School: How to Find the Right School for Your Kids
We all do the best we can to make informed decisions about choosing our children’s school, and the first step is educating ourselves about the choices available. This was a huge learning curve for me as I grew up in England and had to learn a lot about American schools from baby day care through second grade, so far.
I guess the first discussion my husband and I had was pretty typical—public or private? If we chose public, what school district do we live in and how does it rate? We poured over school stats, visited a couple of schools, and crunched our budget, too. It was a lot of information to process.
When we decided to choose public we really did a lot of research. Not only did we talk to parents in our neighborhood, my husband also talked to the bus drivers of the school districts we were considering to get a different perspective.
We are doing everything we can to give our boys a strong educational foundation, but I also believe in allowing them to use that foundation to build their own lives. Of course, I want them all to succeed academically and head off to college and great careers, and I’m here to help them reach their goals. But it all starts with a great primary school education, and I’m so glad we chose the school we did. Now we're dealing with the usual challenges—balancing work while helping with homework, school projects and other activities, such as baseball, and trying to support our local school district to the best of our ability.
In the eighteen months since I launched my start-up, I feel all of this has been easier than when I worked for a large corporation. As CEO, I implemented a “Comeback Mom” program with a flexible working program for the AboutOne team. This means all employees (including me) can work flexible hours so they can be a homeroom mom or attend school events, and doctor visits without feeling additional pressure to take time off work. We implemented technologies such as Skype and Zendesk mobile support to chat virtually and do customer support from the park if we want to!
While working in a start-up means much longer hours, of course, our home lives feel less stressful and we feel that we spend more time with our families because of these programs. It turns out that founding a start-up was the best choice for me when it comes to helping my children have the best school experience possible!
What do you do in your family to ensure your kids are getting a good education?
Joanne Lang is a mom of 4 boys, a wife, and the founder and CEO of AboutOne, an online family organizer that turns your phone into a remote control for your life, working with your existing calendar and contact tools so you can automatically organize, store, and share family memories and household paperwork. Through web and mobile apps, AboutOne guides you along the path to organization, rewarding you along the way for meeting your organizational goals.
Picture courtesy of flickr