I always get this question. And every time, there is a lag between the question and my answer. I struggle for words to explain that I look for school that would meet each of my child’s needs and not the other way around. I’ve learned my lesson already and I don’t want to make the same mistake twice.
My eldest son Marcus was diagnosed with mild ADHD. He doesn’t have learning disability, actually his IQ is above average and he is as normal as any normal child can be, except for one, he needs more attention. He would always get a bad remark for his behavior because of that. His psychologist recommended that I enrol him in a school with small class size (15 students or below) so that he can get the right attention that he needs. BUT because I didn’t want Marcus to feel that he has special needs, I still enrolled him in a traditional school. I tried to talk to the guidance councilor and adviser to make sure that his needs are addressed. They made promises that they were not able to keep. When these traditional schools gave up on Marcus, namely Don Bosco Makati and San Agustin, I was forced to look for another school. Blessing in disguise, Australian International School was referred to me. Since Day 1, they did not disappoint me. Now, Marcus is always on the top 5 (among 15 kids with different nationalities), he has proven his leadership skills, getting (almost) straight As, varsity player in basketball and learning to play the piano and bass with minimum supervision. Opportunities that for sure won’t be presented to him from schools he came from.
My second child, Zach, goes to San Agustin. He fits the traditional school discipline. I honestly would want to pull him out from that school because the number of students there per class is so big already (almost 50), not to mention how they treated my eldest son. But so far Zach is doing well. He has good grades, speaks well and is confident of himself. I don’t want to stop his momentum by transferring him to another school. Maybe in highschool. So what I do now is I enrol him to other activities such as kumon and swimming. I also tell him to read books about important things not usually taught in school, like financial education.
My only daughter goes to Assumption College. She was enroled in a progressive school last year. There was great improvement in her in terms of social skills and independence but I transferred her this year because in terms of acads, they’re not much of a hurry. That scares me because I don’t want Lia to be left behind. Also I want her to get values and religious education. In Assumption, there are 16 students in her class (compared to 20+ in CSA for Kindergarten). I am still observing Lia’s progress, but so far so good. I will also enrol her to special class on top of Kumon.
There. I believe that I am in the best position to identify what my children’s needs are in terms of learning and development. I don’t want to force my kids in an environment which cannot provide my children’s best interest. So help me God.