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Old 10-30-2019, 09:05 PM
 
15 posts, read 10,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicman View Post
rprasan1985 : I would check which schools the houses under consideration are zoned to. You can assemble a table and we can check which schools are good or not so good?
Thanks Vicman! We're not ready to purchase just yet. We do own a home close to Pearland, but zoned to a terrible school, so that won't work long-term. Need to either buy or rent in a different zone, or go the private route and stay where we are. Tough decisions ahead...
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Old 10-30-2019, 10:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by travelguy_73 View Post
It's good to plan in advance, but as the parent of an 8 y/o who tried to plan like you, I will tell you that you are probably overthinking things. We went to Esperanza for preschool, tested into Vanguard, and ultimately went to our zoned school (Lovett) as a GT student. We toured about a dozen schools, and kept a spreadsheet of the pros and cons, Children at Risk scores, etc. We are analytical people, so this worked well with how our brains think about life. However, this isn't a Return on Investment calculation, and your child isn't subject to your analysis! They don't fit in any one particular box. What we have found is that our child is strong in certain subjects and quite weak in others, and we had no idea what those were until they were well into school (this year in fact!). Yours is likely the same. So my suggestion is focus on a good school, but don't kill yourself on trying to find the "best" or even the "right" school, because you frankly don't know what best and right means for your child at this point. If you have a healthy housing budget, the schools mentioned above are all good, and your child should thrive at any of them.

And as far as Vanguard prepping, there is no need to prep for it. In fact you don't want to. It's meant to gauge the aptitude of a child, not a prepped child. Most any quality pre-school in the area will get them ready for Kinder.
This spoke to me on so many levels. Thank you. We're analytical people too and totally have a similar spreadsheet with 15 columns :P It makes complete sense what you're saying, this isn't an ROI calculation. Yet, there is such a strong instinct to do everything I can to make an informed decision. So many variables are out of our control that we're seizing on the ones that are and analyzing the crap out of them Just to make us feel like we're doing something, I guess. Problem is, as you pointed out, we don't have much data about our 2 year old "subject" to truly make an informed decision. I guess the best I could do at this point is try to keep all realistic options open and not close any doors yet. A lot of preschools will likely check these boxes. Just have to go with one and hope for the best.

I guess I shouldn't have used the word prep. What I meant was a preschool that 1) teaches them not just facts but how to think about things and enjoy the process of learning, 2) works with us to start teaching them how to read (age 3.5 to 4, maybe?) and start basic math skills around the same time, and 3) provides a safe environment for them to explore new interests and skills.
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:32 AM
 
1,948 posts, read 3,238,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rprasan1985 View Post
This spoke to me on so many levels. Thank you. We're analytical people too and totally have a similar spreadsheet with 15 columns :P It makes complete sense what you're saying, this isn't an ROI calculation. Yet, there is such a strong instinct to do everything I can to make an informed decision. So many variables are out of our control that we're seizing on the ones that are and analyzing the crap out of them Just to make us feel like we're doing something, I guess. Problem is, as you pointed out, we don't have much data about our 2 year old "subject" to truly make an informed decision. I guess the best I could do at this point is try to keep all realistic options open and not close any doors yet. A lot of preschools will likely check these boxes. Just have to go with one and hope for the best.

I guess I shouldn't have used the word prep. What I meant was a preschool that 1) teaches them not just facts but how to think about things and enjoy the process of learning, 2) works with us to start teaching them how to read (age 3.5 to 4, maybe?) and start basic math skills around the same time, and 3) provides a safe environment for them to explore new interests and skills.
I don't know if it would suit your personality if you like metrics and data, but I can't speak highly enough about a good Montessori school for preschool and elementary, at least. For long-term skills like executive function, creative problem solving, self-motivation and self-advocacy, Montessori can't be beat.
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:40 AM
 
1,329 posts, read 3,945,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houston-nomad View Post
I don't know if it would suit your personality if you like metrics and data, but I can't speak highly enough about a good Montessori school for preschool and elementary, at least. For long-term skills like executive function, creative problem solving, self-motivation and self-advocacy, Montessori can't be beat.
I agree for pre-school, but once you get into elementary, I think the Montessori effect is highly subjective. Some (many?) kids don't do well in that environment, and its structure is such that they will struggle much more than they would in a "traditional" environment.
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:00 PM
 
1,329 posts, read 3,945,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rprasan1985 View Post
This spoke to me on so many levels. Thank you. We're analytical people too and totally have a similar spreadsheet with 15 columns :P It makes complete sense what you're saying, this isn't an ROI calculation. Yet, there is such a strong instinct to do everything I can to make an informed decision. So many variables are out of our control that we're seizing on the ones that are and analyzing the crap out of them Just to make us feel like we're doing something, I guess. Problem is, as you pointed out, we don't have much data about our 2 year old "subject" to truly make an informed decision. I guess the best I could do at this point is try to keep all realistic options open and not close any doors yet. A lot of preschools will likely check these boxes. Just have to go with one and hope for the best.

I guess I shouldn't have used the word prep. What I meant was a preschool that 1) teaches them not just facts but how to think about things and enjoy the process of learning, 2) works with us to start teaching them how to read (age 3.5 to 4, maybe?) and start basic math skills around the same time, and 3) provides a safe environment for them to explore new interests and skills.
Yes, keep ALL of your school options open, and be prepared that the "name brand" school might not be the one you end up at, and that could be a great thing. We all do a lot "make a decision and hope for the best." You won't allow yourself to go in blind, so ultimately you will make a decision that weighs the pros and cons. And if you make a less-than-ideal choice, then take what you learned and correct your course (ex: we have a friend who just HAD TO enroll her kids in Montessori. Three years later, one of the two has been moved to a traditional school because it was exactly the opposite of how he learns best). It won't be the last time, and your child will rebound. They are flexible and will jump right back to where they are supposed to be.

What we found (in our experience and speaking to friends and peers) is that a quality pre-school that allow them to learn while they play is sufficient. Then the rest is supplemented at home. For example, when our daughter was in pre-K, we did a lot of age-appropriate flash cards (like brain quest) and ipad apps (we are sadly a screen family!), and that worked well to keep her engaged (us too!). If you are even halfway paying attention, IMO you almost can't go wrong at this age. They are absorbing so much each day.

Soon we will have to think about middle school, and I'll be back on the FB pages for HISD parents thinking about what comes next. I'm dreading that because I know I will start to overanalyze again, so this is more "do as I say, not as I do" lol.
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:36 AM
 
81 posts, read 34,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meyerland View Post
I would try to live in Spring Branch ISD or possibly Friendswood ISD as they have a good handle on keeping the good schools good. HISD is too mired in strange school board politics and no desire to keep the good schools good. Individual campuses are fine, as long as you are zoned. The school board wants to do away with the magnets and vanguard because they consider them unfair. They want a level playing field in HISD, instead of getting kids out of poor schools. It’s really sad because I’ve known and taught so many children whose lives were changed by the magnet program for the better.

However, there are pockets in HISD that are good. It just really depends on your budget.

Agreed. We moved out of HISD district to Spring Branch because most of the schools had such high ratings. Houses are NOT cheap but if you're ok with an older home that needs updating, you can get a decent sized house in a great school district (older home in spring branch = cost of a townhome inside the loop.....).
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:57 AM
 
79 posts, read 40,474 times
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I would try to live in Spring Branch ISD, or send her to private preschools like St. Mark’s Episcopal or River Oaks Baptist School, and apply for St. John’s when it’s time for her Kindergarten. HISD has taken away so much funding for the magnet and vanguard schools, I would not go into it.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:50 AM
 
2,444 posts, read 6,237,324 times
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We moved to Spring Branch because after 1 year I was tired of HISD's BS and disaster of an education board. I don't think the lottery system works, or really benefits anyone. It does more to prevent neighborhood schools from thriving and getting better. We moved from Oak Forest (zoned to Oak Forest Elem) and Love where we live now. I have one kid in private school because of learning support needs and public school is just not suited for her. But we made sure to move to zoned schools that we were comfortable with our younger daughter attending through high school.
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Old 11-09-2019, 03:54 PM
 
15 posts, read 10,581 times
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Originally Posted by Houstonianmom View Post
I would try to live in Spring Branch ISD, or send her to private preschools like St. Mark’s Episcopal or River Oaks Baptist School, and apply for St. John’s when it’s time for her Kindergarten. HISD has taken away so much funding for the magnet and vanguard schools, I would not go into it.
Multiple votes for Spring Branch ISD... think I should seriously consider it. How do you think the commute would be to and from the Med Center?

We're also considering preschools like ROBS, St. Mark's etc and applying for St. John's for K. My one concern with this approach is, since these schools go through 8th grade or above, would wanting to switch to another school for K be frowned upon? Since many of these schools are basically next to each other, would it be considered inappropriate to switch (maybe misconstrued as having used that school as a stepping stone)? The teacher and school recommendation plays a big role in K admissions, after all, and don't want to burn bridges. Does that make sense?
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Old 11-09-2019, 04:06 PM
 
15 posts, read 10,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houston-nomad View Post
I don't know if it would suit your personality if you like metrics and data, but I can't speak highly enough about a good Montessori school for preschool and elementary, at least. For long-term skills like executive function, creative problem solving, self-motivation and self-advocacy, Montessori can't be beat.
I agree Montessori is outstanding for the preschoolers. As with any educational philosophy, I've found that a lot of it comes down to the teacher and how well they're able to adapt that philosophy to suit the child's learning style and work with them and their quirks. This is especially important in Montessori where a large class of 25-30 kids is the norm. AMI/AMS certification is necessary, but not sufficient.

Can anyone comment on Southampton Montessori and St. Catherine's Montessori? I found a few threads with dated info. I'm particularly curious about teachers for the 3-6 age group, whether there's a lot of turnover, and any particularly positive or negative experiences with any of the teachers at either school. Can DM if needed.
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