By Michelle Calhoun, Parent and Dir. of Marketing and Enrollment at Redeemer School

Time passes too quickly when our children are young, and before we know it the time is here to begin looking at schools and deciding where they will best learn and grow into lifelong learners. As mothers, we want the school to nurture our children the way we have for the past four or more years and feed their desire for learning and creating with wonderful stories, music, art, and hands-on experiences. We want school to be an extension of the values being taught at home and a place where our children feel like they are part of a community or family.

There were so many options available to us when ours were little: public, charter, magnet, private, religious, and home schools. I wondered how I would know the best fit for our children and our family? As a former public middle school teacher I began to think about the choices available to me and I developed my own list of what was important to help foster lifelong learning.

Small Class Size: I wanted a smaller student to teacher ratio. The school not only needed to currently have small classes but be committed to smaller classes in their educational philosophy. As a teacher, I knew how hard it was to teach a class of up to 31 students and meet their individual educational needs. Studies show that class size can affect a child’s educational growth.

Rich Literature-Based Curriculum: Part of my desire in raising children who are lifelong learners is for them to love reading wonderful stories. I wanted to see great works of literature being read as a significant part of their curriculum and books available to students in the classroom. Literature should also be used to help teach other subjects such as science, history, grammar, writing, etc.

The Arts: Art and Music are such wonderful outlets for children to express themselves. To learn about the role music and art has played throughout history, be able to build a relationship with famous composers and artists, appreciate their works, and then create art was important.

Hands-On Experiences/Field Trips: I LOVED field trips! Field trips and hands-on activities help bridge learning in the classroom to real life experiences. Experience fosters internalization which leads to better comprehension of the subject. There is nothing greater than watching your child ‘get’ what the teacher is teaching and then be able to explain the concept to you.

Partnering with Parents: I wanted to volunteer and be a part of the various activities in class and in school. Developing a sense of community with the school and serve alongside other parents was important. Education is a partnership between the parents and school, and volunteering helps me connect with both the staff and students.

Safety: Due to events that took place when I was a teacher, I wanted to know that the school was taking every precaution in keeping my child safe. I wanted to see doors locked and be able to ask about the safety procedures to know my daughter would FEEL safe at school in the classroom with her teacher and peers.

Biblical World View: As a believer, I wanted my children to continue to be taught how to discern truth from error using the Bible as the filter. I wanted the school’s values to be supportive of our values and to have the Bible integrated throughout the curriculum, not just in Bible class.

I found that Redeemer School was and is the right fit for my children! I have watched them grow into lifelong learners and develop wonderful relationships with students in various grades. It is a nurturing place where children are encouraged, challenged and taught to feed on inspiring ideas from the best of literature and the arts. I love that Transitional Kindergarten through 2nd grade classes are only half days allowing children to play, rest, soak in what has been taught and be excited to return the next day. Our headmaster, Billy Creech is outside every morning with our middle school safety patrol greeting each child by name.

Over the years I have come to love this school and feel a part of the Redeemer School family. It is the sense of community and the quality of education received at Redeemer that has given me a desire to continue to be an active part of the school. As a parent watching my children graduate from Redeemer’s middle school over the next two years, I find myself surprised at how fast time has passed and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of what God has done and is doing in our children and school.

Sponsored by Redeemer School