Hi, Cat here. I've been so grateful to this blog as a source of information and inspiration to my first kindergarten search and especially so to the parents who have re-opened it. I'll share my newbie story of the search including some probably-clueless initial thoughts of schools and criteria. I've been told that I have masochistic desire for feedback, so please set me straight!
As for the title of the post. I was raised with a tiger mom. Yet call-me-selfish, but I'd much rather spend my meager spare time on myself or couple-time. That sounds far better than driving my kids around to more classes and enrichment, much less any type of homework or music drills.
Our family is two working parents with high-stress jobs and frequent travel. Our two daughters (4.5 and 1.5) have been in daycare since they were 3 months old. I'm a very pragmatic mom and believe in public school both for the diversity, range of experience and also most definitely the financials. I was raised 100% private, mainly due to living overseas and by necessity only having access to English-speaking international schools. My husband is an avid public proponent, having gone public all the way and also with two teachers as parents.
Perhaps this is too flippant and may get me flamed, but my current naive belief is that public school will be fine through elementary school (how bad can it be?) and that anything lacking can be supplemented at home (in all our spare time, ha!). Currently we're determined to go 100% public and have heard rumor that even if absolutely nothing works out we can start applying for some decent neighborhood parochial schools after hearing the lottery results. So that's the strategy for now. Besides I don't think that I could even muster up the time or energy for the private school tour and application process.
We live 2 blocks from Glen Park Elementary. I don't know how I feel about Glen Park. It would be fantastic to drop by daughter off to school and then head on down to Bart for my commute. I think that my thoughts are still mostly ill informed about the other pros and cons.
Some rough ideas about criteria.
1. Local proximity. Remember the pragmatic mom thing? This is our absolute top priority. I feel that our lives are already so crazy with 2 kid drop-offs and a hectic work schedule.
2. After school care. 2 working parents. We definitely need care through 6pm, although I'm lucky enough to have a flexible job so any late school start time is OK.
3. Involved PTA. I've heard it's a really good thing (inane statement on my part but still!).
4. Isn't arts focused. My husband's a scientist and I firmly believe in the magic blend of science + liberal arts.
Here's our current tour list:
Miraloma (daughter's preK is right nearby and many of her friends already have older siblings attending)
Thomas Edison Charter
Alice Fong Yu?
Any tips are appreciated!