• Sarah Nantel


I feel my parenting style is nowhere close to a tiger mom or a helicopter mom. I’m the mom you see at the playground sitting on the side and instead of running towards them when they fall, I sit there, smile, and allow them to get back on their own two feet. If they cry for me, I will extend my arms and wait for them to come to me. However, when I started to research different schooling options for my daughters, I can't help but to ask myself whether I am becoming a tiger mom?

With us living close to a K-9 school. A lot of people asked me why don’t I just send the girls there? My answer is they failed the Provincial Report Card done by the government on every single subject. This matter to me a lot. The report card indirectly shows the quality of the teaching method, teachers and peers that my girls will be exposed to. If a school has more than 50% of students achieving excellence on their provincial tests compared to a school with 2% , that makes you wonder what are the differences in those schools which led to the significant variance.

On a side note, communities with higher family income tend to have better performance, which is consistent with researches which indicated that students in high socioeconomic status tend to do better, the exact reasoning still unknown, but could be higher socioeconomic status are able to spend more time with the kids, place higher importance on their education and able to provide better quality of life and better mixed of extracurricular activities.

Victoria is currently in Montessori. It is a child led teaching philosophy and she is thriving in the program! I was once told you don’t necessary choose a good school but choose the right school that fits with your child’s learning style. Great, another thing for me to consider along with academic performance!

Calgary provides a lot of options regarding schooling, from chartered, private, public to home schooling. Here are my findings and thoughts:

  • CHARTERED SCHOOL - Our first thought was Chartered School. It provides private school class sizes with public funding, therefore, no hefty tuition fee. The only downside is the intake is limited and you either have to register as soon as your kids are born (FFCA) or your kids need to be gifted somehow (Westmount).

  • PRIVATE SCHOOL - An unexpected open house at a private school blew us away and took a sharp turn at our school searching journey. We haven't made a firm decision on this yet but the open house definitely opened our eyes for the options out there.

  • PUBLIC SCHOOL - This option is still considered because of the public funding and half day program. I came from public schools and I think I ended up ok! However, with public schools, acceptance is based on whether you live in the school zone or walking zone. This is our last option because it will mean we will have to move into one of the zones.

  • HOME SCHOOL - This is not an option. I never thought of myself as a teacher, let alone teaching my own kids. I can follow instructions from the educational blogs and sit beside her while she does exercise books, but that is the extent. Plus, I still have to teach her Chinese!

Ok, so I might be a tiger mom afterall, but maybe just in the educational aspect. It's not a bad thing being a tiger mom, right?