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Old 07-01-2018, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Spain
1 posts, read 907 times
Reputation: 10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by madds14 View Post
Hello! I currently live in Australia, and my family are looking to relocate. We are strongly looking at different towns in Westchester County. I lived in NYC for 15 years and I would like to return to work there. However, it's really hard to house hunt when you are living on the other side of the world!

We are looking for the perfect town for our family which currently has a 4 and a 2 year old. Any advice? Here's our criteria:

1) A commute that isn't too hard to the city- particularly Harlem. We would prefer to have 45 minutes or less commute. Less is better!

2) We want our children in excellent schools. However, we don't want our children in competitive schools. What I'm looking for are schools that value kindness, curiosity, love of learning, etc. We aren't interested in schools that feed into Harvard-type places. It's also really important to me that my kids are with other kind kids and not surrounded by the uber-rich.

3) I live in a cafe culture now, and would love a cute village with cute restaurants/cafes.

4) We would love to be in an area with folks who are bit more artsy.

5) I would love a house with a nice sized backyard that is near to lots of fun things to do with the kids. We always love going on adventures. Farmers markets, hikes, fairs, etc.

6) I would love a walkable place. I don't drive at the moment and I know I will have to in Westchester, but I would love a place that has lots of nice walks so I can drive as little as possible when I'm with the kids.

What town would you recommend? Is there a particular part of the town that you like for houses? I have been looking (from afar) at

Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Terrytown
Arlington, Irvington
Larchmont
Armonk
Scarsdale
Chapaqua

Please, I really need your help!
Hi, we are a family with 2 children (3 and 5) and we are planning to move from Spain to Westchester next year. Could you tell me if you finnaly moved from Australia to westchester, in order to know which place you finnaly choosed.
Thank you
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:41 AM
 
939 posts, read 283,382 times
Reputation: 2049
Some addresses in Bronxvile are actually in Yonkers. Make sure your Bronxville address uses the Bronxville schools.

Actually, many locations in Yorktown are in the Lakeland school district. It is confusing.
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:10 PM
 
15 posts, read 8,543 times
Reputation: 27
I would cross Scarsdale off of the list. The schools are a pressure cooker. Even if your child isn't in the most advanced classes, the entire culture of the town is that way. The town isn't particularly artsy either. I lived there for 10 years. Hastings might fit your criteria.

Last edited by kmom2; 07-02-2018 at 03:12 PM.. Reason: added to it
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:33 PM
 
518 posts, read 419,061 times
Reputation: 671
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmom2 View Post
I would cross Scarsdale off of the list. The schools are a pressure cooker. Even if your child isn't in the most advanced classes, the entire culture of the town is that way. The town isn't particularly artsy either. I lived there for 10 years. Hastings might fit your criteria.
I swear this is a serious post, and I am not trying to fan flames (or maybe better stated, I am not trying to start a fire) - What makes a school a "pressure cooker"? I read this phrase on this board a lot, and struggle to understand what it means in practice. What happens at a "pressure cooker" school that doesn't happen at a "non-pressure cooker" school?
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Old 07-02-2018, 05:05 PM
 
80 posts, read 88,962 times
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pressure cooker means there are asians and jews for whom everything but ivies are a failure. also means most parents are immigrants and don't come from wealth. so those who live in rye, greenwich who come from old money don't have to be concerned w/ schools since their kids are trustafarians already
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:19 PM
 
15 posts, read 8,543 times
Reputation: 27
The 'pressure cooker' environment is a lot of things. For us it was the huge amount of work that left room for little else, the speed at which teachers race through material leaving behind kids who aren't brilliant, a lot of testing, the kids who think they've failed when they only get a 90, constant talk/worry about colleges from a very young age, parents complaining that their kids were up until 1 am doing homework, but they really are bragging...Even hobbies are a competition rather than a past time.
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:54 PM
 
80 posts, read 88,962 times
Reputation: 86
kmom2, in scarsdale, is the test prep really an issue? the way it was posited to me, in manhattan/brooklyn, for those who aren't in the private school system, you need to constantly make sure your test scores starting in 3rd grade is 'exceeds expectations' and that you have perfect attendance so that when you apply to MS, you get into your preferred school...

whereas...in the suburbs, everyone in scarsdale knows they are going to scarsdale MS and scarsdale HS, regardless of your test scores. therefore, no one bothers with test prepping
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:08 PM
 
939 posts, read 283,382 times
Reputation: 2049
Examples of parenting styles:

1). A friend has two children, one is a smart, but quiet kid, the second has a noticeable learning disability. She treated both of
the same. She gave both children daily worksheets and went over mistakes made in homework and test. OTOH, these kids had lots of free time to play, She stressed to her kids that they should always try their best. She never bragged about their grades. She was never competitive. Both children did well, but you never knew how well. The smart but quiet kid got a full scholarship to Stanford University.


2). Another friend was one of those NYC moms who made sure she her kids got into the right preschool. It had to be feeder school to right grammar school, which lead to the right high school. She was always a competitive person. She was competitive with other moms over her children's achievements. She was half way to being a tiger mom. Her kids went to top ranked colleges.


3) Then there are the tiger moms. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle...e_Tiger_Mother

To repeat what kmom2 said well.

Everything is calculated and weighted in terms of prestige. The right musical instrument lessons, the right after school programs, the right school with the right teachers. A large indicator is scheduling so many activities that there is no breathing room.

How well the child does is the basis of their parents' self esteem so the parents force the child to be perfect. Lots of bragging and little sympathy for classmates with learning disabilities or getting left behind. The "Oh did you hear about such and such's child who didn't make honor's lists this term."

I had a mother tell me that her son's teacher was repeating math lessons. Evidentially, a majority of students failed a test. She complained her brilliant son hated this math class. He was so bored by repeating the same math materials twice, it killed his enthusiasm. Why did he have to suffer like this? (No joke, exactly what she said.). She was in a pressure cooker environment.


4) What I did: I figured so much of intelligence is based on genetics, I never really cared about grades. I believed that children find something that really sparks their imagination. This spark will be the basis for their careers. We did lots of arts and crafts, learning to sew, always reading, making up stories and plays and then acting them out, gardening and cooking/baking, going to nature centers and zoos. Mainly free unstructured time. My kids didn't want to practice for their violin or piano lessons, so we stopped going. However, they appreciate classical music and opera.

My children went to good, but not top, colleges. They are nice people who I enjoy spending time with.
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:22 PM
 
939 posts, read 283,382 times
Reputation: 2049
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltjbukem73 View Post
kmom2, in scarsdale, is the test prep really an issue? the way it was posited to me, in manhattan/brooklyn, for those who aren't in the private school system, you need to constantly make sure your test scores starting in 3rd grade is 'exceeds expectations' and that you have perfect attendance so that when you apply to MS, you get into your preferred school...

whereas...in the suburbs, everyone in scarsdale knows they are going to scarsdale MS and scarsdale HS, regardless of your test scores. therefore, no one bothers with test prepping
You're right about NYC schools. However, high schools in Westchester are tracked.

In order to get into the AP (Advance Placement - for non Americans) courses, students need to test well.
So if a student doesn't score well enough to take freshman high school science course in 8th grade/middle school (think it's Earth Science), then the student will have it freshman year. If a student can only take one science course in each year of high school, that means the student who starts science in freshman year, will not be able to take the most advance science courses in their senior year.

Yorktown has the prestigous IBM and Intel student contests. The kids who compete are pretty much separate from the rest of the students.

AP courses are weighted differently which affects a students' Grade Point Averages and their ranking and therefore their college applications.

Yorktown isn't a pressure cooker and it still can be competitive.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:11 AM
 
80 posts, read 88,962 times
Reputation: 86
looks like scarsdale dropped APs:

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/e...7advanced.html
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