|Christina Simon, Celebrity Mom, Dayna Devon and Porcha Dodson at an event Dayna held at her home for Wagon Wheel and Montessori Shir-Hashirim Preschool parents last year. Dayna is now a mom at Curtis School.|
Whenever we speak to groups of parents who are applying to private elementary schools, I talk about how I developed a “family message.” This is a concept Anne Simon, my co-author and step-mom, helped me come up with. It’s the way I was able to write about and discuss our family’s attributes, interests and child. I used these points in our written applications, parent interviews and even thank you notes.
Your family message should be unique to your family. But, don’t be afraid to share things that your family values like diversity, the outdoors or the arts. This is really about helping the admissions directors get to know your family!
During talks, we mention that if you are a graduate of one of the schools where you are applying, you should discuss that. For example, “As a graduate of XYZ school, I would like my child to benefit from the outstanding education I received. My experience at XYZ school has benefited me academically and socially throughout my life (explain further if needed).
We also discuss ways you can describe your child that steer away from cliches like “leader” or “precocious” which tend to be overused and vague. Try to explain your child’s unique attributes in a straightforward manner. For example, “Henry will pass the ball to any kid who is open on his soccer team. He doesn’t care whether the kid is the best player or not.” This describes qualities like maturity, sharing and leadership without using those words.