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Old 09-07-2010, 09:53 AM
11 posts, read 26,993 times
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Two people have told me that my child will be better prepared for elementary school if he goes to private kindergarten as opposed to public kindergarten in Fairfax County. Any thoughts or opinions regarding this advice?
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:05 AM
Location: Northern Virginia
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If you are the type of parent who is concerned about how their child is going to do in Kindergarten, then you're probably the type of parent who will ask "what did you learn today?", read your kid a bed time story, and just generally be involved in your kid's education.

If that's true, your child will do well in any kindergarten.

Your friends' advice is curious to me, though. Fairfax County is one of the top rated school districts in the country. If FFX Kindergarten isn't good enough, what kindergarten is? Second, why is Kindergarten the magical grade for private school? If private kindergarten is so much better, why isn't private 1st grade so much better?

Thousands of kiddos each year go through public school kindergarten and do wonderfully in the rest of elementary school. If there's something special about private school that you want for your child (religious aspect, type of teaching methodology, tiny overall school size, etc) then it may be worth considering. If it's just a fear that FFX kindergarten isn't good enough, I think it's a misplaced fear.
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:14 AM
11 posts, read 26,993 times
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My thoughts exactly. I think there was an implication that the curriculum in FFX public kindergarten isn't rigorous, that's it's more like daycare. But my follow-up question was the same as yours--so the kids that went to public kindergarten aren't prepared for public 1st grade?

I guess I'm curious if there are any parents who were not happy with the kindergarten curriculum in FFX public schools.

Thanks CaliTerp07 for your thoughtful reply!
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:12 AM
Location: In the woods
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Does FFX have the 1/2-day Kindergarten? One advantage I see in private Kindergarten is that it is a full-day.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:37 AM
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Full day KG varies throughout the county. Most schools were trying to implement it, but due to budget cuts that might have slowed.

That may be the issue the OP was warned about, but I believe my Daughter had a typical FFX county KG experience, which I believe extends beyond "daycare." There was homework, spelling, tests etc.

My daughter goes to after care at a place that also offers "private acadamy KG", and no way would I have paid $$$ to send her there. She received more of the school experience (lunch room, full gym, playground, library, seperate art and music rooms, etc) by going to regular KG.
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:40 PM
Location: Alexandria, VA
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My daughter just started first-grade today, and is a Fairfax County Kindergarten graduate from last year. Her school's K was full-day, and she did great. She learned how to read, do math, lots of sports and music. Granted, the class did have its issues, but that happens anywhere and everywhere (private or public). From the friends I have that send their kids to private school, she has learned just as much.

I know of several people who sent their kids to a private K, and each person had a different reason behind it. Some thought class-size would be smaller (but that totally depends on the school), some wanted half-day, because they thought their child wasn't ready for full-day (or perhaps Mom wasn't ready.), and others actually home schooled because they didn't want their child stuck in a classroom all day, waiting for the teacher to get to them.

I guess like others have posted, what does it take to be prepared for first-grade? Why would private prepare a child better? If anything, I think getting started off with a group of kids you get to know each year is a benefit. It always stinks to be the "new" kid, and I think my daughter had a easier time transitioning this year because she knows some of her classmates and is looking forward to seeing them again.
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:11 PM
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 4,496,116 times
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Some private schools may well be socially advantageous (e.g. Beauvoir). But a run-of-the-mill private school against a top FCPS public school? Give me the top FCPS school any day of the week.

Agree with CaliTerp in that most FCPS schools will be just fine for parents who read bedtime stories each day and take an interest in their kid's education.
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