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FAQs

Click each question to show it's answer.

Q: How do I decide between public and private school for my child?
The basic goal is to match a school with your child's interests and abilities. Visit both the public and private schools in your area. Trust your instincts. As a parent, you know your child best.
Q: When should I start looking at preschools (and at what age does preschool begin [many parents think 4...])?
Generally, most open house dates run between September and December for the upcoming August school year. So I would recommend starting one year before you plan to enroll your child, typically when your child is almost three. Most children start pre-school as three-year-olds about to turn four.
Q: What is the appropriate age to begin first grade?
Public schools allow first grade admission to children who have had their 6th birthday by September 1. In private schools, the trend seems to reflect that boys are a few months older than their public school counterpart. For example, first graders are usually between six years and a few months and seven years and a few months for the most successful school experience.
Q: When should a child be placed in primer instead of first grade?
Primer is an option that is offered in selective private schools for children not yet ready for first grade. A child's emotional and physical maturity is an important consideration. To enter first grade, a child should already have a solid foundation of basic number and math concepts, beginning reading and written communication skills.
Q: Is it true that some schools require you to waitlist as soon as your child is born (We get this question often)?
There are a few schools who will accept names on a waitlist that far in advance. However, most schools do not want to track that information 3-4 years before enrollment. For almost all DFW schools, it is a common misconception that children must be on the list from birth.
Q: How important is a school's accreditation?
Accreditation is extremely important for creditability. It is a voluntary process that schools may choose to pursue. Each accrediting organization has specific requirements, standards and guidelines to which each school must adhere. Upon completion, the participating schools receive credentials that maintain the standards for their institution. Home schooling is another type of educational option that parents are welcome to provide for their children. Please be aware that day care systems do not have to hire licensed teachers or provide the child a well rounded appropriate curriculum.
Q: What is an A BEKA curriculum?
An A BEKA curriculum is a traditional academic curriculum that is presented in a very structured manner with the content focusing upon the Bible with a Christian perspective.
Q: Which is a better learning experience: a coed or a single gender school?
This is a personal choice, but many children find their concentration skills are better in a single gender school environment. Other children will maintain that co-ed schools enhance teamwork, communication skills and peer relationships. Personally, I feel that both have advantages. Seek out the school that best meets your child's learning needs.
Q: What are the benefits of sending my child to preschool versus just waiting for Kindergarten?
If you're considering preschool for your child, choose a school that will introduce your child to the excitement of learning. This is your child's first exposure to develop - socially, emotionally and academically - and his/her first chance to be involved in the classroom. When choosing a preschool, the DFW area has a large range of options. Look for a school that offers a wonderful introduction to learning, making friends, interactive-discovery and engaging playtime. These skills set the tone for healthy development and a positive school experience.
Q: What can I expect my child to learn and do in kindergarten?
At this early level of schooling, children learn through play and discovery. The many centers and activities a child experiences provides a good framework to develop a love of learning that can last a lifetime. They learn the fundamentals of reading, writing and math. They also learn to express themselves and their feelings through language, art, music, movement and blocks. They also develop social skills, such as learning to care for themselves and their supplies and materials, and how to cooperate and get along with others.
Q: What are some common characteristics of successful students?
According to Sharon L. Ramey, Ph.D. and Craig T. Ramey, Ph.D., in Going to School: How to Help Your Child Succeed, ten common characteristics are as follows:
  1. They are eager to learn;
  2. They ask lots of questions, and they ask for help;
  3. They work hard and know that their effort matters;
  4. They have well-developed social and emotional skills;
  5. They are good at assessing their skills;
  6. Their parents are role models for learning;
  7. Their parents promote learning by “natural” teaching at home;
  8. Their family routines support doing well in school;
  9. Their parents are effective at setting and maintaining limits;
  10. Their schools have high expectations for student achievement, support teacher development, and communicate frequently with parents about their children.
Q: How can I help my child be prepared for kindergarten or 1st grade?
There are many activities parents can do at home to help their children. Just remember to keep it fun, as this is how children learn best. A few things to do include: sorting and classifying (buttons, socks from the laundry, pictures, etc.), pretend play (grocery store, post office, etc.), using rhymes and making up stories to help with language skills, writing (writing letters can be fun!), copy and make up your own patterns, dot-to-dot pictures, mazes, dominoes, puzzles, and lots of games (any board games or games like “I Spy” to encourage cooperation and observational skills). Of course, reading books should be a very important part of every day!
Q: Developmentally, what are a few things I can expect my five-year old to do?
A five-year old has become quite adept with language, often having a vocabulary of over 3,000 words. However, it is still possible and quite normal to have some speech difficulties, especially with “r”, “v”, “l”, “th”, “j”, and “z”. Socially, a five-year old likes to choose his/her own special friends, and will be able to play games, negotiate rules, and try to resolve conflicts. They are often very competitive. Physically, children can throw balls well and are learning to catch, using hands alone. They have learned or are learning to button, unbutton, use zippers, and tie their shoelaces. Most five-year olds are learning to hold a pencil or crayon correctly and will enjoy drawing and writing. Intellectually, children at this age are starting to use some logical thinking in games such as Tic-Tac-Toe or Concentration. They are starting to understand spatial relationships, calendars, and time.
Q: I have a boy with a summer birthday; will he have to repeat a year of preschool before being admitted to Kindergarten?
Most private schools enroll at 7 and public schools at 6. Schools are looking at maturity for their 1st grade enrollment, often boys are held back a year in either preschool or Kindergarten. There is a trend to accept older students for the reason of maturity within age grouping. However, I am sure you will find a variety of ages mixed within public and private schools.
Q: Why is play so important?
Play is important to all areas of development. Socially, children learn to take turns, cooperate and share. They make up rules, follow rules, and learn to work through conflicts. Children may learn about leadership. Play is also important to language development. Children learn new vocabulary from others, as well as communication skills. Story comprehension can be improved through relating events and sequences of events to others. Intellectually, children learn new ideas and skills, as well as improving their problem solving abilities. Physically, children improve their stamina, flexibility, strength, coordination and fitness.
Q: How can I help my child prepare for preschool?
Tell your child that you’re looking for a school, drive by and show the child the school so he/she begins to feel comfortable with the environment. Explain the basic process of starting school, prepare them for a few questions the school may ask them, and take a tour with the child if possible so the comfort level rises.
Q: What is the difference in educational philosophies - Montessori, Traditional/Classical, Progressive/Developmental - and how do I know in which environment my child will excel?
Though opinions on the issue differ, I feel that accreditation is the most important criterion for a school to have. It is vital to know that a school is teaching “developmentally appropriate” material at each age and grade level. The standards and guidelines that govern private facilities are outlined by the specific agencies the school adheres too. Information relating to private school accreditation is specified by the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC).
  1. The Montessori Method is a means of scientific assistance to the total development of the child: social, intellectual, psychic, and physical. The environment is carefully prepared so that the child's sense of order is fulfilled and clutter does not distract the learning process. Activities are scientifically designed in a “prepared environment” with didactic materials each child can use individually or with a group. Concentration develops through work with the hands, leading to self-discipline and independence through self-direction. There is also freedom of choice within well-defined limits. Please be aware that many schools claim they are Montessori but in reality they are not typical Montessori schools -- many others just utilize the materials that are excellent for children to learn to read and teach math concepts.
  2. Traditional Classical education covers grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Logic and rhetoric are often taught by the teacher who raises questions and the class discusses them. By controlling the pace, the teacher can keep the class very lively, yet disciplined.
  3. The term "progressive education" has been used to describe ideas and practices that aim to make schools more effective agencies of a democratic society. The education of engaged citizens, according to this perspective, involves two essential elements: (1). Respect for diversity, meaning that each individual should be recognized for his or her own abilities, interests, ideas, needs, and cultural identity, and (2). the development of critical, socially engaged intelligence, which enables individuals to understand and participate effectively in the affairs of their community in a collaborative effort to achieve a common good. These elements of progressive education have been termed "child-centered" and "social reconstructionist."
Q: Should I focus on ongoing schools so that my child will not have to change schools?
You can plan for this; however, most children do not go to one school for their entire K-12 career. Parents shouldn’t get caught up in planning their child’s entire lifetime. There is a high likelihood that a child will desire to switch schools before finishing high school, and these preferences should be discussed and considered at the appropriate time. The reality is that it’s hard to know now if 4-5 years down the road if that is still the right school for your child. Do what is best for your child for the upcoming 2-3 years first.