Earlier this week, we introduced you to The British International School of Houston which is located right here in Katy off Westgreen. We had the opportunity to tour this internationally renowned school and meet many of the administrative staff, and to say we were impressed is an understatement. Our kids do not attend private school, but it’s an option to explore and it’s been eye opening to see the difference between the options. There is no right answer when it comes to schooling for your family, each family and each child is different and has different needs. Since our kids do not attend BIS Houston, we decided to talk to a local mom, Julie, who did choose that BISH was the right choice for her family. Check out her Meet a Mom interview below to learn why she chose BISH for her family and what her experience has been like thus far. Plus, aside from being a mom of BIS students, Julie also had a 19 year career as a Pediatric Physical Therapist and is the Field Director with the Miss Texas Organization!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the Katy area?
I am originally from Charlotte, NC. My husband’s career brought us to Texas in 2013. We lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for six years before relocating to Katy in June 2019.
How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
We have two children; a son – age 9 and a daughter – age 11.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Katy?
Katy has a small town feel with a lot to offer. It has easy accessibility to Houston and a variety of other destinations. We love that there are many things to do in Katy; tons of biking and walking trails, parks, restaurants, shopping, and fun places for the kids to enjoy, i.e. Urban Air, GlowZone, Main Event, etc. It is also nice that we can take fun day trips to the Houston Zoo, NASA, Kemah Boardwalk, or Galveston.
Best mom hack that makes life easier?
Bag up and donate regularly. As we all know, kids accumulate a lot of stuff. I try to go through their closets and toys at least twice a year and donate to those in need. I typically donate to Goodwill, but local women’s shelters are always a great option as well. This is a great way to declutter and organize your kids’ rooms and closets, while helping those in need.
What are your favorite local things to do in Katy? (with kiddos or just for mom!)
As a family, we love going on family bike rides. Exploring the local restaurants and shops has been a bit challenging over the past year due to COVID, but this is something we typically love to do as well.
We’re big on self-care for moms, as hard as it is to find the time, what’s something you do just or yourself?
I love staying fit and one thing I love is yoga. It is my way to gain strength and flexibility, while also calming my mind. COVID has made going to the gym or yoga studio a bit more of a challenge, but I typically try to fit in a yoga class 2-3 times per week. We recently bought a Peloton bike, though, and this has been a wonderful way to stay fit and safe in the time of COVID.
What do you do outside of being a mama? (Hobbies, volunteering, career)
Although I am not currently working outside of being a mom, I practiced as a Pediatric Physical Therapist for 19 years. Working with children with developmental delays and disabilities has always been something that I have enjoyed. I love seeing the children make improvements and love making a positive difference in the lives of the children and their families. As a hobby, I have been involved as a volunteer with the Miss America Organization since 1999. I am currently a Field Director with the Miss Texas Organization, where I volunteer to help local scholarship competitions run smoothly. The Miss America Organization is currently the largest scholarship provider to women in the world. It has changed and progressed significantly over the last several years and currently focuses on rewarding young women with scholarships for achievement in the areas of academics, community service, public speaking, and the performing arts. I enjoy my time volunteering and getting to know the talented young women that choose to participate in the program.
We recently connected with British International School of Houston and would love to learn more about your experience with your children there. What grades are your kids in and how long have they been students at BIS?
My son is in Year 4, which equates to Third Grade, and my daughter is in Year 6, which equates to Fifth Grade. They started in January 2020.
Why did you decide that private school was best for your family and how did you end up choosing BIS?
Both of our children LOVE science. Our daughter is very artistic and our son excels in Math. We love that BISH offers a STEAM curriculum; STEM plus the Arts. They partner with MIT and Julliard for curriculum development. This is something that really impressed us and made us think that BISH would be a great fit for our children. BISH offers STEM-focused summer camps during the summer. I would highly recommend giving one of these camps a try!
What advice do you have for moms that are considering private school for their children?
I would encourage moms to inquire about curriculum, class size, teacher qualifications, facility features, and other amenities such as after school programs. As with anything, just make sure any school is the right fit for your child’s personality and learning style.
What do you think sets British International School apart from other private schools in the area?
BISH offers an International Baccalaureate program, which we think will prepare our children not just for college anywhere in the country, but anywhere in the world! I also refer back to their STEAM program. My daughter is learning to play the violin and piano through highly qualified music instructors at school. They have instructors from all over the world, which I believe offers children a variety of perspectives to learn from. Perhaps the biggest thing that I have noticed is that all of the teachers are so very kind. They make all of the children feel confident and, overall, it is a very positive learning environment. I don’t think there is any better way to set your children up for success than to place them in an environment in which they feel supported.
How has the school impacted your kids positively?
Both kids love going to school. They are always excited about learning, which is a wonderful thing to witness. They are making friends with children from all over the world, which is such a wonderful opportunity. I have watched them learn, grow, gain confidence, and mature since starting at BISH last January.
What is your favorite thing about having your kids at BIS?
I love that they are attending school with children from 60+ other countries. In addition to learning from the curriculum, they are learning about other cultures just from interacting with the other children at school. I also love that languages are offered. Both of my children are learning Spanish and they are loving it.