Recently, a friend posted on facebook regarding the local charter school. She was questioning whether or not to enroll her child and wanted opinions. (She reads my blog sometimes, so she will know it is her that I'm talking about...HI!!) ;)
One of her friends responded and her answer got me thinking about why we chose charter school. The friend stated that she likes that her kids go to school with her neighbors and people they go to church with. She said that they miss the neighbors that choose to use "charter" school. (Why the quotations, I'm not sure.)
I hope my friend isn't offended at all, but that response made me want to offer my opinion about that. I had already commented why we chose charter and didn't want the friend to think I was arguing with her, so I divert to my blog. Where I can ramble about anything. ;)
I LOVE the fact that my children are exposed to more than just the kids we live by. We may attend a different school, but we still have a lot of interaction with our neighbors. Charter school allows them to interact with those around us, as well as meet other children from neighboring towns. They go to school with children who come from different backgrounds, family dynamics, cultures and beliefs; more so than if they only attended school with those that live within a few miles of us.
Another thing I love about charter school is the additional attention paid to my children that need a bit more help, as well as the opportunity for my more advanced children to be challenged. I like that cursive is introduced in kindergarten, instead of third grade. I like that they encourage no television during the school week and place an emphasis on reading.
Additionally, the environment is run on the understanding that behavior is of utmost importance. Actions that would be allowed in public school are immediately addressed in charter. I like peeking in on classrooms and seeing the children sitting in their desks, feet on the floor, facing forward, with their hands folded on their desk. The curriculum is taught in such a way that it engages the children throughout, rather than them just being lectured to. I also enjoy receiving a schedule every day, that outlines everything my child did at school, as well as their behavior. If my child is acting out in class, I know about it that very same day. I don't have to hear about it a month later, at parent/teacher conferences, when it is hard for me to respond or guide my child.
Uniforms have been a huge blessing, as well. I no longer have to hear, "I have nothing to wear!". They have a few options to choose from and that is that. I no longer hear that so and so has this brand of clothes or type of clothing. Every child wears the same type of thing and clothing no longer becomes a focal point.
I know that this type of environment is not wanted or important to everyone, and that's fine! It is wanted and important to my family. I feel that my children have grown tremendously socially, academically and personally, because of our choice to attend charter. That's not to say that there is anything wrong with public school. My children did wonderful and had some amazing experiences in public school, as well! We've had some great teachers who I absolutely adore and wish we could still have. We simply weighed pros and cons and for us, charter was the way to go! I haven't regretted the decision, at all! :)