Archive for March, 2014

Choosing the Right School For Your Child: Part 3

Posted on: March 31st, 2014

Remember what we said in our first post? ASK QUESTIONS.

Sometimes parents aren’t sure what questions to ask or think of them after the fact.  We’ve compiled a list of some of the most commonly asked questions we get from prospective parents. Print this list and take it with you on school tours, speak with a school representative, or send an email with questions to the school, etc. We hope you bring this list with you when you come to visit us!

Should I enroll my younger child in Pre-K or Kindergarten?
Parents of 4 and 5-year-olds often ask us this question.  It’s one you should discuss with the teacher and the school if you’re not sure. Typically, schools will do a screening in the spring to make sure your child is ready. Sometimes, if your child is on the young end but still meets the age requirements, it’s best to wait to start Kindergarten. Sometimes, they’re absolutely ready to go. There’s nothing wrong with waiting if they need to mature socially, emotionally and physically a bit more. Feel free to talk to us about what may be best for your child.

Children typically need to turn three for 3-year-old programs by September 1st, and should be potty-trained. (If your child is not yet potty-trained when you register, you still have time to work on it. You can talk to the teacher and the school as you get closer if you have concerns.) For 4K/PreK programs, students typically must turn four by September 1st, and for most Kindergarten programs, students typically must turn five by September 1st.

For older students, how is the transition handled academically and socially?
Ask how the staff will help your older child make the change to a new school. Often there are some differences in how math and reading are taught, or how far along students will be in various subjects. Will the staff work one-on-one with your student to get them caught up or keep them challenged? Is there a resource teacher on staff? Are there tutors available to help if they need additional help outside school? Is there someone the student can talk to, such as a guidance counselor, to help with the social and emotional transition? Are there opportunities for the students to meet other students in athletic or social situations?
If you have any of these questions, we invite you to speak with us.

To help ease the transition to a new school, we pair all new families with a “mentor family” who has a student in the same grade or a grade level above. We also have an experienced resource teacher to help with a wide variety of learning challenges and a school counselor who can work with students of all ages.

Here are a few more questions parents often ask on our tours:

  • What are the hours and the schedule?
  • What happens in a typical day?
  • How is reading taught? How about math?
  • What is the class size and the teacher: student ratio?
  • Is there before or after school care available?
  • What extracurriculars are available? Are they academic, social, or athletic?
  • Do you teach foreign language, and if so, at what grade level does it begin?
  • Is there PE, art, music, or band?
  • Do the kids have recess? How often?
  • How is discipline handled?
  • How are life-threatening allergies handled?
  • How do you communicate with parents?
  • What are the expectations and opportunities for parent involvement?

 

For private schools, there are a few additional considerations:

  • Is there transportation available?
  • Is hot lunch served?
  • How is the school run? Is there a board? How is it structured?
  • Is there a specific church affiliated with the school?
  • What is the cost? Are there discounts or financial aid available? How do I apply?
  • Are the teachers certified? What is the average years of experience of the staff?
  • How do you handle situations where kids need additional resources and support?
  • What if my child isn’t being challenged in the classroom?
  • Do students take standardized tests? How does the school score?
  • If there isn’t a high school, ask where students typically go to high school, and how alumni do in high school.

 

Contact us today to schedule a tour, and to learn more about Brookfield Christian School. We’d love to help you navigate this process!

 

Choosing The Right School For Your Child, Part 1

Choosing The Right School For Your Child, Part 2

 

Choosing the Right School For Your Child: Part 2

Posted on: March 24th, 2014


Before we get to the list of questions, we wanted to weigh in on one of the “biggest” questions: why choose a private Christian education for your child?

Why a Private Christian Education?

When looking for a school, many people have two options: public or private.  The biggest decision, then, in searching for a school comes down to deciding on which route to take.  The main mission of any school is to provide a solid, educational foundation for its students that will enable them to succeed at higher levels of learning.  Both public and private schools alike should achieve that goal.

However, the advantage that private Christian schools have over public schools is that they offer an educational setting that complements the faith, values, and perspectives that the students learn at home.  There is a focus on building both a personal and corporate sense of faith.  A Christian school, though, should be more and do more than just teach the same subjects as a public school with an additional Bible class thrown in.  Rather, how those subjects are taught should be inherently different.  Instruction should make a connection between the content and a faith perspective while still providing academic rigor.

A Christian school is also a great place for students to make mistakes.  It sounds funny, but it’s true.  What better place to make a mistake than in an atmosphere where guidance comes from a Christian perspective and correction comes from a perspective of grace and forgiveness?

If done well, a Christian school acts as a partner in the education of the students who attend, and it allows for the development of a stronger sense of community based on faith. Parents and students alike have a vested interest in the school.

That partnership is a key factor in a Christian education.  Although the church takes the lead in matters of faith, the home plays a primary role in raising the child, and the school sets the standard in the realm of education, it is the interaction and interdependence between all three that makes a Christian school environment so rich and valuable.  The same faith and values found in the home and church are taught and reinforced within the school context.

We invite you to visit our school, talk with our caring faculty and staff, and see what Christian education looks like at Brookfield Christian School.

 

Choosing The Right School For Your Child, Part 3

Choosing The Right School For Your Child, Part 1

Choosing The Right School For Your Child: Part 1

Posted on: March 21st, 2014

PreK StudentIf you haven’t already done so, it’s time to register for school for next year!  Parents face many decisions this time of year.  Do you go public or private?  Do you send your young children to 3K and 4K?  If so, for whole days or half days, mornings or afternoons, 3 days a week or 5 days a week?  Do you hold back your child or not?  For older students, do you stick with the school you’re at or look at different options if it’s not working out?  We’ve come up with a guide to get you started, and we’ll be exploring things in a series of blog posts.

Get started now, if you haven’t already.
Many parents ask, do we really need to make a decision now?  The answer is yes, in most cases.  For our school, we tend to open up registration to our returning families in January and then open enrollment to new families in early February. We typically fill openings in our early childhood classes by the end of March, as do many other preschools, with some movement throughout the spring and summer. The longer you wait, the more stressful it can become.

Schedule a tour of the school with your student if you can.  
It’s best to schedule when the class you’re looking at is in session.  If you would like, you could arrange in advance to sit in on the class and observe (without your child if it’s more helpful for you).  For older students who might be changing schools, it can be helpful for the student to shadow in a class, meet the teacher, and maybe talk to other students if they’re comfortable. We often have students shadow for half or full days in the upper grades.  After your tour, think about the future.  Is this a place you can see your family long-term?  Is there a strong sense of school support and community?  The older your student is, the more challenging it can be to make the change to a new school so a strong support system needs to be in place.

Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Some parents come with a written list, and some prefer to follow up afterward with a call or email.   Take notes if it helps, and don’t be afraid to ask to speak with the principal, a teacher, or someone else who can answer your specific questions.

Stay tuned for our next post, featuring a list of questions to ask when you’re researching schools.  You can even print out the list and bring it along with you!

Choosing The Right School For Your Child, Part 2

Choosing The Right School For Your Child, Part 3

Faith in Action

Posted on: March 11th, 2014

We love it when our students are motivated by their faith and learning to take action! Our 4th grade class has been talking about injustice in the world, learning about events that have occurred historically and that are currently taking place. While reading the book Number the Stars by Lois Lawry, they discussed the injustices experienced by the Jews during WWII. During Black History Month, the class learned about slavery and civil rights in their book clubs and wrote about it in their book reports.After hearing that 27 million men, women and children are held as slaves in the world right now, the class was moved to take action.

The students wrote letters to Wisconsin lawmakers asking for their help in the fight against human trafficking in Milwaukee and globally. However, the 4th graders wanted to do more, so they came up with a plan!  The students made products to sell to Brookfield Christian School (BCS) students, parents, and friends on March 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (or you can stop in before school) in the BCS cafeteria.  Items such as duct tape wallets, Rainbow Loom products, baked goods, bookmarks, key chains, “slime,” and more will be priced between 50 cents to $2 each.  Profits from the sale will be donated to International Justice Mission (IJM), an organization that fights for oppressed people around the world. Donations to IJM will also be accepted. You’re welcome to stop by and support our students as they put their faith into action, helping to make a difference in God’s world.

During this process, the class has not only learned about the injustices of the past and the oppression some people still face today, but they have also been introduced to new ideas and concepts.  Through brainstorming, planning, and organizing the event, the students have developed new skills as they crafted products for the sale and developed pricing, advertising, and promotional strategies and much more.  (Check out the great posters the kids made in the hallways!)

Update: the class raised $655 to donate to International Justice Mission! WOW!

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