The OC Insider

By Shelby Barone

The OC Insider

National School Choice Week

There are two things that I always avoid talking about: politics and religion but when it comes to my children’s education I always have something to say.

When my older son first started school in the public school system, everything was just peachy until I learned that he did not fit into the traditional school model. Just like all humans are different, they also learn differently. The problem is that most public schools only teach one style of learning.

When my son did not learn in the way that our local school was required to teach, he started to fall through the cracks. It was not because he was not smart enough, but because he learned differently than his peers. When I attempted to find alternatives to education in Orange County, the opportunities were limited. There was either private school or a charter school.

There are many charter schools in Orange County, and they all have different teaching methods. When I found the school that was the best fit for my son, getting into that school was not an easy process. Charter schools use a traditional lottery method for school entry, and with thousands of kids trying to get into them, it was just the luck of the draw.

We were lucky to have gotten my son into the charter school that was best for his style of learning, Oxford Preparatory Academy South Orange County. Once he started in the school, I saw him begin to soar. He began to love learning again and is being taught based on the multiple intelligence method that fits his personal needs.

I never thought as a parent that I would be so grateful to a school, but I am. This charter school allowed me to have a choice in my child’s education. They saved him and my other two children from falling through the cracks. I do not feel alone anymore because I now have an entire administration fighting for my children to have everything they need to succeed in school.

Not all parents have been as lucky as we have. There are hundreds upon thousands of children who are stuck in failing schools, or schools that do not teach in a method where those children can learn best. Many families cannot afford to move their children into neighborhoods with thriving schools, and are left with no choices with their children’s education.

This week is National School Choice Week. Parents across the Country are speaking up to fight for every child’s right to a good education. As parents, we have the choice to select the cars we drive, the bread we purchase and even the clothes we wear; but we do not have any choice with our children’s public education. Most children are forced to attend their local neighborhood school even if it is a failing school or a school where they do not learn best.

All parents deserve the choice to pick the learning environment that their child needs. Join me in support of National School Choice Week, and help fight for those parents and children that are left with no choices in their educational plan.

Keep up with more from Shelby at the OC Mom Blog.

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