The 2010 School Discussion Group sponsored by the Mt. Airy Parents’ Network (MAPN) will begin meeting virtually beginning in August. If you’re interested in participating this year, please send your name, email address, and the age(s) of your child(ren) to MAPN Moderator Catherine Collins at babygrauke [at] yahoo.com. Only current members of MAPN are allowed to participate, so if you would like to join MAPN, please visit our website and click on “Join this group” on the right side of your screen.
In its fourth year, the MAPN School Discussion Group (formerly known as the Kindergarten Discussion Group) is a subgroup of MAPN that meets online via an email discussion list August through December. Members of the group share information, arrange tours, and, in general, just support each other through what can be a stressful process for many families. The group may focus on any aspect of K-12 education — public schools, publicly-funded charters, private/independent schools, and homeschooling/unschooling. The focus and level of activity is driven by the interest of the group’s members. Most discussion takes place via email, although some previous groups have chosen to meet once or twice in person.
If you haven’t already taken a look, I suggest reading A Very Public Education, the blog of a mom who decided to send her children to a Philly public school. In particular, I enjoyed reading a recent post of hers looking back on her decision to decide on the Philadelphia public schools. A Very Public Education: Just Like Me. Thus far, the focus of this blog has been the search for a school prior to entry. Her post is a nice ex post facto look at the school search.
I wrote before about how going local for education as a movement is problematic for me. To summarize my sentiments, I want to advocate for better local schools, but not be an activist with my child’s education for the sake of being local. The people at the Passyunk Square Civic Associate, Andrew Jackson Elementary, and the author Jacqueline Edelberg (who was part of a similar undertaking in inner-city Chicago) have the right idea I think. Recruiting parents to go local for education is great, but you won’t see more families choosing the school until you make the school better. Get local families involved in that effort and you will win them over enough to send their kids. Do that, and you can win over the rest of the neighborhood parents.
When my son started school he was a wallflower. He would arrive at school and sit on the sidelines watching the other kids played. I am sure that once he warmed up, his sociability improved, but when I picked him up at the end of the day, he was often on the sidelines entertaining himself and rarely engaged with the other kids running around or in fantasy play. It has always stuck with me, my impression of his timidity.
Yesterday I had a parent-teacher conference with my son’s preschool teacher. Apart from his family, my son’s teacher is probably the person who knows my son the most. When it comes to school and his peer interactions, she knows him better than me. Contrary to my sense of his timidity, his teacher had a much different story to tell. Not only does she not find him to be timid, she shared with me that he has a strong group of friends (‘his posse’, LOL) and engages with them very well. He initiates games, participates when others initiate, and seems pretty well socialized. I of course learned a lot more about my son’s learning as well, but none of that was too much of a surprise.
Obviously my perceptions of my son have been flawed/outdated and/or he has made great leaps in his socialization skills. Probably all of the above.
This reminded me of an early struggle that I had in my school selection process that I put on the shelf for a while–how do I know what kinds of needs my kid has, what kind of environment he Continue reading →
Conventional wisdom states that city living is more expensive, being that the cost of real estate per square foot is so much higher in general. But what about the hidden costs? When making a school choice, especially when it involves a possible relocation or private schooling, money is a big factor.