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Choosing Schools

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 1 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
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For many of us going to school ranks amongst our favourite childhood memories. School experiences can be beneficial to children in many ways, from teaching them new skills to helping them to develop social independence. Selecting the proper option for your grandchild will depend upon many variables, but the most important issue should be that you find a setting with which both you and your child are comfortable! Grandparents who are raising their grandchildren have a number of factors to take into consideration when choosing schools.

Enhancing the Kids' Interests

Schools are wonderful places for children to hone their skills in academic athletic and artistic, areas of interest. Teachers, and classroom assistants are well trained, specialising in the guidance of a particular aged group of children and most schools give kids access to valuable mentoring.

Judging Readiness

While some kids will head off to school with barely a look back over their shoulder, others may experience a bout of separation anxiety. While school can be a fun and exciting experience, there is no need to push a child who is simply not yet ready to be away from home. Many parents and grandparents choose a nursery or play group for their children before school age in order to help them adjust to the idea of being on their own. If that goes well, the child will be prepared for meeting new children and adjusting to their new surroundings.

It is perfectly normal for kids to feel a bit nervous at the idea of being at school, but there are things that grandparents can do to help ease the anxiety. Talking about your own memories of school as a youngster can help, especially if you had mixed feelings at the idea of attending but ended up having a great time. Pairing up with a friend or sibling and going to school together can make the transition easier for shy or fearful kids, assuring them that they will be able to see a familiar face whenever they are feeling homesick.

Important Considerations

When choosing a school, remember that you are looking for an establishment that nurtures healthy, happy children through their learning. The school you decide upon will have a hand in teaching your grandchild social, education and ethical lessons, so choose sensibly and trust in your good judgement!

Remember, a tour of the school is always recommended and you should treat this as your chance to interview the staff and decide if the school meets your standards.

  • Consider your welcome. Were you and your grandchild made to feel welcome by the staff and other children?
  • Are the other children busy with activities? Do they seem to be enjoying themselves?
  • Are the premises clean, bright and suitable for the number of people inside?
  • Are the facilities available appropriate for the number and type of activities being conducted?
  • How does the staff interact with the children?
  • Does the ratio of staff to children seem adequate?
  • Do the disciplinary methods used adhere to your own grandparenting philosophies?
  • Does it seem as though all required healthy and safety practices are being followed?
  • Overall, do you feel impressed with the establishment? Remember, gut reactions are as important as anything else!

When interviewing schools, grandparents shouldn't be meek about asking questions. It is important to understand school policies regarding safety, emergency care, and their ability to meet the special needs of pupils. Also, be sure that all school employees are required to undergo a complete background check as a prerequisite to being hired. When it comes to the health, safety, and well being of precious grandchildren, you cannot be too careful.

Choosing the Best Place

One of the best ways to locate a terrific school is to ask friends and relatives for recommendations, a firsthand testimonial is hard to beat.

There are many schools designed to accommodate children with disabilities or other medical concerns, offering kids who might otherwise miss out on traditional childhood experiences the opportunity to be educated and make firends. Many specialised schools provide necessary medical staff who are well qualified to oversee the administration of medication and are on call in the event of emergencies.

The best schools will strive for a balance of education and stimulation, and will provide both physical and intellectual challenges. While it is good to keep kids busy, over-scheduling is counterproductive. Ultimately, the "best" place is simply the one that is the right fit for your grandchild. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but by doing a bit of research, grandparents can help to assure that the time that their grandchildren spends at school will leave them with many fond memories and an excellent education.

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[Add a Comment]
Grandad - Your Question:
I have an 11 year granddaughter. My son and his partner were never married and have been apart since our Granddaughter was 2. In the early years she lived with her mother until her mother was reported to the school by another parent for abusing our granddaughter. SS were involved and they recommended that she live with her father which she has done for the past 4 years. Her father has always encouraged and facilitated her keeping contact with with her mother but every time she’s spends more than 2 nights with her mother it ends with her mother not being able to cope. Sadly my son is about to receive a custodial sentence. We had always said that in that event we would move to where they live to look after her for the duration. We have now received threatening and disturbing emails from her mother and her mother has contacted the school and told them she does not want us to have anything to do with our granddaughter. We are extremely concerned for our granddaughters welfare. We are not sure how to proceed and wonder if our son can appoint us as her legal guardians. Your advice would be greatly appreciated

Our Response:
The mother has parental responsibilty of her child and therefore will have a natural say on where her child should reside. However, much depends also upon whether social services deem her fit to look after her daughter and the amount of time you have spent in your granddaughter's life to date. Also, as your granddaughter is now age-11 she will also have a say regarding who she would prefer to live with, if there are options. You would really need to talk to social services regarding this matter, as it may be up to the court to decide what it thinks is in the best interests of the child.
ProudGrandparents - 8-Jan-18 @ 12:52 PM
I have an 11 year granddaughter. My son and his partner were never married and have been apart since our Granddaughter was 2.In the early years she lived with her mother until her mother was reported to the school by another parent for abusing our granddaughter. SS were involved and they recommended that she live with her father which she has done for the past 4 years. Her father has always encouraged and facilitated her keeping contact with with her mother but every time she’s spends more than 2 nights with her mother it ends with her mother not being able to cope. Sadly my son is about to receive a custodial sentence. We had always said that in that event we would move to where they live to look after her for the duration. We have now received threatening and disturbing emails from her mother and her mother has contacted the school and told them she does not want us to have anything to do with our granddaughter. We are extremely concerned for our granddaughters welfare. We are not sure how to proceed and wonder if our son can appoint us as her legal guardians. Your advice would be greatly appreciated
Grandad - 6-Jan-18 @ 12:55 PM
Tigga - Your Question:
My grandchildren who are 14 and 9 are living with us (hopefully) temporarily because their Mum and her partner were evicted as their landlord did not pay his mortgage and the bank repossessed their home. They are now classed as homeless and are waiting for emergency accommodation. The children live with us to keep the normality of schooling as we deemed it too stressful for them to move into B&B in a new town and have to change schools. My daughter pays a small amount each week towards the extra costs but I wondered if there is further help available to us?

Our Response:
You would have to check via the Turn2Us link here or call DWP directly to see whether you are eligible to claim any interim benefits.
ProudGrandparents - 29-Mar-17 @ 10:18 AM
My grandchildren who are 14 and 9 are living with us (hopefully) temporarily because their Mum and her partner were evicted as their landlord did not pay his mortgage and the bank repossessed their home. They are now classed as homeless and are waiting for emergency accommodation. The children live with us to keep the normality of schooling as we deemed it too stressful for them to move into B&B in a new town and have to change schools. My daughter pays a small amount each week towards the extra costs but I wondered if there is further help available to us?
Tigga - 28-Mar-17 @ 11:23 AM
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