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Old 06-24-2007, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 21,135,535 times
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I don't have kids yet so what do I know? But my husband and I are looking to buy a home in the next 12 months, and my biggest concern is the school district. I don't care if my children go to the very best school district or not. My biggest concerns are crime, rate of disciplinary issues, and the % of kids going on to college. I really don't want my kids in a school where disciplinary problems are the norm, because I think it would be a huge distraction from learning. And I don't care if the % of kids going to college isn't super high, but kids often do what their friends do, so I would like it if the majority of students go on to college.

I think possibly the biggest part of a child's academic success has to do with the home environment, so my husband and I also want to make sure one or both of us is always available to help with homework, attend school functions, etc. Most of my friends at this point do have kids, and the ones with parents who are both working 40++ hours a week seem to have more academic and disciplinary problems than the kids who have at least one parent who stays home or works part time, or parents who work 40 hrs/week at low-stress jobs with short commutes.
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:45 AM
 
Location: NJ
279 posts, read 1,244,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christina0001 View Post
I don't have kids yet so what do I know? But my husband and I are looking to buy a home in the next 12 months, and my biggest concern is the school district. I don't care if my children go to the very best school district or not. My biggest concerns are crime, rate of disciplinary issues, and the % of kids going on to college. I really don't want my kids in a school where disciplinary problems are the norm, because I think it would be a huge distraction from learning. And I don't care if the % of kids going to college isn't super high, but kids often do what their friends do, so I would like it if the majority of students go on to college.

I think possibly the biggest part of a child's academic success has to do with the home environment, so my husband and I also want to make sure one or both of us is always available to help with homework, attend school functions, etc. Most of my friends at this point do have kids, and the ones with parents who are both working 40++ hours a week seem to have more academic and disciplinary problems than the kids who have at least one parent who stays home or works part time, or parents who work 40 hrs/week at low-stress jobs with short commutes.

I will have to disagree with you on this. I don't think it's a matter of having a parent at home or one parent working part time that leads to their children exhibiting better academic or disciplinary behavior. Both of my parents worked full time and I never got into trouble in school or got bad grades. I don't believe it's the quantity of time parents spend with their kids but the quality of time that they do. Unfortunately, in this day and age, both parents have to work full time to support their families. All of my friends that I grew up with came from families where both parents worked long hours 5 days a week and never had any problems with school and ended getting good grades, went to good colleges and all have very accomplished careers.
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:38 AM
 
1,341 posts, read 4,312,199 times
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Originally Posted by tooshort View Post
I will have to disagree with you on this. I don't think it's a matter of having a parent at home or one parent working part time that leads to their children exhibiting better academic or disciplinary behavior. Both of my parents worked full time and I never got into trouble in school or got bad grades. I don't believe it's the quantity of time parents spend with their kids but the quality of time that they do. Unfortunately, in this day and age, both parents have to work full time to support their families. All of my friends that I grew up with came from families where both parents worked long hours 5 days a week and never had any problems with school and ended getting good grades, went to good colleges and all have very accomplished careers.

Agreed..with you..and ditto. TOTALLY Disagree with working 40+ hours a week..that is a whole different issue that women and mothers will tear each apart on anyway....working mothers vs. stay at home. Totally different thread and topic all together.

But my dh works a corporate exec workweek..and I have worked 40 hours and then 1 hour commuting each way and my child is gifted..because WHEN I GOT HOME, SHE CAME FIRST. And the only reason I am not working is simply because with more than two kids its cheaper to hire a nanny.

My child hasnt gotten any smarter because I am home.. in fact we spend the same time during the same time in the day doing her homework.

Ask the doctors, lawyers, corporate execs and other very successful parents who love their careers didnt choose the best schools or if they think by them working a little more than 40 hours or the cardio thorasic surgeon who is on call and def has a stressful job if he is contributing to his/HER childs issues.

The only advantage that I see is that those couple can afford to hire tutors and catch the problem early on and quite frankly those children probably see the fruits of their parents labor and what kind of lifestyle they can have and want to achieve it even more.

Working parents or Stay at home parents (in my opinion) is irrelavent.
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:44 AM
 
1,341 posts, read 4,312,199 times
Reputation: 575
Quote:
Originally Posted by christina0001 View Post
I don't have kids yet so what do I know? But my husband and I are looking to buy a home in the next 12 months, and my biggest concern is the school district. I don't care if my children go to the very best school district or not. My biggest concerns are crime, rate of disciplinary issues, and the % of kids going on to college. I really don't want my kids in a school where disciplinary problems are the norm, because I think it would be a huge distraction from learning. And I don't care if the % of kids going to college isn't super high, but kids often do what their friends do, so I would like it if the majority of students go on to college.

I think possibly the biggest part of a child's academic success has to do with the home environment, so my husband and I also want to make sure one or both of us is always available to help with homework, attend school functions, etc. Most of my friends at this point do have kids, and the ones with parents who are both working 40++ hours a week seem to have more academic and disciplinary problems than the kids who have at least one parent who stays home or works part time, or parents who work 40 hrs/week at low-stress jobs with short commutes.

Disagree...if you have a low stress job and short commute thats great..but its doesnt play into any factor other than you are there more for the kids...but its quality NOT quantity that determines your childs success..again its your own value system that you teach your child. If you are fine with not having the best school, or not working..and that works for your family..thats great.

But alot of parents already will tell you that the Working or stay at home debate is irrelevent. I know mothers who are stay home mothers, who are not educated themselves, didnt really care about doing well in school, and are like "as long as my kids pass" I dont care. What are they teaching..mediocraty(sp?)..then I have single moms, who are working..and there kids are brilliant.

As far as displinary problems..that is a whole other subject and thread (lack of father figure, tolerance for kids, who your child associates with, what is your priority for your family, how involved you are in your kids life and NOT neccessarily in their school--BUT THERE LIFE).

To many things factor in discipline issues. How are you as a parent, Do you smoke and drink excessively in front of your kids..did you make mistakes as an adult (have your kids as teens)....what your path as an adult will influence your childs path. Either they will travel the same road you go down..or you will truly have learned from your own mistakes and make sure that they NEVER GO down the same road.

Either way..you have to find what works for your family.
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:01 PM
 
743 posts, read 2,038,748 times
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Originally Posted by mom2gurls View Post
Again agreed 100%..and I'll take it a step further, if we do find that our child is below standards..then its our responsibility to address it right away and nip it in the bud. Umm, isnt that what report cards and progress reports are for.

Once you see that report card come home from 1rst grade or Kindergarten that shows "Average" or below marks (even if you believe that getting a "C") is all they need...I think it should be addressed immed..because we all know that each grade builds on another.
I have a completely different experience with my son. He attended a new catholic school, but part of our diocesan school system, in a very high SES area in Northern Virginia outside Wash, DC. We have come to see that the philosophy of that particular principal has been a backlash to the "pressure/overachieving" area that we live in and which permeates our schools.

So, my son was not motivated to do his personal best and was allowed at school to underachieve. Yes, part of it is him (he said he only goes to school for PE and recess), but the other part is the school/teachers. The bar was set sooo low that he received "good job" comments on almost all his papers....believe me, many were very much "bare minimal" jobs.

They finished just over half of their text books at the end of the school year. There was a low expectation from a lot of his teachers who cared more about kids feeling they "belonged" and felt "loved" than to do their best academically. Nothing wrong w/ the love thing, I just happen to want both: strong moral formation and academic excellence.

My son received alot of As and Bs and an occasional C either in English or Spelling (he's slightly dyslexic), but it was grade inflation, pure and simple. His standardized test scores (compared to others around the nation who took the same test) were drastically lower than his report card.

We paid for indepth private educational testing, we hired tutors, we raised the bar at home. We even finish all the unfinished workbooks over the summer.

But, our standard and expectation was higher than the schools' and it was becoming a big problem. Why would my son be happy about writing 5 paragraphs when his teacher would accept one? (That's 5th grade, btw)

I met and emailed and called his teachers all the time.....most of them had a relaxed/no pressure attitude about school achievement. Many times they patronized me, tellling me "don't worry....everything will be ok".

But, one year he had a strong, experienced and seasoned teacher and it was the best of his three years there....imo, the teacher makes all the difference. Without proper and consistant instruction from the teachers, it's difficult for the parents.

He's going to attend an all-boys catholic school with a very distinct philosophy which allows boys' natural competitive natures to motiviate them in the classroom, as well as on the athletic field. This school expects boys to do their individual best. It also has an all-male staff which understands and can relate to boys.Their test scores and colleges they enter are impressive, especially since they don't just accept the "gifted and talented" kids.

Personally, I think that the school/teacher/instruction does make a huge difference with a large segment of the population of kids. And, I think there are alot of mediocre and (dare I say?) incompetent teachers out there today.

The very bright kids will do well anywhere....because they can, and they're usually very self-motivated and have high internal drives (my 8yo daughter is gifted and is attending a GT school next fall...so I know these kids, too). However, alot of average kids are slipping through the cracks and being allowed to underachieve. This is a disgrace, imo, because it's setting them up for a much more difficult time (if not failure) when entering high school and college.

In Virginia alot of HS students w/ solid B averages are not getting accepted into state universities. How can this be? Because the standard is much, much higher than it was when we (their parents) went to college.

College is much more expensive and much more competetive.....that is why parents are concerned (maybe obsessed) with quality education. I know that w/ three kids (in three different school systms, btw) education is something I've spent alot of time and money on....it is a huge priority to us as a family. I'm a stay-at-home mom, and I've spent alot of energy on researching and accessing education and school. It does require alot of work on the part of the parents. It just really gets frustrating, though, because if I wanted to homeschool, I would have done it.
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:48 PM
 
82 posts, read 77,837 times
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"Perhaps it has something to do with status, competition, and a false belief that just being in the "best" school will somehow miraculously ensure the success of each child?"

It has everything to do with it. Parents today are setting their children up to lead a lifetime of anxiety.
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Old 06-25-2007, 02:26 PM
 
1,341 posts, read 4,312,199 times
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That may be it..but I still think parents need to step up to the plate..despite schedules, blackberry meetings and the like. You dont have to be a hover parent, give up your career and walk your kids to class everyday..but basic communication with children starts at a very young age.

And even if your kids IS DOING exceptionally well..that doesnt mean that you should excuse them because it. There still may be social and emotional issues that you dont know about..but the attitude of "hey they have a 3.5 gpa" so I guess things are cool isnt going to cut it.

Another tangent of this is quite frankly how old your kids are today..and how old were you when the tech market really came into play. I know parents of high schoolers who had kids in 1990, married in the late 80's before the .com and tech boom..so they kinda got into the whole computer thing late.

And then there are parents my age or younger, who had kids a mere 10 years later and are kids are "dragging and dropping" in their pre-k classes.

So go figure on how technology plays a part in a childs education. As far as the mediocre teachers..we could get into a debate on payscale and such..but their is already a thread discussing that. I felt that my daughter wasnt challenged enough in school even though she excels..but the homework "looked" so easy...so I keep her challenged at home..I dont drill her with tons of worksheets, but we talk, read and do things together...I dont school her for 2 hours out of the day everyday..but during the year we spend 30 minutes reading 30 minutes doing her homework..I think its about an hour a night..or she does her homework at the table, while I make dinner and we review it.

It consistant and constant..because my gutt feeling tells me that its going to be tougher and tougher as she gets older!
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