Choosing The Right School (Not As Scary As It Seems): The Mom Hour, Episode 16

Repeat after us, moms: It’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.

Choosing a school for your child can seem like a life-altering, permanent decision. In Episode 16, Meagan and Sarah are here to reassure you that it isn’t. We share our own experience making school choices for our kids, from private to public to home schooling to charters to magnets to lotteries to…

(Nope, not kidding. We’ve actually experienced, and discuss in this episode, all of those things.)

If you’re in the process of finding the right school or program for your kids, we hope you’ll join us for this discussion, and leave us a comment below!

Meagan and Sarah both survived their neighborhood public schools - and turned out just fine!

Meagan and Sarah both survived their neighborhood public schools – and turned out just fine!

Links we discuss in Episode 16:


Don’t forget that there’s still time to enter the giveaway to kristinshop! Check the show notes from Episode 15 for details. Contest runs through August 25.


  1. I’m in the thick of school changes for two kids (ages 5 and 1) and the decisions leading up to this point have created a lot of stress and worry — probably unnecessarily. I’ve learned that community is a BIG sticking point for me, more so than any educational philosophy. I don’t consider myself averse to change, but when it comes to choosing daycares and schools, I get nervous. It is ingrained in me that a school choice IS forever. I grew up in a rural area where I had to grin and bear it with the same people, in the same school building, for all 13 years. The great irony is that as a kid, I would’ve LOVED to make a fresh start. However, going to a K-12 school gave me roots and a desire to seek and build community in institutions.

    My son started kindergarten last week. We’re in a unique situation where our neighborhood school is in the process is being built, so the kids in our neighborhood are scattered across three public schools and a few others go to the parochial schools. We ended up “choosing” the feeder school assigned to us because the start/end times and after-school program seemed like the best option for the whole family. (Great point that school choices have to work for the whole family unit, by the way.) I spent literally months fretting about my son being away from his neighborhood friends. Guess what? It hasn’t bothered him a bit. He loves his school and still gets to play with his “home friends” in the evenings and on weekends. It’s been a huge wake-up call that I need to chill out and trust the process more.

    We’re fortunate that the public schools in our town are very strong and nobody puts much stock in those Greatschools ratings because they reflect our town’s socioeconomic status more than educational quality.

    Many of the points you discussed can apply to daycare and preschool, too. After being at the same large center for five years, we’re moving our 1-year-old to a small church-based center where we know exactly one other parent. It’s not as well-known as our current “name brand” center, but it follows many of the same guidelines. The most important thing is that she’s in a nurturing, caring environment.

    Bless you if you made it this far. Needless to say, this topic struck a chord! Thanks for the reminder that nothing is forever and change is always possible if things aren’t working out well.

  2. I have so many conflicting thoughts about this topic. On one hand, I know that my kids will do fine anywhere. My husband and I did well in school and we are involved parents. On the other hand, I want to expose the boys to a variety of subjects (art, science, music, PE, etc) and I know that isn’t necessarily available everywhere. I go round and round and I hope that as the kids get older, their needs will become more apparent and help me to make the choice.

    Also, thanks for including the link to the Design Mom post. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and her comments really resonated with me. I do think that I have a responsibility to help improve the schools for all kids, especially since not all parents have the time or resources.

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