Yes, yes, I know it's a homeschooling board. I was so TERRIFIED about sending my eldest to brick and mortar this year, but it's turned out to be a GREAT decision and an amazing school.
End of week one they went on a 3 day leadership camping trip, complete with a 7 mile hike. Last week ALL of her homeroom teachers called and/or e-mailed me to ask how she was feeling about school. When we had a slight problem with literature (and really, it was just a matter of the boys and her distracting each other, as she's the only girl in the upper school - only other girl is in the lower school, lol), it was fixed IMMEDIATELY.
This past week was Math and Bubble Gum week - every class incorporated math and they brought in parents to show how they used math in their career (several doctors, an engineer or two, and an occupational therapist). Yesterday the headmaster took the upper school to walk to a local soda fountain down the street for lunch. Next week is a camp out complete with bonfire and hotdogs behind the school's main house, to celebrate the election of Student Body President.
Beyond all of the fun things, they are patient, kind, sincerely listen, and obviously care about every single student - they really go out of their way to make sure every child is having a positive experience. They are VERY strict about respect, but remind children (even when reprimanded) that there is no such thing as a bad kid, that messing up is normal; accept the consequences, feel remorse, try not to do it again, and MOVE ON; everybody makes mistakes and it's part of learning. They understand the *whole* child and give the children MORE than ample recess time to burn off energy. While many of the students also have ADD/ADHD (it's a school for gifted dyslexics), they have no problem with a parent NOT medicating, and instead will incorporate behaviour therapy/additional one-on-one for the student, if necessary.
The academics are superior; the teachers are amazing. At the first parent meeting, I remember the Head saying "all of these children WILL go to college". His confidence is wonderful. DD is learning SO much and enjoying it!
Every day the children receive one-on-one tutoring. If they have a problem with homework at night, they are instructed to call the subject teacher or their homeroom teacher for help, any time before 9 pm. If they ever feel picked on, left out, or just down, they are encouraged to call the headmaster or go directly to his office (if the child is at school at the time).
Oh, and how neat is this - because so many of the children come from different cities to attend the school every day, and one of the children in a neighboring city is having a birthday tomorrow, the school is letting one of the teachers borrow the school SUV to meet parents at the school, so the teacher can transport them to the party! They take such a VESTED and SINCERE interest in the children (and their families).
I never thought I would be so in love with a brick and mortar school.
I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff: we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol). Aimee