Schools for High Energy Kids
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Schools for High Energy Kids
Our HIGHLY spirited child will be going to kindergarten next
year. Can parents of spirited children recommand a school
that cherishes the spirit and allows spirited children to
While I don't think my son fits all the characteristics of being
spirited he is very active and outgoing, and is thriving at
Aurora School (he is now in 1st grade). The program is
developmental and doesn't require as much sitting still and
being quiet as some more academic or structured
kindergartens. At the same time students are expected to
respect each other and the teachers, be good listeners, and
generally create a kind community for learning. The program
also has wonderful art, music, movement and spanish. I
would definitely check it out and see if you think it would be a
good fit for your child.
Our daughter is a very high-energy kid. She was at
for kindergarten last year, and we were delighted with
it. The classes are quite small, and the teachers are
excellent. She learned a great deal -- both socially and
academically. Things were a little bumpy in the beginning as
she adjusted to all the changes -- new school/teacher/kids and
the tremendous difference between of the expectations/program of
pre-school and those of kindergarten. However, she came to love
her teacher and the school. We were particularly impressed with
how they were able to set firm but loving limits with her,
reasonably accomodate her needs, and encourage/support her
strengths. For example, she loves to do cartwheels and does
them all the time -- down the street, in the supermarket, and at
school. It does not work to simply tell her that she cannot do
them. You have to figure out how she can do them but be safe.
When she began to do them in her classroom last year, the
teacher talked to her about it and worked out an agreement with
her that if she needed to do cartwheels, she could go to the
dead-end hallway that adjoins the classroom, do them there, and
then come back to class. This worked out very well and
prevented the issue from becoming a big deal. Good luck with
the process of finding the right school. It is difficult,
demanding, and important. I hope you are able to find the right
place for your child.
My son just started kindergarten at
Walden Center & School in
central Berkeley. He's not especially spirited in the way you
mean, but the school seems to leave a lot of time for outdoor
free play between more structured activities. Walden is
definitely an alternative school and not right for everyone.
There are mixed-age classes, no standardized testing, and a lot
of integration of the arts into all types of lessons. The
teachers seem to understand what kids are like and what they
need, so it might be a good fit for you.
Just a little bit of a suggestion... Spirited can mean a lot
of things. If you have a particularly high maintenance kid, you
may want to seriously look at public school, where there may not
be as high standards of behavior as a private school.
Last spring our private school informed us
that they could not offer my son a place in their second-grade class.
They also denied admission to our younger son, who started
kindergarten this year. Our older son, while excelling in all academic
areas, consistently had trouble meeting the school's standards of
behaviour. As parents, we never thought of those standards as
unrealistic and always tried our best to help him meet them. We
continue to give his behavior lots of attention, and both boys are
succeeding fairly well with impulse control, following instructions,
etc., at their new school--though much room for improvement remains.
Unfortunately, the school lacks the resources to really challenge
them academically or enrich their education beyond the basics.
Besides being "active," they are both _exceptionally_ intelligent and
eager to learn. My question is: should I apply to private schools for
next year? Can anyone recommend a school that does well with this
type of kid? We live in South Berkeley and would prefer somewhere
nearby if possible.
My son is a very high energy child and got in so much trouble for it at his
pre-school that I voluntarily got him out before they expelled him. For
that reason, I have decided to put him in private school vs. our
neighborhood public school. My son attends
Redwood Day School in Oakland,
where he absolutely loves it. He started in their pre-K program and is now
in Kindergarten. In my opinion, their success is based on a healthy balance
between a very challenging academics program and a wonderful physical, arts
and science program, which includes 3 PE classes a week, music, art,
swimming, Spanish, computer classes. I firmly believe that my son would not
thrive in an environment where only the basics of education are taught. I
would love to give you more specific information, so feel free to call me.
I think that high energy boys might do better in an environment where
their behavior doesn't stick out and make them "the troublemaker". There
was a thread a year or so about private school and ADD, which sounds as though it may not be the case for your boys, but is still relevant.
(See Middle Schools for ADD and LD Kids for that review)
FWIW, I think a good public school is likely to have less rigid views
of behavior than many private schools.
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