Beit Rabban and our family chose one another when my son was four years old. He started the Gan,Beit Rabban's Early Childhood Center, a few months later. He is ten now, and I am glad to say, we made the right choice. The small classes, personal attention, high expectations, and diverse group of really great families appealed to me.
As fall approaches, and my son prepares to enter 5th grade, I’m grappling with how to choose a middle school. I would appreciate your help.
I ended my last school search with a better set of questions and criteria than when I first began to look. I’m curious: what can I do to help prepare my son to get accepted to a middle school. If any of you are looking for a pre-school or a primary school and are considering Beit Rabban, I can tell you why I chose it and why it was right for us.
I want my son to be deeply proud and knowledgeable about Judaism. I want him to understand, respect and enjoy the diverse ways people practice Judaism. I also want him to be empathetic, successful, and happy.
First, about being Jewish. I want my son to develop a lifelong relationship with our texts, practices, and values. Some background about our family. . I am divorced from my son's father. We go to a Modern Orthodox shul. We would only consider schools from the Upper West Side, through Riverdale, and Westchester. I am from Wilmington, DE. There is a Hebrew day school that goes to fifth grade. My brother and sister attended that school. I went to public school, but attended after-school Hebrew school and went to a Hebrew night school through high school. I am the only one of my siblings to remain actively engaged with Judaism.
If I send my son to a Jewish school, it better be a positive experience, on a par with Beit Rabban. An alternative is to send him to a secular school that might not be as much fun as Beit Rabban.
I am seeking empathy or kindness. My son's peers will be the most important influence. Kids tend to be like their parents. If I like the parents, I will probably like the kids. For those of you who have older kids, can you tell me if that is true?
What would middle school success look like for my son? I chose Beit Rabban because it emphasizes learning how to learn. In middle school, he will need to learn a bunch of stuff that will prepare him for a successful high school or college career, social networking, and extra-curricular activities. He is a joyful learner and I would hate to see him lose that joy.
But most important to me is that my son ends up happy over the course of his life. I am very fortunate to make a living doing what I love - science film-making. I have life long friends who said just the right thing at the right time. I want that for my son.
No, who am I kidding - I am a Jewish mom. I want better for my kid.