Tag Archives for " Back to School "

Why Dara chose a Private School for her Daughter – a Plano Mom’s Story

I feel like if you tell someone in North Texas “My child attends private school at…” people will look at you as if you have spoken a foreign language.

The schools in North Texas are superior for the most part so why on earth would anyone consider anything else? Needless to say I was not interested but my husband felt that we should consider it for various reasons. I can be very stubborn so I got the opinions from those I value most and together we decided to book some school tours.

dfw private school plano1

I remember saying “This is the dumbest most obnoxious thing we’ve ever done. It’s a complete waste of our time.” When I walked in the school we immediately noticed the security features in place and we were greeted by the most lovely front desk person you could meet.

As we toured the school I began to fall in love, it was how I remembered school and what I wanted for my children. It was warm, friendly, colorful and the kids were excited to learn, very polite and best of all shamelessly loving God.

The very last thing the admissions rep said to us was “I hope you see that our school is diverse, we have a director of diversity here and we work very hard to include all backgrounds.”

This was a big deal for us because because it showed she wasn’t afraid to address the concerns minorities may have. It was a long quiet walk back to the car but when Carl (my husband) asked me how I felt and what my thoughts were I gave him a defeated look and said “I love it”. I cannot believe I had been so naive and so wrong which means others could be too.

Going into this we wanted strong academics, a school that was competitive within TAPPS, PreK – 12th, diversity, not too far from home, parent involvement, a good lunch menu (I have a picky eater) and a school that could help increase our child’s faith.

As we toured other schools I learned that the DFW area has several school options to offer such as parochial, university models, single-sexed, Montessori, private with online options and special needs schools.

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Our daughter (centered) and two schoolmates

Once we applied and were accepted I did what most moms do these days, I went to Facebook. Only I couldn’t locate a FB group that included DFW families enrolled in private school or seeking info on it, I mostly found school specific groups. I needed to learn more so I created a group called DFW Private School Families for those in private school or considering it. We have managed to build an online community where we can discuss thoughts, concerns, misconceptions and remain supportive of one another as well.

The things things group members often want others to know are not everyone who sends their kid to private school is rich or anti-public school.

Most parents in the group are working two or single parent homes and all are making a sacrifices of some sort daily.

If you were to ask me what to look for here’s what I’d tell you;

  • One of the biggest myths is that private school teachers aren’t accredited but this is not always true. The school itself often cannot receive a lot awards or accreditations if the teachers aren’t.
  • Private schools can offer various financial options to help with affordability.
  • Look for security measures such as lockdowns and definitely bullying prevention.
  • Staff tenure, private educators sometimes make less than public educators so you want a school where the teachers want to stay.
  • There’s no STAAR testing so how do they assess your child’s academic growth?
  • The curriculum in any school you consider should be challenging but homework shouldn’t consume your child’s life.

If you’re truly interested in a school you should attend the schools open house and ALWAYS tour during the school year. This wasn’t the original plan but we like where it’s headed.

This post is written by Dara K. Tilghman, a Mom of 2. She has spent hours researching Private Schools around DFW and has some unique insight to share with Plano Moms. Her Facebook group is DFW Private School Families. Follow Dara on Twitter

For more another guest post about Home Schooling, click here

Tips to Ease Back into School Routines

Now that school is just a few short weeks away it’s time to get your school mind set back. Gone are the lazy summer days of summer. Transitioning can be hard so it’s important to make a slow one back into school, especially for little kids. Here are some ideas and tips to ease back into school routines.

It’s almost time for Back to School! Are you ready? I cannot believe it! I feel like I say this every summer but this summer went by so fast! I cannot believe how fast it went! I am always looking forward to a slow and boring summer and that never seems to happen. Now that school is just a few short weeks away it’s time to get ready. I hope some of these tips will help you ease back into school.

 

Set Alarm Clock

I’d start this ASAP (if you haven’t already) for kids that can handle an alarm clock in their room. We put a clock in my daughter’s room early on but I don’t think she really got the grasp of the time until around 1st/2nd grade. (A digital clock) Start discussing bed times and good wake up times for school and start setting those appropriate times BEFORE School starts so that kids will be ready! Make a time sheet or show the times as numbers for good wake up and bed times so kids can get used to the numbers.

 

Get Clothes/Shoes Organized

Did you score some great back to school deals on shoes and clothes for your kids? Now it’s time to get organized and ready. This is a great time to clean out the closet and get rid of the too short shorts and pants that don’t fit. Go through the new set of clothes and pick out the first week’s outfits and shoes to save time!

Something like this would be easy to set up and great for kids to get involved with helping! They could be independent getting dressed and feel good about themselves!

 

Lunch/Snack Prep Station

Back to school means back to packing snacks and lunches. I don’t know about you, but I have really enjoyed my time off of making school lunches and snacks! It can become a total chore! Yes, my kids can buy school lunch, but we prefer to bring so that means a little more prep work. This year, I’d like to get my kids more involved in this process so that means I’m going to have to set up some sort of stations or areas of grab and go food ideas.

I love something like this from RealSimple.com. It will take a little prep work ahead of time but I think it’s do-able and then my kids (at least the older ones) can help and make own lunches.

 

Trial Run of Walking/Riding

I think this is an important tip! With a new year comes new changes and maybe you are changing the way your kids are getting to and from school. Maybe your kids are going to a new school and you’re not sure how long it will take to get there so do a trial run of getting there. Spend a few mornings walking or driving the route to see just how long it does take. It will be different when there are tons of other cars and school zones but it should help you get a good feel for the timing. There’s nothing worse than feeling rushed or late so it’s best to be prepared!

 

Homework Station

With school comes homework and you will want to be prepared. I can’t tell you how many times we searched our house for a silly pencil before! One year we finally got smart and set up a homework station. This can be a simple $1 store basket or caddy filled with pencils, erasers, markers, and other school supplies your kids might need for homework. Keep it in a centralized location and make sure all supplies gets put back! This will be so helpful when Grandma is over helping or a babysitter is over too.

Luckily, I’ve had lots of teacher and parenting experience with back to school! I’d love to hear your best tips and ideas to help the transition for a new school year. Share them with them in the comments.

Wishing everyone a great Back to School!!