t even think about school yet! Gives me so much anxiety! This is such a cute post though – and those pics of your boy are adorable! xoxo

    Published 1.25.17
  7. All great tips! We are in the same boat…my son will also be starting kindergarten in the fall of 2018. So much to think about, but we think we have narrowed down our school for him!

    Published 1.25.17
  8. Krysten wrote:

    My little man is going to school soon, so I really need this. Unfortunately, SF has a lottery and you can’t really choose what you want. 🙁

    Published 1.25.17
  9. Great post. I agree at there young age, learning through play is key.

    Published 1.25.17
  10. My youngest is starting preschool next week and I’m so sad about it, but happy that she’s going to get out of the house and make some new friends.

    Published 1.25.17
  11. Angela Kim wrote:

    I never knew about National School Choice Week. Sounds like a great organization! My kids are in public schools and we are very happy with the program but things will change as the girls go onto junior high. Eek! I agree that something that works for one family may not work for another. I believe each parent knows best!

    Published 1.25.17
  12. candy wrote:

    We have one school district where we live. There are no options unless a parent wants to homeschool. Called living in the mid-west country. All the money goes to the bigger cities in our state.

    Published 1.25.17
  13. Shari wrote:

    This is great to hear about, it’s so much better to have resources and options when choosing a school for the littles. My kiddo is changing schools next month!

    Published 1.25.17
  14. Cori wrote:

    Living in a small town I didn’t have too much of a choice where my kids went. When it comes to high school they will have a few options though.

    Published 1.25.17
  15. Morgan wrote:

    Such great things to consider. And adorable photo 🙂

    xx, Morgan

    http://www.liliesandlambs.com

    Published 1.25.17
  16. We even just went through this when changing my daughter from an in-home daycare to a daycare center. These are great tips, and I’m definitely pinning for when we’re choosing a preschool next year!

    Published 1.25.17
  17. Lindsay wrote:

    i know this post will come in handy even more so in a few years for me! my husband and I have talked about home schooling our daughter, especially because we are really passionate about practical learning! love this post girl!

    Published 1.25.17
  18. Mamaguru wrote:

    Let me tell you, it get more complicated, not less. Schools are so difficult these days and no school is perfect, so there are big compromises to be made and it can be hard to know what the right thing to do is. #constantsecondguessing

    Published 1.25.17
  19. Being the mom of a 14 year old and 5 year old we’ve now been down this road. We’re lucky to live in a suburb of Minneapolis where the public school education is top-notch (yay! no need to pay for private!). Our big choice was the classical (read: more academic) charter school, our neighborhood school (Ranked very highly) or a Spanish immersion school (for my 14 year old it was in it’s 4th year since it opened). We went with the Spanish immersion school and it is FABULOUS! Amazing education, liberal in the arts, crazy talented teachers and now I have a fluent 14 year old, and a kindergartner whose favorite thing is to answer me in spanish. The good news is, a good education will be found as long as you are seeking it. You’ll make the choice that is right for your child and your family!

    Published 1.25.17
  20. These are such great tips! My oldest is 16 and in high school but my middle child is 3 and will be in school before I know it.

    Published 1.26.17
  21. Thank you for the tips on how to think about this as we will be in that stage soon! I had no idea we were in the midst of School Choice Week. Good resources there.

    Published 1.26.17
  22. Val wrote:

    Great list of considerations! We live in a great district, my husband and I are both public school kids, and my sister student taught at the elementary school my kids will attend so we’re keeping it free 😉

    Published 1.26.17
  23. Melissa wrote:

    This is a great list. As a former teacher and mom, I truly believe in choosing the right environment for children. If parents don’t have other options for schools, they can use these same ideas when looking at the teachers that are available for their children.

    Published 1.26.17
  24. Rachel wrote:

    Great tips! These are goof for pre-k too!

    Published 1.26.17
  25. Sally wrote:

    These are such great things to keep in mind as you choose a Kindergarten class/school for A. I can’t believe he’s already going to be entering that grade!!!

    Published 1.26.17
  26. Lauren wrote:

    First, your son is absolutely adorable! Second, these are great tips. Our daughter is in preschool, but we are looking at other school options for Kindergarten. The thought of choosing always stresses me out.

    Published 1.27.17
  27. Deb Dutta wrote:

    I can only imagine how important this decision is! Love your details in this post!

    Published 1.27.17
  28. Luz T wrote:

    My LO is just 18 months but I’ll save this for later. I’m so overwhelmed about even thinking about schools for him lol.

    Published 1.27.17
  29. Abigail wrote:

    These are all REALLY great points! Our biggest thing in choosing a school was somewhere that they would encourage a LOVE for learning! Also being comfortable with the teachers and supervision. We are sending our children to the school my husband and I went to. We had to move to our hometown (obviously) to make that happen and we are very happy we our choice. Neither of my children are in school yet, but when they start we know we will be comfortable with our choice 🙂

    Published 1.30.17
  30. Lee Orlian wrote:

    Great post! This is very helpful to me because I feel that you have managed to navigate through our shared concerns with a very clear point of view. It is important to be aware of the available options before making this important decision. I’ll be coming back! Thank you for sharing!

    Published 1.30.17
  31. Yulissa wrote:

    My little girl will be entering Kindergarten in about 2 to 3 years. I live in PR so one of my top priorities is a bilingual school, where they teach good English.

    Published 2.4.17

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