Using Your Voice to Your Kids School Choice!

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By: Cher

If you aren’t excited about your children’s school as much as they are you should be! This year, I started researching schools for my youngest son. He is currently four and will be attending kindergarten next Fall. As much as he is excited about going to “big kid” school, I am just as excited to start this journey in finding the best school that will cater to his needs.

When my oldest son started kindergarten, we had just moved to Louisville, like literally just moved the same week public schools had started and other schools had already had a couple of weeks in of learning. I didn’t get the opportunity to sit back and do my research like I do now. Although he was not able to attend the traditional school I selected (it was full and already had a waiting list), my second option was available.  Side note: it was the best choice and after the past four years, he absolutely loves his school. Now, you may be thinking if your oldest son loves his school so much why don’t you just send your youngest son there? Well, every child is different and yes, it would be easier for me to send both kids to the same school, but I want to make sure I do my research first before choosing convenience versus the right choice for my son.

I attended a workshop called “Yikes, My Preschooler is Going to Kindergarten” hosted by EdChoice during MomCon in Orlando. The workshop provided insight on the school choices available in my local area. I did not realize I had so many options. Some of the choices were private, public, charter, homeschool and virtual schooling. Now, I know I am not the homeschooling type and my youngest is not ready to take online education lessons but I love to see how that it not only applied to my youngest son, but it also gave me the opportunity to start thinking about other options for middle and high schools. The four panelists at the workshop shared their own experiences as well as professional experience on making the right choice for your child(ren).

MomCon Workshop
EdChoice Panelists (l to r): Chantelle Edwards, Candace Pate, Marilyn Rhames and Catherine Dunkin Robinson

EdChoice insight on school choices, various resources such as accessing K-12 scholarships, tax-credit scholarships and how to obtain these resources in your state provided me with additional resources that I did not know were available to me. By reaching out to my school district for resources and creating a list of what I/we want in a school has assisted in narrowing down my school choices. I also visited greatschools.org to check out school ratings and identified the pros/cons from each school. Being able to have access to this kind of information is pivotal in making the right choice.

By visiting edchoice.org, I learned that they focus on making sure all families are free to choose the best learning experience for their families. They also have information on research, data, policy expertise and strategy resources and training available.

In the upcoming years, I will be purchasing a home and I was always taught the better the area you live in the better the schools are. After attending this workshop, I now know that I am the decision maker for my kids, and I decide what school they attend no matter where I live. It is not just about where I live. I have the power to do what is best for my kids.

I do not want to force any of my children to attend a school they do not want to. I know this will create more problems then solve them. My goal currently is making sure I make the right choice in selecting the best school to for my child’s needs.

Love life and full of smiles,

Cher

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