This blog post was written by Rachel Yu, Far Hills Country Day School Director of Admission and parent.
It is a challenging time to be a child and to be a parent. While the world has become smaller in many ways, thanks to technology and social media, our children face a broader spectrum of what they’re exposed to than ever before. We, as parents, have to grapple with the questions and concerns that come from that exposure, all while we strive to support our children, keep them informed, and protect them.
I work in education; I am the Director of Admission at Far Hills Country Day School. My husband is a teacher at the school, and both of my children are enrolled students. My son is in Grade 8, about to graduate and go off to Blair Academy, and my daughter is in Grade 5. That said, we are a family that not only values education but looks to the school to help guide us all through the choppy waters of growing up in this era. A school’s mission, values, and community are deeply impactful on a student and their family, so finding a school that aligns with your moral compass is critical.
In the independent/private school world, we are fortunate in that we are not mandated to deliver a particular packaged curriculum. We have the choice and flexibility that allows us to develop and expand our program according to the ever-evolving needs of our students. Parents choose to enroll their children at Far Hills because they know that we can teach their child specifically and the school's culture aligns with their values.
At Far Hills, social and emotional skills are just as valuable as academic skills. With this in mind, we purposefully engrain our Five Pillars into the daily lives of our students: Respect, Responsibility, Kindness, Honesty, and Leadership. Our Pillars help to inform ethical character, encouraging students to develop humility, compassion, and selflessness. Additionally, students practice and develop character skills such as teamwork, creativity, ethics, resilience, curiosity, and time management so that students can go out into the world with confidence and a sense of self. Students leave Far Hills with enduring life skills.
As a parent at Far Hills, I know I made the right choice for my children. I see
it in the way they think about themselves and their community. My children share their ideas with us and we discuss what they are learning and hearing at school. They are able to articulate their opinions and questions, while respectfully hearing other points of view. They are able to use Far Hills’ Pillars and the character skills, not only in the classroom but also at home. I can say confidently, “Yes, this is how I want our children to be raised.”
One of the most profound indications of Far Hills being the right “fit” for my family is my Grade 5 daughter's approach to the world. My daughter is tenacious and ambitious. She knows how to advocate for herself and think on her feet. And she is living a real childhood; she and her friends play imaginative games during recess. I love this about her life at school because it’s allowing her to be ten years old. I know she’ll be ready for the world—she’s being taught how to think critically. But right now, I want her to enjoy being a child. She’s only ten once, after all.
For the last eight years, I have trusted this school to help me raise my children, and it has fully aligned with my values as a parent. I know that many schools do not have the flexibility to adapt according to what their community needs, but, fortunately, Far Hills does.
I encourage you to call me. I’d love to tell you about what we do differently here, from the perspective of a parent, as well as the Director of Admission. I also invite you to visit us to see for yourself if what we provide is what you want for your child in these formative years. In addition to the myriad of educational benefits received at Far Hills, my children have learned joyfully and celebrated their youth. This school has preserved their childhood and, for that, I could not be more grateful.