Project based learning may be helpful to some, but didn't prove helpful for my student. I think he would have progressed a lot further in a traditional class room. Had higher hopes for this school than came to fruition. Treatment of folks toward the end was disheartening. Teachers didn't seem invested in students which bothered me. While it may be positive for some families; it wasn't for mine.
I think it teaches the children a false sense of self-confidence, but not self-control or thoughtfulness toward others. It's very hard to develop a sense of belonging unless you're in the inner circle. It was an odd experience for me, and not what I expected. Disappointed really in the lack of nurturing and lack of appreciation for each family's values and uniqueness. Seems to be a school only for a select crowd.
Family School has a peer mediation program where students are trained and guided by a professional mediator, and hearing the kids talk about how it feels to work things out with friends is really cool. Although I teach my daughter to be kind to others, having the opportunity to work with others on these skills is empowering to her.
Ignore the reviews from mid-february. The family school facebook group decided to wage a war on people who didn't like the school. My son (5th) and daughter (1st) are trapped at the family school because of a custody situation I'm in with my ex wife. She enrolled the kids at the family school and because we have joint custody, I can't move them unless we agree on it. Why do I hate the family school? My son is struggling and I have yet to find a way to successfully get the school to provide an appropriate education. When you have a child in 5th grade who does not know his times tables or how to add and subtract by 10's, the school makes excuses like "People will just use the calculators on their phones in the future".. Well, thank you! I'm so glad that you're writing off any possible future my son might have that requires him to be able to do math in his head. Thank you family school!
After reading the previous reviews I felt the need to share our experience. Our son, who is now in 2nd grade and has attended Family School since kinder, is on the autism spectrum and we have actually found it to be a great fit for him. Although I could see how it may not be a great environment for some children on the spectrum depending on their individual challenges/strengths, we have found it to be an environment in which our son is allowed to be his quirky self and the staff and students are very accepting of his unique and sometimes challenging behavior (this doesn't mean he gets away with disruptive, inappropriate behavior). He is doing very well academically and we are thankful for a school where children are looked at more individually and are allowed to be creative.
My son was at a nearby school where he was getting instructions on how to read based on a curriculum that the Title I staff knew how to teach. They never deviated to something else even when their students weren't improving. My son started hating to read. I moved my son to Family School and they taught my son from his level of reading. They tried different ways of teaching reading. One year later here I am with a son who loves to read again. The teachers at Family School do not just teach what was told to them to teach. They are true professional teachers that reaches the kids at their level, and teach multiple styles to reach all learners. By the way the other school is now being watched for their scores not being improved. Any issue your student has is carefully discussed by the staff and other district perfessionals to do everything possible to not only teach kids but to give them the foundation of being a well rounded member of our society. Thank you to all the professional teachers and staff at Family School!
I cannot say enough good things about Family School. My kindergartner hated preschool, and we feared he would despise school. But he absolutely loves it! He begs to go to school when he's sick and asks to do schoolwork in his free time. I volunteer occasionally in the kindergarten classroom, and I'm consistently impressed with the instructor and her assistant and the high level of parent involvement. I love that the focus is not primarily on students' sitting at desks and doing worksheets, since research has shown how detrimental sitting is for human health and brain development. The kids are often up and moving and engaged in a rotation of different small-group activities. They learn to work together and speak in front of each other at the same time as they're introduced to academic concepts. My son's math and reading skills have improved exponentially since he started school, and so have his inter-personal skills. When we walk into the Family School hallway each morning, it's hard not to smile. It's a wonderful, happy place, and we feel fortunate to be a part of it. I wish more schools would adopt Family School's successful model of instruction.
A parent new to our school approached me with questions about some reviews she read here. I'd not heard of the site, and when I read what a few people have posted I was surprised at how their experience differs so much from my own. Family School has been a blessing for our family. I have two children in family school, and one who looks forward to doing so in a few years. Entering Family school at kindergarten, our eldest was met with kindness and understanding, and the support he needed to master skills he finds challenging due to some developmental delays. Having the same homeroom teacher for his 1st-3rd grade years allowed for regular communication on his learning progress, and a sense of comfort and safety in a familiar home base at school. Now a fourth grader, he's progressing well in school, and looks forward to learning more.
Might be a good fit for kids with ADHD, but not a good learning environment for the rest. Certainly children on the spectrum should avoid this confusing mass of chaos. I'm disappointed given the schools report cards to find academics are subpar, and the older elementary children are cliquish and snotty. A lot of under the radar bullying at this school with mostly spoiled middle class families masquerading as hippies. I suppose it's great for the inner circle, but hardly a family environment for the rest. There are other nearby schools with far more family oriented activities and a more diverse group of kids, making it more likely yours will find their niche.