right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We've updated the Topics page of our website to better organize and share our expert content. Read more about it here.

Bowen (Newton) elementary vs private elementary school

NewTwinMomNewTwinMom 12 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
I found this board recently whole exploring private elementary schools. I’ve learned so much from reading your posts already...so thanks so much to everyone who’s taken the time to contribute.
H and I are just starting exploring the concept of private school (along with public school) for our twin boys. They’re 3, and we’re focusing on elementary for the moment. We have no issues with our elementary school (Bowen); we’re learning about it along with private options as we approach K. Kids are currently in a no-fuss preschool for a few hours a day. We’re very hands-on parents and infuse learning into playtime indoors and outdoors. In our view, they’re happy and thriving. We haven’t toured any schools yet (and we plan to). Here are some schools we’ve considered based on proximity/accessibility. We’re just looking for a place that will expose them to a broad range of subjects, including STEM, and a supportive environment for them to develop ECs and other interests. They are URMs, so a diverse and inclusive environment would be really important to us.

Any experience with or thoughts on these would be very much appreciated.

- Bowen Elementary
- Jackson School /Walnut Park Montessori
- Newton/Wellan Montessori School
- The Chestnut Hill School
- British International School of Boston
- Dexter Southfield
- The Park School
- Brimmer and May
- Fessendon

Other options that are less accessible (logistically) but we would consider (eg., by moving) if we could justify the upside (eg., really stellar education, strength in STEM, diverse, etc).

- BBN School
- Cambridge Friends School
- Milton Academy
9 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Bowen (Newton) elementary vs private elementary school

  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1351 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Wait, if they are three years old there is zero way to make an assessment. Kids need time to develop and blossom. Most kids don't begin to exhibit interests and strengths until at least 3rd grade. And they change a lot. The kid who used to jump around becomes the kid who can focus and the kid who was terrible in sports becomes the star player. Sorry to inform you, but your kids might absolutely love a subject which you never thought of. My kids did. And they might be great in a subject you were awful in.
    The best of any educational choice is a place where they can try new things, explore without undue pressure in anything and bloom where they are planted. Parents today believe they can shape their kids all the way from birth to Ph.d. It just makes the kids anxious and filled with undue pressure. But I think most parents of older kids/young adults realize that they have to work with the clay they have and the kids are ultimately the ones who decide on the path they take.
    Those are all great schools. We've had friends at many of them whose children did exceedingly well and kids who hated multiple private schools on your list. It's really personal. And private is not better than public. It really depends on the kid. You should talk to parents of lots of kids about their experiences and do your own homework as your kids grow. There's plenty of time. Believe me. They'll be ready for school choices before you know it.
    · Reply · Share
  • NewTwinMomNewTwinMom 12 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    edited August 17
    Thanks for the response. I appreciate the input. You mentioned you have friends with kids who hated some of these schools and others who loved them. That’s the kind of homework we’re trying to do. Can you shed more light on what they loved vs. what they hated? For what it’s worth, we’re thinking about kindergarten, but if we find a school we really like with a pre-k option, we may move them sooner. Also, we recognize private is not necessarily better than public, which is why our public elementary school is on the list of schools we’re seeking input on. Any direct experience with these would be helpful.
    edited August 17
    · Reply · Share
  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1351 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I will PM you. But remember schools vary based on the kids.
    · Reply · Share
  • NewTwinMomNewTwinMom 12 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks so much!
    · Reply · Share
  • NewTwinMomNewTwinMom 12 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Just wondering if anyone else has thoughts on these or other schools we haven’t considered. Much appreciated.
    · Reply · Share
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5404 replies1 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 28
    Montessori schools are at least in general excellent for preschool and elementary through middle school (I am not familiar with your local Montessori school). However, the transition from Montessori middle school to public high school can be a bit rough for some kids. I mean this from a social point of view, not from an academic point of view.

    If a kid attends public elementary school then they know some of the other kids when they start middle school. Then if they attend public middle school they know some of the other kids when they start high school. Assuming you are in Newton Massachusetts then you have very good public schools.

    One thing you might want to seriously think about is Montessori for preschool, but then public schools starting either in Kindergarten or Grade 1.
    edited August 28
    · Reply · Share
  • vwlizardvwlizard 314 replies32 threadsRegistered User Member
    I actually have to disagree with @DadTwoGirls. My son just transitioned to high school (boarding) from a Montessori school, and I'll say Montessori middle school is a hidden gem. It's the best part of the program if you ask me. All of his classmates were very well prepared to enter either public or private high schools. As I also have a kid in public school and DS has many friends form our LPS, I can say the biggest difference I see between the two is that he never lost his love for learning and can basically adapt to any situation. I highly suggest that even though your kids are 3, if you visit a Montessori school, ask to also see their middle school. What actually sold me on Montessori was when I saw what they "produced". I think the closet Montessori schools that go through middle school near you would be Cambridge and Lexington. Feel free to PM me.
    · Reply · Share
  • NewTwinMomNewTwinMom 12 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @vwlizard, thank you for the response! I’d love to hear more, but I can’t PM you as I don’t have the requisite number of posts yet. I can respond via PM if you initiate the PM.
    · Reply · Share
  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 18 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My kids went to smallish public schools that I would not consider top notch. Both got into every fancy prep school they applied to. My point is that at the elementary school level, especially in an area with solid public schools, you probably cannot go wrong academically. Sure schools have social differences and I used to think they mattered or you could tell what would work and what wouldn't but I am starting to think that a lot of this is just luck and finding something that pretty much works. Trying to map out an academic career for 3 year olds seems like a lot of effort for not much return. Better to just play with your kids than worry about researching schools right now.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity