School? How old? How to pick a school? Private vs Public?

Jennifer - posted on 03/20/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )




I know my son is little (14 months) but I'm already starting to think about schools. He's my first so I don't know quite how to approach it. I want to start him in a gifted accelerated progam at age 3 in a private school because they seem to be the best but I don't know. Private schools are so expensive, arround 15 thousand dollars!! Plus the one I would like him to go to we would have to drive a half hour to an hour for him to go to. I don't want to plan buying our house around where I want my son to go to school but it doesn't seem fair to have a toddler commute an hour a day. I was extremely poor growing up and went to a public school and my education was terrible!! I want better for my kiddo. Is relocating and buying a house I'm not thrilled about nuts? What is everyone else planning on doing? What kind of school curriculum is best? How do you know if the school is good? What is a blue ribbon school vs a five star school? How many are planning on home schooling their little ones? Are their toddler tutors?


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Allie - posted on 03/21/2011




NAEYC preschools are an awesome choice. You can go to the website and see their accredited schools. But I think thats just for preschools, I know once you're in preschool the director of the school is typically very knowledgable about surrounding schools....

Jennifer - posted on 03/21/2011




Wow thank you guys for the detailed answers!! I do live in the U.S. I plan on touring several schools once I get home. I'm in Chicago now for school but I start my clinical rotations back home in Colorado soon. Colorado has terrible public schools. I think it's ranked 42nd out of the 50 states. It's just such a hard decision but thank you so much for your help you've both made some really great points!

Louise - posted on 03/21/2011




All I can say is if your child is intelligent he will learn whereever he is schooled. My first son was on the gifted and talented register and he went to public schools as I could not afford private ones. It never held him back as the school had to provide him with extention work to keep him interested and at the top of the school. My second son was not so academic and struggled through school but he did his best. Putting him in private school would not of helped as he hated school and he just wanted to be outside playing.

I think education is hit or miss. If you are convinced that your son is a child that wants to get on academically then private school is for him, if he is going to be middle of the road intelligence wise then public school is for him. At the end of the day are you willing to pay a fortune for an education that you could have for free.

My sons are now adults and my eldest is at uni studying two degrees of Maths and French. My youngest son works full time in a good job. They have both got out of education what they wanted.

There are good and bad public and private schools. Just because you pay for the education it does not automatically mean it is the best. All this is obviously for later in life for your little man. For now your child should be learning through play and experiences and if he is getting a varied amount of these then he is learning all the time.

Each school will have it's own government reports detailing there good and bad points. In the Uk this is called the OFSTED report which is available for every body to read. I am sure your country will have something similar. Do your homework and give this some serious thought but for now I would concerntrate on the happiness side for your child. They have to go to school for 12 years of their lives do you really want him pressured into learning so young. Let him have fun first before the serious stuff starts.

Sarah - posted on 03/20/2011




I am assuming you live in the US...if you don't I am not sure if this will help or not as I know schooling is different in different countries. As for preschools at that age they learn best by a school that focuses on flash cards and trying to drill in the academics might be frustrating for your child and leave him to dislike school in general. At age 3 yrs there are certain adacemic things they should be learning (letters, numbers, shapes, colors) but much of the learning at that age is their social skills. Often times this is the first time they are in a school setting with other children. They are learning how to follow in line without cutting, how to follow a school routine, how to be quite when it is story time or the teacher is talking, how to play with others and work with others. I would encourage you to visit some preschool programs in your area. Find out what they are like and what things you like and don't like about the different ones. The "best" one may not be the best one for your child or you....just depends. As for elementry schools I think that depends on where you live and also what you want. I would say the same thing about visiting schools in your area. I don't think it is nuts to live in an area where you like the school your child would attend. My kids go to a really good public school it is a highly rated school and often times followed by many other pubic and private schools for their educational teachings. I know there are some areas where the public schools are not very good....then I myself would look into private schooling or home schooling. For home schooling find out who else home schools in your area and often times there are home schooling networks. They can help guide you as to curriculm and what kinds of group things there are for home schoolers. I think each form of schooling comes with it's own pros and just have to evalute the different ones in your area and find out what fits your child the best. Also remember that a gifted program may not be the right fit for your child...or the home schooling....or the public. Each child is different and one may enjoy the freedom of learning in a home environment with you teaching them where as another child may become more frustrated and less motivated with you teaching them. Some kids excell in a gifted program and enjoy the challenge where as others get lost and frustrated and feel overwhelmed and end up hating school and learning.
As for toddler tutors I would say unless your child is delayed in a certain area I would encourage you to just play with them using play time as learning. Just playing with a stack of colored blocks can add so many learning things to it. You can go through your colors, you can count how many blocks you have, you can focus on the shape of a square and talk about how many sides it has. You can build different things with the blocks. Same thing with food when you eat. You can talk about colors, shapes, food groups, count. Learning is in everything we do. Make it fun and playful.

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