Tag Archives for " education "

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.

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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

Get the Back to School Advantage with Explore Horizons

Now that school is almost back in session, are your kids prepared? Have your kids been doing many academics on their time off? Explore Horizons is here to help.  Send kids back to school with an advantage and be a step ahead of the game with Explore Horizons!

The main concern of parents and teachers of the long summer break is that all the of the hard work and knowledge of the previous school year will drop from a long summer of doing nothing. Yes, kids deserve some time off, but they also need to keep up with their academics to keep up with their learning.

Explore Horizons is designed as an ongoing supplement to a school education and enables children to keep their brains active all year around.

 

My daughter was able to try out Explore Horizons for 1 month this summer and I was thrilled for this opportunity for her. I was so impressed with the entire program offered at Explore Horizons. I have been an educator for the last 17 years and I can say the program and skills taught are directly on target.

 

 

Each child is assessed to their individual needs and then progresses from their own unique levels in the area of math, reading, and writing.

 

The entire program is on the computer and is so interactive and engaging. No child is bored in these sessions! A staff member is close by at all times assisting and redirecting as needed and guiding the children through the lesson while offering positive reinforcement and encouragement.

 

 

Here are some facts about Explore Horizons:

  • For children of all abilities from pre-k through 8th grade in math, reading, and writing.
  • Aligned with the Texas curriculum so it correlates to STAAR so children will be successful
  • Lots of enrichment opportunities
  • Open 7 days a week
  • NO appointments needed, drop in basis (so nice for working parents!!)
  • Personalized learning plan for every child
  • Feedback for Parents at EVERY visit
  • Rewards/Postive Feedback/Acceleration System/Recharge time

I really can’t say enough good things about this facility and program. I didn’t know really want to expect when we first went for our consultation and free assessment but my expectations were blown away! The staff members were all so positive and supportive. They were eager to help and so uplifting to every single child in that room. The recharge time is such a great idea and really gives the kids some time to relax and just have fun!

The staff members were all so positive and supportive. They were eager to help and so uplifting to every single child in that room. The recharge time is such a great idea and really gives the kids some time to relax and just have fun! I also loved the attention the staff members give each parent at pick up. They read over a short report of the day’s session to really explain what was worked on. It was great to hear!

After 4-6 weeks in the program, parents will sit down with a staff member and go over a report which gives a full evaluation of progress. It was very detailed and I could really tell and see what my daughter had been working on and made progress on.  As a parent, this gives you a great idea of where exactly your child is and what they need more help with. This is great to show classroom teachers too! At this meeting, you can make goals for the next month’s session!

My daughter had a fabulous month and learned so much at Explore Horizons! I know she’s ready to tackle this next school year now and is fully prepared.

Would you like your child to be ahead of the game and ready for the school year? Make your appointment now with Explore Horizons for your free assessment. If you mention Plano Moms, your child will get one free hour of enrichment!