Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How to select school

We have visited a few elementary schools to decide which one to pick. I summarize the two thump rules:
1. Must visit! Don't be fooled by the API scores. You must be there, see how the school is, how the teacher passes the knowledge, what is the teaching philosophy. There are three schools in our minds before visiting, Millikin Basics, Harker, and Argonaut. While visiting the schools' website, Millikin Basics looks really appealing, it has the highest API, has strong academic emphasis, and strict disciplines. My husband almost makes up him mind to send our kid to there. After visiting it, we feel a little disappointed, as I don't feel they care the creativity that much. They treat all kids the same. Then we had a visit of Harker. Definitely it has more rich curriculum and better environment. It pays more attention to individual needs. Argonaut environment is nice too. By watching a few classes there, I observer that the teacher not only teaches the basics, but also cares about the kids' interest. They let students write in Chinese in math class. I saw some homework is written in Norwegian. I would like that my kid has the opportunities to learn other languages and cultures. Argonaut does great job on that. After visiting these schools, Millikin is totally crossed out.

2. Select the school that matches the kid's personality and parents teaching philosophy. Some schools have fixed curriculum for all the kids. All kids are marching together at the same speed on all subjects.  Some schools have flexibility to fit individual's needs and let kid learn at her/his own speed mostly.

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