The Pros And Cons of Public School

When sending your child to school, there are a lot of options out there, not just public schools. It can be overwhelming to make a decision with so many options, what are the differences between public schools and charter schools? What about private schools? Is homeschool an option for your family? 

Over the next few weeks I am going to break down facts about different types of schools, listing pros and cons and points that may help you better make a decision. For today- let’s talk about public schools. 

Public schools are scattered throughout the nation, typically with boundaries throughout neighborhoods saying which homes attend which schools. Because they are open to the public, they are inexpensive. Usually, only a small fee for registration, if that. 

However, with the boundaries public schools bring, oftentimes it can mean lower-income students are clumped together and higher-income students are clumped together, which can lead to lower diversity levels. This stems from redlining. 

Public schools can create a sense of community for kids because they go to school with the same kids in their neighborhood. They walk together, play together, and go to school together. Another great aspect of public schools is oftentimes they are located close enough to homes that your child can walk or bike to school. 

A downside to public school is the amount of time it takes for new innovation to be adopted into the curriculum. Typically charter or private schools are more likely to bring in these methods before public schools do. 

It can also be hard to obtain a more individualized education because of larger class sizes, many parents can find concerns in not enough time and attention on their student and the help they need. 

Public schools are government funded, therefore the government plays a big role in not only the funding, but the teaching, the policies, etc. 

Overall, public schools have multiple pros and cons. And while some of these points may be a positive aspect to one person, it could mean a negative point to another. The purpose of this article is not to sway you one way or another, but to simply inform. 

What else would you include about public schools that might help a parent make a decision about what type of school they would choose for their children? 

A Quick Guide To Financial Aid

Financial aid. Do those two words give anyone else anxiety? When I was a senior in high school, they did for me! The thought of having financial aid is great! But the idea to put the work into getting financial aid can be daunting. Let me see if I can ease some of your fears! 

Let’s start with a definition. What is financial aid? Many will think it’s just grants or loans from the government, or FAFSA. But it can be more than that! It can also be grants and loans from private entities, as well as scholarships from your school or other organizations. Any additional money you receive to help pay for school is financial aid. 

So how can YOU obtain financial aid to help pay for your schooling? 

Search for and apply for scholarships

Apply for FAFSA. If you have questions or need help filling out their application, ask a parent, guidance counselor, teacher, or other trusted adult for help. FAFSA includes grants (money you don’t have to repay) and loans (money you have to repay). Even if you don’t plan on taking out loans, you should still at least apply to see if you can qualify for grants. Applying is free. 

If you are employed, talk to your HR to see if they have any programs that help pay for school while you work. 

Search for scholarships- again! 

Apply for our Design A Better Future scholarship. 

Look into your specific university, trade school, or community college to see if they have any grants or scholarships you can apply for. 

Applying and searching for financial aid can be a lot of time, work, and effort. However, if you are willing to put that time and effort into it, you may be surprised what reward you get out of it! 

What other questions do you have about financial aid that we can answer for you? 

Late Summer Birthdays: Hold Back Or Send To Kindergarten?

Even though my daughter is only 3.5 years old, I’ve been having a debate in my mind lately about kindergarten. Her birthday is late in July, so I’ve come to the tough decision that most parents of late summer birthday kids face. Send them to school when you’re supposed to so they are younger for their grade? Or hold them back a year from school and they are the oldest for their grade? 

I’ve been wrestling with a decision for quite some time now, listing out pros and cons. Sending your kids to school earlier when they will be younger for the age means they are out of the house earlier and accustomed to school sooner. Sending them later so they are older means they have more time to be a kid and don’t have the pressures of going to school placed on them so fast. 

The pros and cons lists are endless, I’ve been making them for about a year now! And beyond that, it’s so situational depending on each child individually, and their external circumstances. It is nearly impossible to know what the best situation is without doing an entire scientific experiment and analyzing both situations. But that is impossible to do! 

Here is where I am finding comfort- Kids thrive in whatever situation they are placed in. 

Sure, each child will have their struggles in school. Some may fall behind because they are younger for their grade and cannot keep up academically. Others may stick out and get made fun of because they are taller or bigger for their grade. 

Regardless, they will have successes too. They will find happiness and thriving whether you place them in kindergarten this year, or the next. 

We have yet to choose if my daughter will be attending kindergarten in 2022 or 2023, but once we do, you bet you guys will hear about our decision and the entire thought process that will go into it! 

Is this a decision weighing on you right now too? Which way are you leaning? 

A Book For My Book Buddy

https://honorsgradu.com/10-read-alouds-for-upper-elementary-grades/

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, schools shut down and children started learning from home. Everyone was very focused on making sure kids had the proper technology for at-home learning, and rightfully so. Teachers also worked overtime to set up bags of additional resources such as pencils, notebooks, and more.

But in some homes, especially those of lower-income, there were additional missing resources. Books.

Reading, and the love of reading is so important for children! But one teacher in Nampa, Idaho was set out to change that. She teaches in a low-income school where her students don’t have as much access to literature and were learning from home. So she reached out to family and friends asking for them to become “book buddies” with the 25+ students in her class.

All she asked was for them to send one book a month to the student they were paired with. I had the wonderful opportunity to become one of the book sponsors for this program. I’ve been able to send one book a month to my little friend in second grade. He even drew me a little picture and thank you note back!

I was so impressed with Rachel because she had the books delivered to her house for these students and personally drives around town to deliver each one to their homes.

It’s incredible to see the ingenuity, sacrifice, time, and love these teachers have for their students. What other incredible things have you seen teachers do for their students during the pandemic?

Trade School VS. University: Which One Wins?

Let’s talk about trade schools vs. universities. What are the differences and which one is better?

Trade Schools: 

A school based around teaching just specific trades, such as nursing, electric work, plumbing, etc. A very niched program. 

Pros: 

Typically less expensive
Can be easier to get a job because internships happen in the field of work, putting you in direct contact with employers.
Can be faster to graduate than the typical 4-year degree. 

Cons: 

Your line of work is niched and can be hard to find an occupation outside of your line of study.
Typically less social aspect than most universities. 

Universities: 

A school where you receive an undergrad, graduate, or doctorate degree. 

Pros: 

Your degree requires courses from a vast majority of subjects, giving you experience in many different areas. 
You have a broad sense of your area of study, which can open up job opportunities in various positions, not just one niched area. 
A big social aspect on a university campus. 

Cons: 

Is hard to graduate early or faster because of credit requirements. 
Can be hard to choose your occupation because a degree can be so broad.
You don’t walk away with a new set skill, you walk away with a degree. 


So which one is better? 

Neither! 

A university may be a great option for one person, while a trade school is the better route for someone else. Both types of schools come with pros and cons, even more than I’ve written here. A great way to decide which type of school is best for you is to reach out to trusted mentors or school counselors to help you make your final decision. 

What type of school have you chosen to attend, trade school or university? 

Senior’s Corner

Making the transition of graduating high school to starting college can be overwhelming and scary and full of long to-dos. Where do you turn for help?!

We’ve made a page just for you!

Click the link above to check it out! Here’s a sneak peak:

Lots of tips on interviews, in-person, on the phone, and on a video chat.

A post on handling senioritis (it hits everyone!)

And a link to our 2021 Scholarship.

This page will be growing as we work to write up more posts for you that will be useful to you seniors. Share with a friend that may need it too!

What else do you hope to see on our Senior’s Corner page?

Early Childhood Activity Supply List

Probably my most requested blog post, finally put together for you! A grand list of my early ed activities must-have items. Nothing on this list to too special and majority of the items you will probably find around your house already! To see more tips on early childhood activities, visit this page here. This list is a good starting point if you want to be in a position to be able to just grab and go for activities. Nothing on this list is sponsored or endorsed, just a list from one Early Childhood Educator to another. 


Paper/Sticker Supplies

Construction paper

Colored paper

Cardstock

Dot stickers


Paint Supplies

Washable tempera paint

Washable watercolor paint

Rags for cleaning

Paintbrushes- I like the chunkier, bigger kind. Not just the small ones that come with kid’s watercolor kits. 


Office Supplies

Crayons

Markers

Permanent Markers- For you, not the kids! 

Kid scissors 

Pipe Cleaners

Glue

Glue sticks

Painters tape

Sticky notes


Sensory Bin Supplies 

Large storage bin- roughly 28 qt

Small storage bin- roughly 6 qt

Sensory bin fillers: A lot of these are materials I have around my house or material I buy for a specific sensory bin I have in mind. I do not keep all of these materials on hand at all times. 

Funnels

Small people or animals for pretend play

Bowls

Spoons

Ice cube trays

Muffin tin

Pompoms 


Misc

Toothpicks 

Popsicle Sticks 

Food coloring 

Dollar store or IKEA scrub brushes

Shoelaces 

Colored beads

Squirt bottle


With this list of supplies that I have on hand, I can pull out an activity usually within a moments notice and only takes about a minute or two for me to set them up, I’m all about the easy, simple activities! If there is something specific I want to do with my kids I will make a trip to the store for those items. 

Are there any other must-have items you keep on hand?