Finding the Right Fit For Your ChildWRITTEN BY Amber Sabathia
Going back to school isn’t always a fun and exciting time for a child. They can have anxiety about going to a new school, making new friends or returning to the same school but with fears of a new teacher, harder schoolwork and more homework. You want going back to school to not only be an enjoyable experience for the student but also the right fit for them as well.
Having four children, I have gone from having my children in three different schools at one time to all going to the same school. This year, my youngest son will be going to a different school than the other three. I had to make a choice of putting him in the right school. He would be attending pre-K for the second year and I knew it was time for kindergarten prep.
I decided to move him to a private school with an academic structure that would prepare him for kindergarden the following year, while my three other children will continue to attend public school in our town. I have been asked many times why I have chosen public school over private. When choosing a school it’s what’s best for your family. And the best choice for us is public school. The services that our daughter needs are provided at public school – with speech given in class and one-on-one. The local private school was not able to offer these services for my daughter and, as her mom, I had to be her biggest advocate. No one cares as much as we do.
As the years go by, I evaluate each child differently to make sure they are getting the best education possible. When my son reaches high school, private school may be his best option since he is a student-athlete. My choice to break up the family is about making the best decision for each child’s personal needs. Yes, it brings more work for me with pick-ups and drop-offs but this job is one I wouldn’t trade for the world.
I look at each child’s needs, strengths and weaknesses when finding the right school, as well as the right teacher. Be a presence in the school by asking other parents their opinion and their personal experiences. This will help you with placing your child with the right teacher. Remind yourself that it’s OK to separate them. They spend enough time together and when in school they barely cross paths. You want each child’s in-class experience to be the best whether that is at the same school as his/her siblings or not.