Home > School and Learning > Your Child's School > Choosing a Quality School > Finding the Best School for Your Child
|

Finding the Best School for Your Child

Everybody's got an opinion about where you should send Wadsworth to school. Dominic down at the deli is convinced the local elementary school is the best place for him. But your mother still believes it was the worst thing she ever did to you.

To find a new school for your child, remember one cardinal rule. It has to be the best fit for him, not Dominic, his grandmother, or his uncle Freddie. "For a school to have the best success with a child, it must be flexible enough to meet the child at his or her own developmental level," says educational diagnostician and school placement counselor Patricia Lemer of Developmental Delay Resources in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. "Find schools that are consistent with your child's learning style and acceptable to your educational philosophy," she says.

For Kids of All Ages
Whether or not you choose to involve Wadsworth directly in the school-selection process, at the very least talk to him about the biggest fear most kids have about going to a new school: making friends. Though worrisome to preschoolers and elementary-aged kids, it can cause panic in middle and high schoolers. Don't let it fester. Only after he feels confident that he has some strategies for making new friends can he consider other important aspects of his new school.

Prior to attending a new school, try some of the following ideas to help preschoolers through high schoolers initiate and sustain friendships.

Preschool To Grade Five
Even preschoolers have made a friend or two, so start by discussing together the birth and development of some of Wadsworth's current friendships. How did he meet Harry? Talk about the happy accident, shared interests, or love of dogs that brought them together. Then talk about what made the friendship grow. Do this for each important friendship, then help him determine how he might transfer those friend-making tools to his new schoolmates. Talk also about the symbols that might signal a new friend. Does that boy next to him have on a sweatshirt with Wadsworth's favorite baseball team on it? When it comes to an important social skill like making friends, reviewing, strategizing, and planning give your kids the best chance of success.

Middle and High School
In middle and high school, friendships are always paramount, often tenuous, and periodically hurtful. Focus first then on how Wadsworth dealt successfully with past social skirmishes. Reidentify the past problem, clarify the circumstances surrounding it, and then discuss which solution attempts worked best. Did some well-timed, well-aimed retorts cure a bully? Did the timely intervention of a friendly adult ease the situation? Then review Wadsworth's role in resolving the problem. Did his negotiating skills win him a new friend? Enumerating Wadsworth's past social skills and successes will give him the confidence he needs to make friends in the future.



Next: Page 2 >>
|

From Teacher Says by Evelyn Porreca Vuko. Copyright © 2004. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

If you'd like to buy this book, visit amazon.com or click on the book cover.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!