Educational Continuity... and the "Right School"
All the Same??
Across the US, K through 12 curriculums are relatively the same, right? No. No they are not. You can move from one school district into the one next door and the curriculum used can be vastly different.
So, if they can be different how is is possible to trust that a child is receiving an education without gaps relocating from one school/district to another, let alone one country to another.
Have you considered it? How would you know?
Relocation can create educational gaps.
Can you trust the system? Each system? AND How would a parent find those gaps – Academic, social and environmental?
Because I only had one child to navigate through the US educational system, he was always a Guinea pig. I didn’t know what to do and other than the Montessori school option.. All I knew was public education.
As we moved across the country, my parents never placement tested me. I was never evaluated for reading, though I should have been. My grades were good, so I went from one grade to the next grade, eventually graduating at 17 from high school.
They trusted the system, so I trusted the system. Until I didn’t.
No More Blind Trust
As a mom, you just know. You know when something is up with your child – seeing it on their face, in their mood or in what they do and do not do. You know when they are short of their potential. You know when they are struggling. I’ve talked about our Dyslexia journey a few times in the last few weeks.
The thing is, I recognized the issue way back in 3rd grade. I asked for testing and received it. I was told he would be fine and catch up, trust us. Retested in 4th grade and 6th grade and flagged by a science teacher in 7th grade. Each time “Don’t worry, trust us.”
He was an A, B, C student at the time and not a behavioral problem. Other than struggling with reading they kept saying “He’s doing fine, trust us.” But, he was struggling. I could see it. I kept asking questions but couldn’t get anyone to tell me what that gap was. We moms, we can see the gaps. Gaps that are really there.
It wasn’t until I stopped trusting the experts, that I finally decided to have my child tested. Through private educational testing, we finally learned what that gap. The gap I had seen for 8 years.
Those experts, told us to trust them and even dismissed the gap I was seeing.. But the truth is, though most often they are well intentioned, even the best experts do not know everything. I feel the same way about doctors. There is so much to know, and so many medical advances taking place that any one doctor cannot know everything and be able to help every person. At this point, I joke, anything more than strep we are getting a second opinion.
“Liisten to the experts and seek further understanding and resources when it’s not quite right” should be our manifesto for educating our children. Children are not all cut from the same cloth. They do not all learn well from the same strategies or environments.
Take for instance a few years where 1st and 2nd grade classrooms brought in exercise balls to sit on for the fidgety kids. Being able to move during instruction allowed them to learn more each day.
Last School to Right School
Intellectually, we expect that the new school will be different from the last. Emotionally though, we truly want it to be all the same, especially if the last school served our children well. Being able to plug them in and then watch them make friends, learn and thrive is what we want. Conversely we worry about choosing the “not right” school where we could watch our children whither.
So, what do you need to know?
You need to know your child: Academically, Socially and in which Environment they best thrive in. These are the educational continuity areas that matter. A significant deficit in any of them can cause a child to stop learning or shut down.
The new school will most likely not be an exact match. However, by knowing where your children are at in these three area the closest match can be identified. AND now that the gaps are visible any deficits can be shored up and addressed by outside resources or you the parents.
Sometimes the academic standing is easy to understand. The records are complete and understandable to the parents and the new school/district. Many times though parents, children and the new administrators are kind of guessing. This guess leads to “let’s try this out”. Which may be find for the school but if IT doesn’t work out that means that the child and the family face another transition or a decision to go along with less than needed situation/academics/challenges/accommodations/etc.
Accredited Academic test can help fill in the gaps. The private educational testing we receive was from an accredited academic testing individual, provided testing results that were recognized by our local schools. This was important because we expected he was going to need accommodations at school and for the college entrance exams.
The point of academic testing is determined by what you want for your children and what you believe they can achieve. Perhaps you want to know where they rank in all 8th grade students. Perhaps you think they should be in a more advanced math class. OR because of the past school curriculum, nothing seems to be a direct match for the new schools.
Around the Country
No Capitals – No Presidents
As we move around the country and around the world, the curriculum continuity is disrupted. To this day I do not know all the presidents or the state capitals due to a mid-year relocation. This is because, the state I moved from were going to cover that in the spring semester, and the new school had already covered them in the fall semester.
If my mother would have known, I am sure she would have quizzed me until I remembered. But, she trusted the system.
Academic testing, placement testing and assessment testing can provide that bridge between the schools. Helping the new school understand and appropriately place students in classes. The private school our son attended used the academic testing in just this manner, making sure he was in an appropriate and doable class for him.
Complete Educational Testing
The educational testing, some of which is available on a sliding scale, goes beyond placement and grade level ranking. Private academic helps both parents and students understand how they learn as well as assess intelligence and academic capabilities as well as be able to define the best environmental and social setting that will encourage and support a child..
The point being, to understand HOW THE STUDENT LEARNS.
Recent educational studies show that there are many different ways to learn. Dyslexia in my opinion is one of many learning differences not a disability that can be mitigated with the right teaching tools. Some of us are auditory learners and others are visual.
When you know all of the educational pieces for your child, choosing the “right school”, the best match out of the available community school is obvious. This knowledge also allows the known gaps to be filled more easily either by the school or privately. Educational Continuity can be achieved.
Searching for Educational Testing
When looking for educational testing, search PSYCHO EDUCATIONAL TESTING for testing that provides results in all three areas. A NeuroPsych can provide additional information. When evaluating the Assessment Specialists (the one/groups giving the testing) let them know why you want the testing and ask if they can provide you with that type of information.
I talked to one Assessment Specialist that was willing to fly out to another district to assess whether the environments at the 4 school in contention, would match what that child needed and provide an environment where they might thrive.
As relocating parents we have the opportunity to do a school match. Knowing who your child is, what they are capable of and which environment serves them means you do not have to guess.
You can know the “right school” when you see it!
and the School Search
If you know,
- How your child learns
- What environment they excel in
- Where they are EXACTLY academically
- What they are capable of
- What their innate talents are
- What helps them excel
Then what? How does that change your search for the “right school”?
Decide. And write it down into your plan.
Delegate do not Abdicate
To a certain point we can trust the system, but not to the place of abdication. By placing our children in any school or school system we are delegating the activities and responsibility of their education. Delegation is not abdication.
Abdication is a washing our hands of the whole thing and accepting, “JUST TRUST US”.
We do know our kids and we know what they are capable of. If the experts do not provide the answers to the gaps, take heart and…keep looking.
ReloMoms do not accept that the expert know better, just because they tell us so. We ReloMoms, we who relocate, are some of the toughest and best problem solvers in the world. We can figure this out and choose the “right school” and provide educational continuity for our kids.
ReloMoms…You’ve got this!!
For more information about relocation and education look to the blogs and podcasts of August 31st and September 6th 2020 on the www.ReloMoms.com website.
It’s time for someone to come along side you and help you work through the relocation challenges sign up for your FREE 1 hour ReloMoms Coaching and Consult.
You will walk away with useful tools and strategies!