Educational Success for Kids Depends on the Existence of Choices

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by Candise Gilbert

The necessity of selection began the moment I learned I would become a parent. It became my job, and truly my greatest passion to make choices I felt were in the best interest of my child. Every aspect of parenthood from diapering and feeding to sleeping and behavior includes a significant number of options. An even greater number of opinions, both solicited and unsolicited can be found! I continually make choices on behalf of my children based on my acquired knowledge of what is best for them.

Parenting with intention did not change for me when my child became old enough for school. The passion remained, and perhaps even intensified as she grew. I have long understood the value of her education and I felt it imperative to be involved. It has always been my job as a parent to be aware. I didn’t feel I could sit passively and merely react. There were things that I knew about her personality, her strengths, her weaknesses, her learning styles and her limitations. It was, and will forever be my job to be highly involved in her education.

I continue to enjoy the responsibility of being an active part of the education she receives in her formative years. I am thrilled with the current educational choices available in our Idaho community. I believe that educational choices are as valuable and necessary as any other choices available for our developing youth. My daughter attended and had a great experience for a few years in our neighborhood public school. She is currently thriving in a charter public school, where she is able to learn and grow in response to her capabilities.

I will never say that the path I have chosen is the “only” path, nor is it the right path for everyone. It is what is best for us, made possible by options I have actively sought out. I have another young daughter; I’m still in the phase of sleep and food and behavior choices but soon it will be time for me to seek out the best educational opportunities for her. She has her own unique set of talents and challenges. I look forward to options. I look forward to choices and the ability to do what I feel will best promote learning and growth for her.

I feel strongly that the educational success of our children depends on the existence of choices. Let us provide options, offer support, and continually encourage our developing youth in ways that will promote the greatest growth and empower them to reach their full potential.

Written by Candise Gilbert, a parent from Alturas International Academy in Idaho Falls.