Celebrating an Independent Education

The Value of Choice in Elementary and Middle School

by Erik Carlson

It may feel like much about school life is pretty automatic.  Your child attends the local school in the district and shares a class with anybody of similar age from the neighborhood.  They generally learn the same topics at about the same pace as most other schools who follow the mandates of the Common Core.  At the end of the year, they take a standardized test to make sure that the school is still performing according to expectations and they get promoted to the next grade level if they pass the class.  What  can be missing in this automaticity are relationships and intentionality, both of which can be difference-makers in the growth of young children and early adolescents.When parents decide to exercise their choice and enter a

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Posted on: 01/ 09/2017 03:30 PM Comments (0)

Being a Top Dog

by Erik Carlson

Most schools in our area have chosen to draw the line between elementary and middle school between 5th and 6th grade.  It’s just at the moment when children are feeling a bit more self-conscious about their changing bodies and wondering how they are going to fit into the social scene, they enter a situation where they are placed into a much larger class with uncertain connections to peers and adults. 6th grade seems like a rite of passage that they need to get through to then have the knowledge and confidence of 7th or 8th grader in the school.  It doesn’t have to be that way, though.  The simple act of being a 6th grader in an environment where younger students are present can help one feel like a “top dog,” with the sense of

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Posted on: 12/ 21/2016 10:26 AM Comments (0)