How wrong can you be when choosing a school for your child and can you fix it?


Clover, South Carolina, USA --- Flashing Lights and Sign on School Bus --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Before it was time for my first born to start school we researched all the primary schools in the area and actually moved house to be in the catchment area of the best school in town. The school boasts the “outstanding” review from the education authorities, runs a gifted and talented program and offers a family like, friendly environment. It seemed perfect and only a short walk from our new home! The reality was different though. This school was so obsessed by stats and results that the individual student meant nothing there. No idea what happened to the gifted and talented program as my already fully literate daughter was given colouring sheets while others learned their letters and sounds. She used to complain how bored she was there! So after the first year I moved her across town to a school marked “good”. Now she gets tasks from the year above to stimulate her development and nobody uses big words like “gift” or “talent” here. Here during school assemblies she doesn’t have to hear about how outstanding her school is. She knows it anyway. I remember about it every morning when we get into the car and drive in the rush hour traffic past the old school. It’s worth it.

On top of that there is Polish Saturday school every week with a half an hour drive each way. I’d been reluctant to additionally burden my kids with it for years. I always wanted them to have their weekend free to play and relax. I only decided to sign up for Polish school when my children asked for it. And I’m so glad I did! I still teach them their minority language at home but the school supports it really well and thanks to it they finally made some Polish friends!

Also the car journeys can be used for reading, listening to music or stories on CDs and playing various games. So it doesn’t have to be a wasted time 🙂

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