Finding the right school

It’s official: I am truly an adult! When your child is almost 5 and kindergarten (aka big girl school) is almost upon us, then you know you have transitioned into another phase of motherhood! I have been feeling like every choice from here on will truly define her future and every choice she will always remember. Of course, I am being slightly dramatic but it is a pretty defining moment in a child’s life. Kindergarten is their first entrance into defining their independence and true individuality among their peers.

Now, how do we, as parents, find the right place? This has been a little stressful for me the last couple of months. We live in Los Angeles where the options are endless. There are charter schools, public schools, private schools and many moms I have met even home school.

I’m originally from Michigan and when I was growing up, everyone always went to the local public school for kindergarten. I’m sure there were options but you would simply register your child and that was that. I attended public school from kindergarten to middle school then we moved and I went to a private high school. I feel lucky to have experienced both options as a kid because I truly feel like I gained so much from both.

How do I choose the right school for my girls to experience the best for them?  Here are a few tips that are helping me through this process.

  1. The first step is understanding what your choices are. Talk to other parents in your area, check your local state department of education website, google search your area and drive around. In Los Angeles there are tons of options but we want a school that is still close by.
  2. Next step is to identify what you are and are not willing to compromise on. For us, diversity, location and quality of school are very important. We are more open to various teaching techniques.
  3. The final step is to take tours and explore the neighborhood. Go and see what the school is all about. Get a feel for the students and staff. And if it’s a new area to you, drive around the neighborhood.
  4. Lastly, celebrate. Attend one of the schools performances, carnivals or fundraisers they host. Also check out National School Choice Week and attend one of the world’s largest annual education-related celebrations. For more details, check out National School Choice Week.

I am learning to enjoy this process and know that any option I choose will be the right one. My daughter is simply excited to go to kindergarten, make new friends, meet new teachers and be a big girl! I am excited for this new phase in her life (and this new journey in motherhood). I can’t wait to share in this journey with her!

What’s your take on schools? What are you willing to compromise on? I’d love to hear what you have to say!

Thank you National School Week for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are expressly my own.

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