Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Big decision to make…

DSC_0340 Sophie signaling faster, Sage slower… they keep us smiling

I’m writing candidly here, to help me decide...  I’ve always put a lot of thought into my children’s education, seeking out good schools.  They’ve had great teachers and schools, and if some weren’t so good, I’ve tried to instill the importance of making the best of the situation, important life tool I’d say.

But here’s my dilemma-

without being too detailed, my youngest boy Trevor, that the girls think is the best thing since sliced bread, is changing schools next year for Jr. High.  It’s a popular Charter school (I taught there when they first opened until going to China, then after getting the girls, they all went to a new Charter School that is a bit more cultural).  Both great schools, the first really pushing academics and the second an IB school that embraces international learning and culture as well.  These are hard schools to get into, so we’ve been fortunate.  The girls want to go where Trevor is going (not thinking they won’t really see him,but the knowledge of having him there is good enough for them), although they have such great friends at their current school, they’re popular, loved, and fit in well.   To throw a kink in it, the public school nearby has an awesome Chinese immersion program that the students learn Mandarin half day, and regular classes the other half.  Such a neat opportunity.  A good friend of mine is one of the teachers and asks why my girls aren’t going there?  It’s also a great public school, especially now with the immersion program.      

So…  it’s nice to have choices, but this is tough.  Have the girls start a different Charter School with their bro that’s highly academic, have them stay where they’re established with great friends, or have them do the Chinese immersion program in the public school?  Any insights?  


Anonymous said...

Wow that is a dilemma! How much Mandarin do they know now? Are there other Mandarin options other than the Immersion program? Would love to have Mandarin at our school! Have you visited the public school - how long have they had the immersion program and what do people have to say about it? How academic is the public school? Do the girls know people at the other schools? Seems the girls will be able to make friends wherever they go and will always have each other. Luckily you have 3 great choices and either one you choose, you can supplement at home (some easier than others). Please keep us posted!

Lisa said...

How blessed you are!

I guess it would depend on how badly you and they want them to learn Mandarin. Glendale, CA's schools have all gone to language immersion programs, and I have heard good things about them. It would seem to be a wonderful way to have them learn a language that is not native to you. Other than that, the best thing to do is pray (but you already know that and have probably done that. :-) )

taylorchloejake said...

geesh. And I thought deciding which preschool to send my girls to was tough!
If it were my kids and it was a viet.immersion school I would send them there. How are the academics at the public immersion school? I wouldn't worry about the friends, especially since they are so young and have eachother. They'll fit in anywhere.
I think it would be pretty amazing to have my girls learn their native language. Something I could never teach them. I wouldn't want them to miss out on having a great all around education either, but if the public immersion school is similar academically to the charters schools that would be my 1st choice.

Good luck with a very tough choice!

Anonymous said...

What state are you in? That would make a difference in terms of the quality of the education you can expect. If you live in UT I would always opt for private or a charter school if the academics are good. UT generally has low test scores and performs poorly relative to other states. They tried twice to get Race To The Top money and were not able to put together a compelling application.

Dianne said...

Thanks guys for your comments and insights, it means a lot. I'm narrowing things down, I'll post on the results what they end up doing.

Anonymous- good questions I've considered. As of now, the girls know very little Mandarin, their native tongue is actually Cantonese, but at a 3 year old level. We would love for them to learn Mandarin. They would have the option to learn it in Jr. High at the Charter School.
The immersion program at the public school has been a success, I have heard great things. And the school is above the national standard in test scores- maybe not as high as the Charters, but still good.

Lisa- great to hear from you. Interesting to see many CA schools spearheading the language immersion programs. The kids can be so proficient if they start early. Yes, for sure, prayer has been big in this decision, I just need to be a better listener. :)