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Thread summary:

Advice needed, relocation from Midwest to Orange County, California, kids play hockey, husband urgent care doctor, family practice trained, typical salaries, public versus private schools, charter schools, Classical Core knowledge curriculum

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Old 05-07-2008, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 11,447,330 times
Reputation: 1619

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The "good" schools here in Orange County will do a fine job of preparing your child for college and have many programs to keep your children with other highly motivated students. A strong work ethic and desire to learn is the most important thing a parent can teach their children and their kids will do fine.

If you were to put your children on a college-bound track, this is the route I would recommend for your kids: Move to a neighborhood that has a strong connection to the local elementary school. Often, neighborhoods with the school in the middle of it are the strongest. Also, a school with parent involvement is critical and shows the parents are involved and care about education for their kids. If you think your children are talented with academics, have them test into the GATE program at many schools, in which your student will be with other students that are motivated and high acheiving in school. In middle school, most GATE students will take the most advanced classes on campus and be prepared for the highest level of classes possible at their high school. In high school the students will begin a college prep path. The normal "college prep" path does not cut it any more for getting into anything more than the weakest state schools and other small colleges that aren't well known. Universities and colleges that are well known want to see students taking the most challenging courses possible. This means setting your students on a path for AP (Advanced Placement) or IB (International Baccalaureate) if available at the high school. Both programs require teachers to meet more than just the state's weak standards and compare the students on a national level (AP) or international level (IB). AP students generally do very well in Orange County schools and being in AP surrounds your child with other highly motivated students. Your child is just as likely to do well in an AP class here in OC as your child would in Minnesota.
Another good option is the IB Program. The International program compares students on a global level. My oldest is in the program and students who succesfully complete it earn a diploma recognized throughout the world for university admittance. Your IB Diploma proves you have the abilities to attend a university based on a global comparison. In addition to a regular work load of rigurous classes, IB students must complete 50 hours of service, 50 hours of creative (i.e teaching piano to children) activities, and 50 hour of action (leadership, sports, band) at the school campus. In addition students must right a thesis paper on a topic of their choice.

These are just two programs to look for in the path for your child. Look at the big picture, because elementary school effects high school which effects college admittance. I personally am very pleased with the education my children have recieved and they are doing fantastic in school. Right now I am at the point of preparing to send my oldest off to college. He is a junior in IB and is doing really well in school and wants to go to UCLA or Cornell. We'll see if it all works out and if he gets in next year, but this year's seniors that are comparable grade and activity wise did really well on college admittance. For example, his school had 21 Berkley and 32 UCLA acceptances this year and eleven students got into Ivy Leagues. The list is one of the most impressive I have seen at the school yet. Basically, if your kid is motivated, they will suceed in California just like they could in Minnesota. At least they will be able to relax a little bit and enjoy the great outdoors in addition to school.

I know a view people have mentioned the Phoenix area. I am not a fan of the desert landscape, but if you are, it isn't a horrible area. Schools aren't much better though. Scottsdale, which is the most affluent area in Phoenix has a real polarity in schools. They have several 10/10 schools, but then also several really low performing schools that score 4 or 5/10. Look at individual schools, and not just the system. California as a whole does not perform as well as other states, but that doen't mean there aren't schools that are hidden jewels in the middle of the mess that is California education (look at LA, Oakland, etc.. horrible schools). OC has a variety of good schools though and when you find them, your kids will do fine.
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:37 PM
 
4,183 posts, read 6,530,786 times
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The median income for a family physician in Orange county is $173K. See this:

http://hotjobs.salary.com/salarywiza...e+County%2C+CA

Whether this is enough for a family of 6 living in Orange county only you (based on your lifestyle) can determine.

Another thing to consider is the pay of a self-employed MD is usually higher than someone who is employed by someone else. Also, the starting pay of an employed MD is usually based on an income guarantee for 1 to 2 years. After that, the pay depends on production, i.e., it depends on how many RVUs you actually produce (number of patients seen, number of procedures performed, etc).

So, the advertised starting salary of 173K may actually decrease after the second year. The number often quoted is 100 to 150K. The starting salary is really just a "teaser rate" to attract applicants.
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 11,447,330 times
Reputation: 1619
Here are some medical groups in the south Orange County area that your husband could contact if he wants to be a part of a medical group at first. Being a doctor, your husband should be making above the average salary in the county. He should easily be making 100k+. Many doctors do really well in our area.

Mission Health Centers: Affiliated with Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. These medical centers are in a nice areas and are home to a variety of respected and very good medical groups and family practices. There are locations in Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest (Foothill Ranch community), Rancho Santa Margarita, Ladera Ranch, and San Clemente (Talega Community).
Mission Hospital - Aliso Viejo Health Center (http://www.mission4health.com/content.php/services/378 - broken link)

There is also Saddleback Valley and Urgent Care. Dr. Silver is actually the mom of one of my son's best friends. We go here when ever one of the kids breaks a bone or our physician's offices are closed. Nice little family owned place! Located in Mission Viejo and Lake Forest.
Saddleback Family and Urgent Care Home Page


Oso Family Medical Group
Located in Mission Viejo. Never been there, I just know it is in the area.
Oso Family Medical Group

Bristol Park Medical Group
I haven't been here either, but they are one of the largest urgent care groups in the county. They have locations from Anaheim to San Juan Capistrano.
Bristol Park Medical Group

Just some starting places on where you might want to look for work. The plus is that many of these medical groups are in the community and great neighborhoods surround them so your husband could have like a ten minute drive to work and not need to use the evil freeways!

Oh, here is a list of some other urgent care centers county wide. I think these are the ones Monarch Insurance Covers only though, so there are more.
Welcome to Monarch
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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Reputation: 10
we are also trying to move to OC from INdiana, chasing our american dream,, but all this discussion about not so good schools and fianancial pressure, does not sound promissing, since those two are the main reasons we are moving out of indiana,,, how does Fremont CA compare to OC,, both job wise, school wise, and crime rate wise(?)
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,913,617 times
Reputation: 39454
We moved to CA from ichigan in 1988 and moved back in 2005. We left to be closer to family and to find a more wholesome place to raise children. I loved the CA weather and my wife disliked it. I posted a list of what we found better and worse in each place somewhere on these boards. You could serch for it if you want. I do not have time.

All in all , it is a push. However for the first few years, you are pretty much guaranteed to love it. It is only after the charm wears off and you get sick of never ending crowds that you start really thinking that the midwest maybe was not so bad after all.

I would go back if we did nto have children and I did no have family here. However with kids, I would have major second thoughts. I would look at Colorado and Franklin tenn. first. Maybe South Carolina too (not sure do not know a lot about So Carolina).

Amongst kids, So Cal. is all about materialism. The moral atmosphere is bad. You can raise good kids there, but you will have to work harder and be more lucky than you do in other places. Competition is everything. Friendships are shallow. We found sexual activity and young ages more rampant in CA. Drugs and drinking are about the same, except it appears that drugs are more readily available in CA.

Orange County is wonderful, but in our estimation it is not a good choice for raising children. You will have to make your own judgmenet on that. Different people will tell you different things. (People who have never raised children elsewhere, will probably tell you that OC is just fine for kids).

Another odd thing. Our kids spend a lot more time outside in Michigan than they did in CA. Not sure why.

Good luck.
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,913,617 times
Reputation: 39454
Oh sorry. I forgot to emtniont hat the shcools are not real good in OC. THere are a few good ones, but you need to work at finding good schools too. Keep in mind that a "good" school by OC standards is not necessarily a "good' school by stadnrads elsewhere.
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Old 05-16-2008, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,329 posts, read 93,838,468 times
Reputation: 17835
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
I would look at Colorado and Franklin tenn. first.
Colorado is great if you are an engineer. It is a rougher than SoCal if you have small kids under six or so as the colder winters are more challenging for them and their moms - no easy afternoons at the park.

Huntsville Alabama is also an outstanding place if you are an engineer. Climate is a bit more moderate in winter than Colorado. Summers are warm and humid but not brutal.

Housing prices and school quality in both Colorado and Huntsville are outstanding. Overall great places for raising a family. Denver can compete in most but not all ways with California for culture - it is a trade off. Huntsville cannot compete at all. But for a family man, those things aren't that critical.
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Old 05-18-2008, 07:43 PM
 
3,853 posts, read 12,876,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soccersupporter View Post
My son (24) who lives in Newport Beach, CA loves where we live in TX but would not move here while he is still young.

Orange County is a great place for young people willing to rent and have roommates. The quick pace, lots to do, and entertainment on every corner is what he likes. He has commented that when he settles down he will consider his options outside of CA because he saw how hard it was to raise a family in Orange County/CA.

lol, even renting in Orange county is expensive. 1,000/month for a 1bed/1bath in a bad area? Not worth it if you asked me. Seeing as how 1k in Texas gets you a luxury apartment. Quick pace? You mean all the jerk drivers who act like they are always in a rush? Lots to do? I guess so if you are new to town but after a while, been there done that. Entertainment? I guess so but then even every city has its forms of entertainment.
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:54 AM
 
2,016 posts, read 5,209,923 times
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I wanted to say that this (so far - hope there's many more posts - has been one of the most helpful threads to me as much of the information relates to what my needs/wants/concerns are at this point. I want out of NE OH desperately (also am affected by SAD each year, started at around age 40), but am very apprehensive about pulling kids out of school where I know what they're getting and taking them into the unknown especially with the highly negative postings I have read in the last two years. Husband and I lived in OC (Anaheim, specifically) in the early 80's, but we were babies back then. Moved back to NE OH to have kids and raise them amidst family. I feel that I'm about 4-5 years overdue on moving, but wanted the older kids to finish high school (now both of them are graduating from college), but now we have younger ones entrenched in school. There never seems to be a good time. I'm going to print out these posts and read them again. Good schools are critically important; Catholic schools would be fine too as all of our kids (K-8) have attended Catholic school. Thanks again for all the tremendously helpful posts.

P.S. - DH's pharmacy license does not reciprocate to CA; he would have to take the state boards again in CA if we were to move. Either that, or my business would have to pick up and haul butt more than it is now. CA is a money-maker for my business (health and wellness). I'm stuck in a viscious cycle, it seems.

To the teacher that retired at age 55; congratulations! I really enjoyed reading your posts. My oldest son (24) just finished his studies; is graduating with an Education degree (Chemistry/Biology). He needs to find a job. He was offered positions in various states; he's declined all of them. I'm not sure what he's waiting for; that might be a whole post in itself.

Wishing everyone a wonderful day!
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Irvine, CA to Keller, TX
4,829 posts, read 6,938,260 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killer2021 View Post
lol, even renting in Orange county is expensive. 1,000/month for a 1bed/1bath in a bad area? Not worth it if you asked me. Seeing as how 1k in Texas gets you a luxury apartment. Quick pace? You mean all the jerk drivers who act like they are always in a rush? Lots to do? I guess so if you are new to town but after a while, been there done that. Entertainment? I guess so but then even every city has its forms of entertainment.
My son rents houses with friends and usually ends up paying $800-$1000 each. He and most of his friends make aroung $50,000 so they can afford it.

He likes the hustle and bustle, which is one reason we moved to TX, we just could not stand it anymore.

He is only 24, very active, snowboarding, spear fishing, surfing, golfing, cycling and the gym. Between these things and working 50 hours a week he is quite busy. I was like him when I was young but when we started a family at an early age so we tried to slow it down.

He is coming to spend a week with us over Memorial Day. We hope that he will consider moving to a more affordable place to live someday. We don't want him to have the same stress we did trying to raise a family in CA.
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