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theschoolboards
04-28-2011, 12:11 PM
This from Kim Hamer of GetIntoPrivateSchool.com:

I'm going to share with you how to write your family message. Writing a family message doesn't take very long and is not that hard. What it does require is focus.

The key to a good family message is brevity. You want to keep it short so you can repeat it to yourself quickly. Remember, your family message will be used to help you decide if a school is a good fit and to sell your family to a school, which you will do specifically on your application and in your interview.

To get started, there are 5 questions you want to answer:

Question 1: What is outstanding about who you and your partner are?
As a single parent or a couple in a partnership, you have unique attributes. It can be anything. Do you both have advanced degrees or speak multiple languages in your home? Are you a good amateur musician or work for an interesting non-profit? Maybe you grew up in a unique living situation or are a first generation college grad. There is something that is unique about you and unique about your partner, something that gives you pride when you share it with others. That is what you want to write down.
Question 2: Who is your child?
Can you describe your child using 5 words or less? First, only use 5 words (three is better … easier to remember). Second, don't use common words like: cute, happy, easygoing, smart or friendly. Take a good long watch of your child. Who is he/she? Is he/she shy, reticent, gregarious, curious? Be as honest as you can.
Question 3: What does your family lack that you hope a school will provide for your child?
I love art, but I can't draw, paint or sculpt a lick. It was important to Art and it's important to me that our kids attend an elementary school that emphasizes the arts. What area do you want a school to cover that you feel you are lacking in? Good literature, music, exposure to diversity?
Question 4: What specific skills, professional or otherwise, do you have that you can offer the school?
Are you a great photographer, painter or musician? Are you really good with lighting or are you an organizational maven? Do you have a good eye for design? Are you a great community organizer? Take a good look at the skills you have that you can offer a school.
Question 5: How have you volunteered in the past?
This can be combined with Question 4. Private schools, like public ones, rely on parents to help with everything from parent tours to publishing the yearbook. Do you have any experience volunteering? Don't forget to include your pre-child experience as well.
GetIntoPrivateSchool.com Simple Action Steps

1. Write your responses to the questions above.
2. Review your responses.
3. Play with them for a few months to prepare for September.

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Kim Hamer, The Private School Admissions Expert, is founder of the 7 Steps to Acceptance System™, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to get your child into private elementary, private middle or private high school. To get your F.R.E.E. 7 Steps to Getting Into Private School by e-mail and receive Kim's weekly admissions secrets articles on getting the private education you want for your child, visit www.GetIntoPrivateSchool.com (http://www.GetIntoPrivateSchool.com).