In the list of life’s big decisions that have to be made as a parent there can be little that is quite so weighty as the choice of school for your child. Private or public? Catholic or home school? French immersion or English language? French first language? Home school? The options, costs and geographical restrictions can have you ripping your hair out as you research and hope and then make the leap to deciding. There are benefits to each system. Whatever choice you make, it should be informed. Did you know for instance that JK is not mandatory? You are not legally obligated to have your child in school until they turn six. Also did you know that some schools will make exceptions for geographical boundaries depending on their enrollment numbers. And some private schools have such a thing as a lottery or subsidy. If you ask about it you may be surprised to know your child could qualify for a school you didn’t think you could afford.
Right now, January and February, as you are driving around town you may have noticed the signs outside various London and area schools noting that it’s time to register your child for JK – junior kindergarten – if they were born in 2006. There are several reasons why you need to do that now. Don’t wait until August or September and spring the news on the school you have chosen. And don’t just show up at the door on the first day of school (Oh yes, some people do that!)
|First day of school 2009. It can be fun and exciting, with some preparation now.|
For education month here at thriftymommastips I have compiled a list of reasons to register now.
1. It allows the school to hire the right number of teachers. (Administrators send the numbers to the board very soon and if they don’t have the correct numbers they can’t hire the correct number of teachers.)
2. It allows your child to get used to the school. Knowing where they are going in September, especially for a four-year-old, is comforting and can help ease the transition.
3. If your child has special needs of any sort they need to be brought up now so the school can plan accordingly. An educational assistant may need to be hired and that decision is being made now by boards across Ontario.)
4. Many schools do introductory sessions for children entering a new school – especially 4 and 5 -year-olds. Get Ready for School or School Readiness. Look for the sessions advertised at your chosen school so you can go with your son or daughter and get them used to the building. Towards the end of that series there will probably be a classroom visit. It’s an exciting and fun time for your child. They get to see the room in which they will spend so much time.
5. Also the readiness sessions occasionally have a literacy expert and a speech expert in attendance. They can get a feel for your child’s abilities and potential speech or literacy issues. Again this helps in planning for a successful year.
A successful September starts right now for a lot of kids. And if this is your child’s first year in school, then the transition and planning is equally as important for you the parent. This can be an exciting time that is also emotionally difficult for parents. So plan ahead for school success.