From that first positive pregnancy test, there is a whole new world open to you as a parent -to-be. An exciting but oh so scary world. Now not only do you have to look after you but this precious little life that isn’t even here yet. Simple choices take on new levels of anxiety and loom like giants. Through out 9 months pregnancy, that first cry, the first milestones, we are faced with choices – bottle/breast, cloth/disposable, stay at home/working mom, daycare, school, the list goes on. So many life changing decisions to make, and face it, they are huge and just get huger. This is your child. The wrong choice can permanently destroy your child’s life. I exaggerate but I think most parents understand what I’m saying.
I went to Main Line Parent’s Private and Independent School Expo today. You may ask why in the world I would go to this event when we home school. We do home school. I don’t for-see that changing but as many home schooling families I know would say, it’s a year by year decision. Not only that, I like to know what’s out there. Even as a home schooling mom there are so many programs out there, so many schools and options, it is good to be educated on what those options are. It is good to go to these things and glean what is going on in the school settings around us, to see a new perspective. I know it was such an encouragement for me and offered a fresh perspective on my teaching.
There were 27 schools that made an appearance at the Expo today. From girls’ schools to boys’ schools, progressive to traditional academic, there was a school to fit pretty much any parent’s educational philosophy. Some of the best advice I heard today was from a panelist with Shipley School. She said to make sure you look at a school through your child’s eyes, not through what looks appealing to you. This is so on target. Pursuing a school because it fits our dreams can silence our children whose dreams may be different than ours (i.e. sports versus music, math versus English.) This is not to say we should let our children make the decision but to say we need to consider our children’s needs, strengths, and interests when making this choice.
Homeschooling, public school, private school, Catholic/Christian/Hebrew School, boys’/girls’ school – there is no wrong choice. The question is, what choice is right for you? What choice is right for your family? Educate yourself on your options and make a choice then rest firm in that choice, knowing you have made the right choice for YOUR FAMILY. But please, please, please, educate yourself on your options before just blindly choosing one.
Thank you to Main Line Parents for hosting this great event.
Thank you to the schools and students that took the time to share with us –
Academy of Notre Dame
Advocacy & Consulting for Education, Inc.
Agnes Irwin School – Good Luck with your building project. Shiny new buildings will be so
Baldwin School – students- great job sharing your school with us
Benchmark School – it was great talking with you about Apraxia and the tip on
Church Farm School
Devon Preparatory School
Friends’ Central School
Friends School Haverford
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Kimberton Waldorf School – loved your table. This type of schooling would be right up my
alley and closest to what I envision for my kids
Leading Tone Lessons – music lessons come to your house
Main Line Reform Temple School for Early Childhood Education
Montessori Children’s House of Valley Forge – So sad to realize my children are past
Montgomery School – thank you for the travel mug – I can always use another and one less
for you to take home!
Open Connections – right up the road from me and a great option for families who want to
home school part time and put their kids in school part time. I love the hands on
approach to learning.
Perelman Jewish Day School
School in Rose Valley – I really like the approach of kids’ not being stuck in a “grade” but
learning where they are at. Summer camps look like such a great option.
Shipley School – love the focus on the students and the great advice to parents
St. Joseph’s Prep
Valley Forge Military Academy
Waldron Mercy School – What a great student ambassador! Volunteering on her birthday
and a great conversationalist. Loved talking blogging, baking, and English. Thank you
to the young student who made sure I received a pen.