HGSE with Kids

I’m at HGSE with four children, ages 13, 11, 6 and 4.

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Furthermore, my husband is still in North Carolina, holding down the fort and putting food in our bellies while this grad school adventure unfolds for the rest of us here. (How do I do it? With an amazing nanny!)

One of my biggest worries about applying and attending was the nebulous idea that Harvard might not be “family friendly.” Here is Dean Ryan with my younger children at the Halloween party:

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He read to all of the children at the event, but he took time to connect with my kids in a kind, gentle, genuine way prior to the formal start of the event.  That’s how it feels here.  Family friendly isn’t a platitude.  It’s real.

When I was trying to determine if I could really move away and do this with kids, and if HGSE was really genuine about its commitment to student parents, this is what finally convinced me:

2015 Commencement Video

Watch at 1:14.  That was the moment that I knew HGSE wanted success for families, not just in a token way, but sincerely acknowledging the balance that student-parents need to manage on a daily basis.  The downside is that I miss out on a lot of evening events.  The upside is that I put everyone to bed and get quite a lot of homework done!

When I needed to come late to class this week to attend my son’s first grade author event, my professor wrote, “Take your time – you are in the right place.”  Indeed.

Charlotte Dungan is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Learning and Teaching program. She has worked in home education networks, independent schools, museum education and summer camps. She has a passion for child-directed learning experiences and plans to start a Family School upon graduation.

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