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Moving to NoVa! Need advice please!!!


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Well sort of out of the blue, dh got offered a job in NoVa and it's a good, stable position so now we're moving. It won't be for a couple months so I'm glad I have some time research and ask here if anyone can give me advice.

 

How would I get involved with a homeschooling community there?

 

Are there co-op classes available? Where?

 

Places to live? Dh's job will be in the Fair Oaks area, but the office will be moving by next year to the Tyson's Corner area.

 

Even though I plan to continue homeschooling, we take it on a year by year basis, so I'd like to know about the schools too.

 

Ds4 is in a Montessori preschool currently, anyone know of a good one there?

 

Ds6 has a sensory processing disorder and what has been working so far for him is being in A LOT of extracurricular activities. Any advice on where to go for soccer, gymnastics, swimming, ice skating, horseback riding lessons? (I know it's a lot but it's cheaper than OT for us)

 

Best way to find a rental? I'd love to have 4 bedrooms and a yard.

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you for any advice on this!!!

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I grew up in Fairfax and loved the atmosphere -- culture, music, etc. DH and I lived in Greenbrier when we were first married, just west of Fair Oaks.

 

Unfortunately we moved away in 2001, and so I doubt any advice I have would be worthwhile. But I hope someone else here has some suggestions!

 

Blessings,

Gwen

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There is a very large homeschooling community in this area so it shouldn't be hard to find people wherever you are.

 

We are in Vienna, which would be close to Tysons and Fair Oaks. There are a LOT of homeschoolers in Vienna, I find more and more every day. A lot of it is going to depend on what you can pay for housing. It's expensive here and the closer in you are, the more of a premium. We bought our current house about a year ago. When we were looking I looked at rentals also. Rentals in Vienna/Falls Church in the 3-4 bedroom category were around $2000/month. We used these websites a lot looking at houses: http://franklymls.com/. I can't remember if it had rentals also.

 

For homeschool info I'd recommend Sharenet. You write them at SHARENET@att.net and ask to be added to the list. It's a weekly list of homeschool activities in the area. It's almost overwhelming in the amount there is to do.

 

Fairfax County (and also Arlington and Loudon) has great parks and rec center network with excellent classes in almost anything. We've done swimming, gymnastics, nature center, ice skating and various sports through them. You can browse the offerings here http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes/

 

There are many co-ops in the area if you are interested. Many are listed on the Sharenet newsletter or once you know where you will be it might be easier to get more specific info.

 

There is a group called FISHE that offers a homeschool soccer league. There are also many other homeschool sports and other extracurricular options. Many are listed on Sharenet.

 

The schools are considered very good. I have concerns about the focus on testing and the way they deal with gifted students (very early tracked and put in separate schools) but overall most people consider them good. I know lots of people in public schools that are very very happy. I find it vaguely amusing as you'll hear people argue over which of certain schools are better but in reality many of the Fairfax schools are considered to be in the top in the nation so it's all kind of silly.

 

There are several Montessori preschools in the area. I know people at the one in Reston and the one in McLean who are very happy. I haven't used them myself.

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I recommend subscribing to sharenet : twice-monthly email newsletter of ideas, activities and information for Northern Virginia homeschooling families. Contact: SHARENET@att.net

 

This will help you get an idea of the variety of co ops, classes, play days and field trips.

 

How close you can get to your dh's work depends on what you can afford. 4 bedrooms and a yard can be pricey. I have a 4 bedroom townhouse (older so quite large). Our community has a lot of open space so I feel like I have a yard, but don't have to care for it. I'm in Reston. This is convenient to Fair Oaks and Tysons. Like anywhere, there are cheaper neighborhoods where you can rent, but you may not actually want to live. You can go further out to Loudoun county. Many people like Loudoun. But you wanted to know about schools and it sounds like you have a special needs kiddo. I'm a special ed teacher and I have a special needs child. I will not be moving to Loudoun. I would not trust Loudoun with my child. I worked in Loudoun many many years ago and I currently work for a private school that takes some spec ed placements from Loudoun. From what I've seen I do not want to consider locating my dc there. Within Fairfax county there a schools I'd have my dc attend and schools I'd never consider. That's better figured out once you narrow down your target location by your price range.

 

I know there is a stable that offers therapeutic riding in Great Falls, which is between Reston and Tysons. Great Falls is generally a very expensive place to live, but if it turns out to be in your price range, certainly a good place to live. There's a few other therapeutic riding programs dotted in the outer suburbs of Northern Virginia, so you will find something to fill that need.

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Come to Lorton! Look for rentals in Pohick Estates--smaller, but a nice neighborhood across US 1 from me (it's a highway, but more of a multi-lane "big street," not a I-95 right here).

There are really good co-ops near us (look up Sky Chase for one of the best and least expensive--and I know someone from WTM there! lol). Fairfax County has pretty good schools, but stay away from Hayfield Secondary.

There's a stable 5 miles from Pohick Estates, and another about 6 miles away that offers theraputic riding.

 

I'd say we are 30 minutes from Tysons.

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Check out Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) www.heav.org

 

Be sure to subscribe to the weekly email newsletter. http://www.heav.org/resources/update.html

 

and the free quartlery magazine http://www.heav.org/resources/home-educator.html

 

They have a very extensive website and they sponsor a convention each June in Richmond that is the best!!

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I'm not sure if you are religious but many of the Catholic parishes in the area have good homeschool groups going, my parish in Gainesville, VA (about 20 minutes west of Fair Oaks) has one of the best homeschool co-ops I've found with 150 active families. If you are interested in learning more please PM me.

 

Be prepared to spend a good amount of money on rent! A 4 bedroom house could easily run you 3k + per month, even as far-flung outside the city as I am currently located. It is just really expensive here. We have used both Swim Kids in Gainesville and Potomac Swim School in Ashburn and both have been great. Herndon's Classical Ballet Academy is also excellent. Good luck!

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Mariann will share so much for you!! We moved up here 5 months ago and love it! I am in Loudoun but for Tysons I think you want to be closer that way. Plenty of activities and hs opportunities here. As for housing... We ended up with a townhome and it's still a steep price so closer to Tysons will cost a bit, but of course depends on your budget.

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My dh currently works in Fair Oaks and we live about 10 minutes west in Chantilly. Love it! When we were looking at moving I got great advice in these two threads:

Job transfer to Fairfax, VA

AZ to VA -- will I have culture shock?

 

My ds is starting a sports class via the park district. They offer all kinds of things! I hope it is a good fit because it is the first thing that actually seems affordable for us! :)

The library is also great...their website, not so much.

 

I'm happy here. Still adjusting to cost of living, traffic, and cold weather though!

 

Maybe in the spring we could do a WTM get-together at a park...

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Come to Lorton! Look for rentals in Pohick Estates--smaller, but a nice neighborhood across US 1 from me (it's a highway, but more of a multi-lane "big street," not a I-95 right here).

There are really good co-ops near us (look up Sky Chase for one of the best and least expensive--and I know someone from WTM there! lol). Fairfax County has pretty good schools, but stay away from Hayfield Secondary.

There's a stable 5 miles from Pohick Estates, and another about 6 miles away that offers theraputic riding.

 

I'd say we are 30 minutes from Tysons.

 

In red: :lol::lol::lol:Skye Chase is THE BEST!!!!!!!! I cannot tell you how many co-ops I 'visited' and my kids would always ask as we exited, 'Are we going to join this one, Mom?' and the answer was always the same: 'NO!'

 

And......then......we.....visited.......Skye Chaseimages?q=tbn:ANd9GcToJ_0xXWjSmliRrxotQHZ3g2IHt1mRFa9_b4QyNhEY3k1d-GFuand it was :001_wub:. They had me at 'hello.'

And as for Chris -- I must drive by her house half a dozen times a week -- Skye Chase is an excellent location. The families there are the best.....and that was BEFORE my family joined.:D

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Look into Reston, Herndon, Ashburn areas.

 

Reston (in Fairfax Co.) is where I grew up & is amazing. It would be conveniently located to both Tysons & Fair Oaks. FFX Co. has a lot going for it. Reston is the best part of it (unless you want to be super close to DC, as in McLean, but that's not my taste). It has everything. Reston has tons of dedicated green space, paths, pools, etc, etc. Check it out. The market is such that you can get a house now in Reston for a relatively reasonable price than you could a couple years ago, but Reston is NOT overbuilt (planned community) and can't be, so the prices are much more stable than Ashburn, etc.

 

Ashburn (Loudoun Co.) is a bit west, a bit further (10 min, but $6 RT extra in TOLLS!) from the places your dh would commute to. Loudoun Co. is educated/affluent as FFX is, but is less diverse. This has positives & negatives. Ashburn & Loudoun Co in general are nearly all built in the last 20 years (extremely rapid growth). There are nice neighborhoods, but less character. Probably overbuilt, but that's not stopping them from building, lol.

 

Herndon is right between Reston & Ashburn.

 

I'd avoid the Sterling Area.

 

HTH

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Just want to add that the closer to the beltway that you are, the much higher rent/house price you are going to find. Ashburn is at least a half hour longer commuting with traffic and more $ with tolls but the housing prices are slightly better. Unless you have a very high budget it is doubtful you will find something affordable in McLean or Great Falls. Reston can also get pricey but it is a great community. 11 years ago when I got married we priced 2 bedroom apartments in Reston and the going rate was around $1600 per month.

 

Commuting is also tricky. A place on a map may not be that geographically far in miles from where you are trying to get to but if you have to take 66 E or 7E plan on it taking a long, long time. You can use the toll road but that even gets backed up during rush hour and the tolls get pricey!

 

Just be prepared for sticker shock unless you are moving from another high cost of living area! It is a great place to live, we've moved away once to the midwest and came back. So much to see and do, and great historic places are close by - Harper's Ferry, Williamsburg, Richmond, Annapolis, etc.

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Thank you so much to everyone that has posted! It's so wonderful to have a helping hand especially when google searches bring up way too much information for me to process. I've gone ahead and signed up for ShareNet, sounds like a wonderful resource.

 

I grew up in Fairfax and loved the atmosphere -- culture, music, etc. DH and I lived in Greenbrier when we were first married, just west of Fair Oaks.

 

Unfortunately we moved away in 2001, and so I doubt any advice I have would be worthwhile. But I hope someone else here has some suggestions!

 

Blessings,

Gwen

 

It's still good know that the area is well liked, the atmosphere really does make a difference in quality of life.

 

There is a very large homeschooling community in this area so it shouldn't be hard to find people wherever you are.

 

We are in Vienna, which would be close to Tysons and Fair Oaks. There are a LOT of homeschoolers in Vienna, I find more and more every day. A lot of it is going to depend on what you can pay for housing. It's expensive here and the closer in you are, the more of a premium. We bought our current house about a year ago. When we were looking I looked at rentals also. Rentals in Vienna/Falls Church in the 3-4 bedroom category were around $2000/month. We used these websites a lot looking at houses: http://franklymls.com/. I can't remember if it had rentals also.

 

For homeschool info I'd recommend Sharenet. You write them at SHARENET@att.net and ask to be added to the list. It's a weekly list of homeschool activities in the area. It's almost overwhelming in the amount there is to do.

 

Fairfax County (and also Arlington and Loudon) has great parks and rec center network with excellent classes in almost anything. We've done swimming, gymnastics, nature center, ice skating and various sports through them. You can browse the offerings here http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes/

 

There are many co-ops in the area if you are interested. Many are listed on the Sharenet newsletter or once you know where you will be it might be easier to get more specific info.

 

There is a group called FISHE that offers a homeschool soccer league. There are also many other homeschool sports and other extracurricular options. Many are listed on Sharenet.

 

The schools are considered very good. I have concerns about the focus on testing and the way they deal with gifted students (very early tracked and put in separate schools) but overall most people consider them good. I know lots of people in public schools that are very very happy. I find it vaguely amusing as you'll hear people argue over which of certain schools are better but in reality many of the Fairfax schools are considered to be in the top in the nation so it's all kind of silly.

 

There are several Montessori preschools in the area. I know people at the one in Reston and the one in McLean who are very happy. I haven't used them myself.

 

Thank you! I will put Vienna and Falls Church down on my list of places to look at. There are so many neighborhood/areas to go through it's hard to determine where to look.

 

The homeschool soccer league sounds great!

 

I have heard that most Fairfax county schools are good, I too worry about testing though. I'm happy to keep homeschooling and hope that it works for us long term.

 

It's good to know the parks and rec have great classes. This might be the best option for us.

 

 

I recommend subscribing to sharenet : twice-monthly email newsletter of ideas, activities and information for Northern Virginia homeschooling families. Contact: SHARENET@att.net

 

This will help you get an idea of the variety of co ops, classes, play days and field trips.

 

How close you can get to your dh's work depends on what you can afford. 4 bedrooms and a yard can be pricey. I have a 4 bedroom townhouse (older so quite large). Our community has a lot of open space so I feel like I have a yard, but don't have to care for it. I'm in Reston. This is convenient to Fair Oaks and Tysons. Like anywhere, there are cheaper neighborhoods where you can rent, but you may not actually want to live. You can go further out to Loudoun county. Many people like Loudoun. But you wanted to know about schools and it sounds like you have a special needs kiddo. I'm a special ed teacher and I have a special needs child. I will not be moving to Loudoun. I would not trust Loudoun with my child. I worked in Loudoun many many years ago and I currently work for a private school that takes some spec ed placements from Loudoun. From what I've seen I do not want to consider locating my dc there. Within Fairfax county there a schools I'd have my dc attend and schools I'd never consider. That's better figured out once you narrow down your target location by your price range.

 

I know there is a stable that offers therapeutic riding in Great Falls, which is between Reston and Tysons. Great Falls is generally a very expensive place to live, but if it turns out to be in your price range, certainly a good place to live. There's a few other therapeutic riding programs dotted in the outer suburbs of Northern Virginia, so you will find something to fill that need.

 

Reston going on my list to:D. Thanks for the info on Loudoun County schools, it definitely good to know this.

 

I will look more into the riding center in Great Falls.

 

Come to Lorton! Look for rentals in Pohick Estates--smaller, but a nice neighborhood across US 1 from me (it's a highway, but more of a multi-lane "big street," not a I-95 right here).

There are really good co-ops near us (look up Sky Chase for one of the best and least expensive--and I know someone from WTM there! lol). Fairfax County has pretty good schools, but stay away from Hayfield Secondary.

There's a stable 5 miles from Pohick Estates, and another about 6 miles away that offers theraputic riding.

 

I'd say we are 30 minutes from Tysons.

 

Got Lorton down now too! And I will look up Sky Chase co-op next. I'll write a big no next to Hayfield Secondary thanks!

 

I'm loving that there are several options for riding!

 

Here's a nice one in a fairly good area, to give you an idea--

Alexandria home for rent

 

Will show this to dh, thanks!

 

Check out Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) www.heav.org

 

Be sure to subscribe to the weekly email newsletter. http://www.heav.org/resources/update.html

 

and the free quartlery magazine http://www.heav.org/resources/home-educator.html

 

They have a very extensive website and they sponsor a convention each June in Richmond that is the best!!

 

Thanks Kathleen, I actually live in central Va currently am on their list.:001_smile:

 

I'm not sure if you are religious but many of the Catholic parishes in the area have good homeschool groups going, my parish in Gainesville, VA (about 20 minutes west of Fair Oaks) has one of the best homeschool co-ops I've found with 150 active families. If you are interested in learning more please PM me.

 

Be prepared to spend a good amount of money on rent! A 4 bedroom house could easily run you 3k + per month, even as far-flung outside the city as I am currently located. It is just really expensive here. We have used both Swim Kids in Gainesville and Potomac Swim School in Ashburn and both have been great. Herndon's Classical Ballet Academy is also excellent. Good luck!

 

I'm not Catholic, but as long as the co-ops are open to other members (no statement of faith), I'm interested! We are currently in two co-ops and one is a Christian co-op, but statement of faith is only required of the teachers not the members. Ds6 has loved all of his classes there and the teachers are fabulous.

 

Yes, this whole cost of living change for us is what is going to be the hardest to adjust to I think! I'll write down the swim schools to look into. My dh would freak out a bit if I enrolled my boys in ballet though!:lol:

 

PM-ing you.

 

Pm'd you back!:D

 

Mariann will share so much for you!! We moved up here 5 months ago and love it! I am in Loudoun but for Tysons I think you want to be closer that way. Plenty of activities and hs opportunities here. As for housing... We ended up with a townhome and it's still a steep price so closer to Tysons will cost a bit, but of course depends on your budget.

 

I'm going to have to look more into townhomes. Do most of them have any sort of a yard?

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Hi! We just moved here from FL in Dec. (yup, right in time for the massive snowstorms!) pming you.

 

Pm'd you too, thank you!

 

From what I hear, you need to keep a close eye on your neighbors (at least if you have shrubs in your yard) :lol::lol::lol:

 

Sorry, I'm no help, but I couldn't resist :D.

 

:lol:

 

 

My dh currently works in Fair Oaks and we live about 10 minutes west in Chantilly. Love it! When we were looking at moving I got great advice in these two threads:

Job transfer to Fairfax, VA

AZ to VA -- will I have culture shock?

 

My ds is starting a sports class via the park district. They offer all kinds of things! I hope it is a good fit because it is the first thing that actually seems affordable for us! :)

The library is also great...their website, not so much.

 

I'm happy here. Still adjusting to cost of living, traffic, and cold weather though!

 

Maybe in the spring we could do a WTM get-together at a park...

 

Chantilly going on my list. It seems the parks and rec classes are really popular. I will have to find their website in a bit.

 

I think the cost of living and traffic will take us some getting used to too. Right now it doesn't take me longer than 10-15 minutes to get ANYWHERE in my town!

 

I'd love a NoVa moms WTM park date!

 

Look into Reston, Herndon, Ashburn areas.

 

Reston (in Fairfax Co.) is where I grew up & is amazing. It would be conveniently located to both Tysons & Fair Oaks. FFX Co. has a lot going for it. Reston is the best part of it (unless you want to be super close to DC, as in McLean, but that's not my taste). It has everything. Reston has tons of dedicated green space, paths, pools, etc, etc. Check it out. The market is such that you can get a house now in Reston for a relatively reasonable price than you could a couple years ago, but Reston is NOT overbuilt (planned community) and can't be, so the prices are much more stable than Ashburn, etc.

 

Ashburn (Loudoun Co.) is a bit west, a bit further (10 min, but $6 RT extra in TOLLS!) from the places your dh would commute to. Loudoun Co. is educated/affluent as FFX is, but is less diverse. This has positives & negatives. Ashburn & Loudoun Co in general are nearly all built in the last 20 years (extremely rapid growth). There are nice neighborhoods, but less character. Probably overbuilt, but that's not stopping them from building, lol.

 

Herndon is right between Reston & Ashburn.

 

I'd avoid the Sterling Area.

 

HTH

 

Reston and Herdon going the list. Although it sounds like Ashburn might be a bit more of an expensive commute and according to Betty it's not the best school zone for a special needs kiddo. It doesn't hurt to look though.

 

Reston sounds like a nice place, I like that it can't be overbuilt.

 

Just want to add that the closer to the beltway that you are, the much higher rent/house price you are going to find. Ashburn is at least a half hour longer commuting with traffic and more $ with tolls but the housing prices are slightly better. Unless you have a very high budget it is doubtful you will find something affordable in McLean or Great Falls. Reston can also get pricey but it is a great community. 11 years ago when I got married we priced 2 bedroom apartments in Reston and the going rate was around $1600 per month.

 

Commuting is also tricky. A place on a map may not be that geographically far in miles from where you are trying to get to but if you have to take 66 E or 7E plan on it taking a long, long time. You can use the toll road but that even gets backed up during rush hour and the tolls get pricey!

 

 

 

This is great to know. I've been trying to study the google map of the area and 7E was something that looked like a good shortcut, I guess not!:tongue_smilie:

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You've already gotten lots of wonderful advice. Northern VA is wonderful place to live and homeschool. The housing is expensive and the traffic is awful, I will forewarn you of that! I've lived here pretty much all my life and it is most definitely home to me. So welcome!

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I have one more question, well I'll probably have more later, but one more for right now.

 

Which towns/areas have something like a "town center"? Something that brings some cohesiveness to the area?

Okay -- Fairfax (the zip code, not the county) has Fairfax Corner - we go there alot in the nice weather and walk the dog, listen to the live music, the kids stand in line to get balloon animals, we get Ben and Jerry's ice cream;

 

Reston Town Center -- the Town Center that all others are modeled after, methinks. We go there with the dog too -- we like to go there for dinner, just to walk around, I get my hair cut there and so does dh at Red Door Spa -- there is ice skating at the outdoor rink (a great place to meet up with other homeschoolers we have learned), there is a movie theater.

 

Downtown Fairfax City is nice for walking around.

 

South Riding has a town center. Just about anyplace in Loudoun has a town center - BUT your greatest difficulty in Loudoun will be the amount of time spent commuting.

 

Vienna has a 'downtown.' McLean has a 'center of McLean' - we go everywhere except South Riding - which is really most convenient for those who live there -- although there is a restaurant in South Riding called Vintage 'something-something' that is fantastic.

 

HTH -- PS -- my friend emailed me back and they JUST go a contract on their house in Vienna.

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WE are in Capital Baptist Co-op which is very large and has programs for pre-school through 12th grades. I think you have to have a kindergartner age child or up to join but then you can bring even infants. It is in Annandale very close to the Beltway and we have many families from Vienna and Tyson's Area participating. You don't have to be a Baptist or sign a statement of faith. You just have to not teach anything against their statement of faith in any class you teach. (I teach Government and Economics and I have no issues there). Along with classes on Thursday mornings, we have activities on Thursday afternoon like 4H, Odyssey of the Mind, Speech and Debate, music lessons, Chess club, etc, etc. We will not be in the group next year because we will be moving. However, there are always new people coming in and some are old timers and some are short timers. If you are interested, pm me and I will give you a phone number and who to contact.

 

Also we have been involved with FISHE soccer which has been really great. All kids all ages play at the same time on different fields. One two hour period a week to set aside for soccer for all ages.

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WE are in Capital Baptist Co-op which is very large and has programs for pre-school through 12th grades. I think you have to have a kindergartner age child or up to join but then you can bring even infants. It is in Annandale very close to the Beltway and we have many families from Vienna and Tyson's Area participating. You don't have to be a Baptist or sign a statement of faith. You just have to not teach anything against their statement of faith in any class you teach. (I teach Government and Economics and I have no issues there). Along with classes on Thursday mornings, we have activities on Thursday afternoon like 4H, Odyssey of the Mind, Speech and Debate, music lessons, Chess club, etc, etc. We will not be in the group next year because we will be moving. However, there are always new people coming in and some are old timers and some are short timers. If you are interested, pm me and I will give you a phone number and who to contact.

 

Also we have been involved with FISHE soccer which has been really great. All kids all ages play at the same time on different fields. One two hour period a week to set aside for soccer for all ages.

 

I wanted to add that Capitol Baptist's co-op has such a fantastic reputation - I totally agree with everything Chris has written. I've looked at their schedule and selection of classes, and I am SO tempted.

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Okay -- Fairfax (the zip code, not the county) has Fairfax Corner - we go there alot in the nice weather and walk the dog, listen to the live music, the kids stand in line to get balloon animals, we get Ben and Jerry's ice cream;

 

Reston Town Center -- the Town Center that all others are modeled after, methinks. We go there with the dog too -- we like to go there for dinner, just to walk around, I get my hair cut there and so does dh at Red Door Spa -- there is ice skating at the outdoor rink (a great place to meet up with other homeschoolers we have learned), there is a movie theater.

 

Downtown Fairfax City is nice for walking around.

 

South Riding has a town center. Just about anyplace in Loudoun has a town center - BUT your greatest difficulty in Loudoun will be the amount of time spent commuting.

 

Vienna has a 'downtown.' McLean has a 'center of McLean' - we go everywhere except South Riding - which is really most convenient for those who live there -- although there is a restaurant in South Riding called Vintage 'something-something' that is fantastic.

 

HTH -- PS -- my friend emailed me back and they JUST go a contract on their house in Vienna.

 

Thanks Mariann! That's a great list, I really like that there are multiple options.

 

That's okay about the house, but thank you for thinking about us.

 

WE are in Capital Baptist Co-op which is very large and has programs for pre-school through 12th grades. I think you have to have a kindergartner age child or up to join but then you can bring even infants. It is in Annandale very close to the Beltway and we have many families from Vienna and Tyson's Area participating. You don't have to be a Baptist or sign a statement of faith. You just have to not teach anything against their statement of faith in any class you teach. (I teach Government and Economics and I have no issues there). Along with classes on Thursday mornings, we have activities on Thursday afternoon like 4H, Odyssey of the Mind, Speech and Debate, music lessons, Chess club, etc, etc. We will not be in the group next year because we will be moving. However, there are always new people coming in and some are old timers and some are short timers. If you are interested, pm me and I will give you a phone number and who to contact.

 

Also we have been involved with FISHE soccer which has been really great. All kids all ages play at the same time on different fields. One two hour period a week to set aside for soccer for all ages.

 

Ooh that sounds like another great co-op, thanks! I'll pm you.

 

I looked at the FISHE website and it seems really great, I love that the soccer games are for all ages at the same time. Dh and I have been needing to split up most Saturdays b/c both the boys have soccer at the same time but since their in different divisions the play at different parks. It's been so much of a pain that if my boys didn't love it so much I would have a ditched it right away.

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I'm going to have to look more into townhomes. Do most of them have any sort of a yard?

 

It depends on the townhome. Some don't even have decks! Our townhome is easily the size of previous house. About 2000 sq ft. Which around here seems 'small', lol. But it's perfect for us with 2 kids. We have a large deck and under the landlord had gravel. So I only have about 6 feet toward the common area of land to play with. We have no fence though and forest area behind us and all of our kids friends who come from townhomes love our 'backyard' LOL.

 

But I have seen some with long backyards and grass to mow. We have a 2 car garage but we chose to be a little farther out b/c we needed the space for our kayaks. We looked at Ashburn but everything there was a 1 car garage and often run down rentals.

 

Try to avoid a true 'rental' vs renting from an owner. The 'rentals' are through management companies and you could tell they were only rented out ever. Ours is from a landlord and we pay her directly. She had a lot of nice things done and it's clean. She has a bug service and a/c service and fixed the fireplace this winter when it wouldn't start. I even got a new faucet our first weekend ;-)

 

We looked with a realtor and that was helpful. longandfoster.com had tons of things to see and that is how I emailed and got the realtor. It was no cost to us to go through her and we were able to get more info on the properties than calling ourselves.

 

HTH,

Edited by tess in the burbs
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I've been trying to study the google map of the area and 7E was something that looked like a good shortcut, I guess not!:tongue_smilie:

 

My dh drives 7E daily. It can be short, 20 min. It is usually 40 min. And apparently in December it goes to 1 hr 10 min. When he left at 6am it was shorter but coming home he's yet to find the shorter time. He looks at the map and takes side roads when needed.

 

We don't regret his commute though b/c we got the space we wanted and have been so blessed with great hs friends out here!

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My dh drives 7E daily. It can be short, 20 min. It is usually 40 min. And apparently in December it goes to 1 hr 10 min. When he left at 6am it was shorter but coming home he's yet to find the shorter time. He looks at the map and takes side roads when needed.

 

We don't regret his commute though b/c we got the space we wanted and have been so blessed with great hs friends out here!

 

IMO, Tess is the 'Leesburg' expert -- she's been there a few months, so everything she researched is very fresh in her mind....and we've met IRL. :D

 

Rt 7 is not a short cut -- but that's a relative term. I am out that way at least every two weeks for dd11's IEW writing class and I take Rt 50 out and back whenever I can. If your dh is going to Fair Lakes/Fair Oaks to work, Rt 50 makes much more sense:D -- that means your most convenient places will be Oakton, Chantilly (Fairfax County), South Riding, Aldie and Brambleton. And, there is also Chantilly in Loudoun County that is in between South Riding and Aldie.

 

IF I had to be in close proximity to Route 50 and traveling towards Fair Lakes, and I wanted the BEST place to rent for families and kids, I would look in Stone Ridge (Aldie) and Brambleton (Brambleton - zip code 20148). IF I had to be near Route 7, I would go where Tess is -- I've lived in Lansdowne and I wasn't 'in love' with it.

 

And what Tess says is also correct -- dealing with an owner will get you a better property than dealing with a management company. My dd30 and her dh rent from an owner in Reston.

 

To be perfectly realistic with you, a townhome in Aldie or Brambleton will likely be new and gorgeous and affordable and perhaps in the $2000/range -- a comparable townhome in Fairfax County would likely run at least $3200/mo.

 

I am a walking encyclopedia on rental rates, etc -- you can PM me. And, Craigslist is worth a look -- I think that I directed Tess to LongandFoster.com -- everything you need to know will be there.

 

http://homes.longandfoster.com/Real-Estate/PropertyDetails.aspx?MlsCompanyID=2&MlsNumber=FX7505753&Add=10902-HOWLAND-DR,Reston,VA-20191 That is the link to a sfh home in Reston that is for rent. I'm sending the link b/c we have friends who have rented a sfh in Reston for years -- from an owner -- and this house reminds me of theirs and they have such a nice set up.

 

http://homes.longandfoster.com/Real-Estate/PropertyDetails.aspx?MlsCompanyID=2&MlsNumber=FX7503522&Add=11670-STOCKBRIDGE-LN,Reston,VA-20194 Here is another link in Reston to a wonderful neighborhood -- we have friends who own in this area. Both these listings are easy commutes for your dh as he would just head down Reston Parkway (which turns into West Ox Road).

 

http://homes.longandfoster.com/Real-Estate/PropertyDetails.aspx?MlsCompanyID=2&MlsNumber=FX7390666&Add=2034-BEACON-HEIGHTS-DR,Reston,VA-20191 This is Reston and is $4940/mo. I'm including it b/c in South Riding (the Toll Bros townhomes there are very nice). Aldie and Brambleton, something comparable to this would be at least $2000/less.

 

Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.

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IF I had to be in close proximity to Route 50 and traveling towards Fair Lakes, and I wanted the BEST place to rent for families and kids, I would look in Stone Ridge (Aldie) and Brambleton (Brambleton - zip code 20148). IF I had to be near Route 7, I would go where Tess is -- I've lived in Lansdowne and I wasn't 'in love' with it.

 

 

 

I live about 15 minutes from Aldie/Stone Ridge. We actually looked to buy there but couldn't agree on a house. It is a great area, I have a wonderful doctor that we've used for years who practices at South Riding Family Medicine.

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I live about 15 minutes from Aldie/Stone Ridge. We actually looked to buy there but couldn't agree on a house. It is a great area, I have a wonderful doctor that we've used for years who practices at South Riding Family Medicine.

 

Off the top of my head, I'd guess that you are in (maybe one of these): Leesburg, Middleburg (which I LOVe, LOVe, LOVE!), Dominion Valley on rt 15, Piedmont on Rt 15 (the first place we built when we came here), or somewhere on Evergreen Mill Road -- but, there are SO many places to choose from, odds are I am wrong.

 

DS played t-ball years ago when we lived in Brambleton and they played alot of games at Stone Ridge. This past year, dd played a few lacrosse games against Stone Ridge -- I LOVE going there -- it is the consummate family community - as is Brambleton and most of those communities out there -- my dh's office is moving to Roslyn so those places are out - he will not even consider them.:sad: It's a good thing I love Alexandria b/c that is where we are going.

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Off the top of my head, I'd guess that you are in (maybe one of these): Leesburg, Middleburg (which I LOVe, LOVe, LOVE!), Dominion Valley on rt 15, Piedmont on Rt 15 (the first place we built when we came here), or somewhere on Evergreen Mill Road -- but, there are SO many places to choose from, odds are I am wrong.

 

 

 

You're right! We live in one of those places. :tongue_smilie: You really know your way around NoVA. My husband only needs access to Dulles to fly in and out, works from home otherwise so we were able to go farther afield.

 

We used to live in Sterling in a townhouse right beyond the Costco off of Cascades Parkway. We moved out of state for two years and then when we returned chose to move to an area with much better schools (we hadn't thought of hs at that point!). 10 years ago when we bought our townhouse in Sterling it was still being built up, it is hard to believe how much development west of there has happened in one decade. The entire widening/removing of lights on 28 was a nightmare to live through for years!

 

We have family who live in Potomac Falls/Lowe's Island so I'm still up that way pretty regularly.

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You're right! We live in one of those places. :tongue_smilie: You really know your way around NoVA. My husband only needs access to Dulles to fly in and out, works from home otherwise so we were able to go farther afield.

 

We used to live in Sterling in a townhouse right beyond the Costco off of Cascades Parkway. We moved out of state for two years and then when we returned chose to move to an area with much better schools (we hadn't thought of hs at that point!). 10 years ago when we bought our townhouse in Sterling it was still being built up, it is hard to believe how much development west of there has happened in one decade. The entire widening/removing of lights on 28 was a nightmare to live through for years!

 

We have family who live in Potomac Falls/Lowe's Island so I'm still up that way pretty regularly.

 

Is it not amazing HOW MANY YEARS it takes them to build roads around here? They were building the 'mixing bowl' when we first moved here 10 years ago -- I'm not sure it's finished yet.

 

DH loves Lowe's -- he loves the golf course -- I've told him we are not moving there.

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I grew up in Columbia, MD, but spent my weekends in Reston taking ballet classes and going to Nutcracker rehearsals. I love Reston for the same reasons I love Columbia--they are both planned communities, which means they won't get overbuilt. (And the place I took ballet classes is still there and Mrs. Redick is still the director! I just sent her an email.)

 

Mariann, have you found a house in Alexandria, yet? Another place I would move in a heartbeat.

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I grew up in Columbia, MD, but spent my weekends in Reston taking ballet classes and going to Nutcracker rehearsals. I love Reston for the same reasons I love Columbia--they are both planned communities, which means they won't get overbuilt. (And the place I took ballet classes is still there and Mrs. Redick is still the director! I just sent her an email.)

 

Mariann, have you found a house in Alexandria, yet? Another place I would move in a heartbeat.

 

Hi, Caroline: :seeya: Actually, we think we have - we want to build and yesterday we spent a ton of time with a builder. It's the timing that is going to be an issue -- he only has two lots left -- we have renov. work to complete here so we can put this on the market. We told the kids to pray -- my thoughts though are that if not the house we spec'd out yesterday, then another one when the time is right!

 

I'm on my way to Reston now to pick up dd30 and drive her to the doctor in................................Alexandria.:auto:

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We lived in north Arlington when I was in hs and it was very nice. It was $$$ back then but it was nice that my dad only had a 15 min commute. We lived in an itty bitty 3 br ranch house. If we were to move there now I would want to be close enough to be able to take the metro into DC to visit the Smithsonian very frequently. That is amazing!!!

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I grew up in Columbia, MD, but spent my weekends in Reston taking ballet classes and going to Nutcracker rehearsals. I love Reston for the same reasons I love Columbia--they are both planned communities, which means they won't get overbuilt. (And the place I took ballet classes is still there and Mrs. Redick is still the director! I just sent her an email.)

 

I live in Reston and my dd took ballet from Mrs. Redick for 4 years. We love Mrs. Redick --dd just wanted to try something new. I tell everyone what great school she runs. I'm lucky it's only 3 miles from my house.

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Ds4 is in a Montessori preschool currently, anyone know of a good one there?

 

Ds6 has a sensory processing disorder and what has been working so far for him is being in A LOT of extracurricular activities. Any advice on where to go for soccer, gymnastics, swimming, ice skating, horseback riding lessons? (I know it's a lot but it's cheaper than OT for us)

 

I made some suggestions earlier, but here's more info to address recreation. In Reston there are 2 ice rinks (one is outdoors in the town center and open winter only). If you live within the bounds of Reston Association you have access to 15 outdoor pools (almost every neighborhood has a pool w/i walking distance), many of the pools have special features (some have jacuzzis, zero or 1 foot depth entry, slide, sprayers), all have 25 meter lap lanes. The outdoor pool pass for residents is $20 for adults. The community center has lessons with great teachers cheap for residents (you do have to sign up on the day registration opens). Nearby in Sterling Northern Virginia Gymnastics Academy has a great homeschool gymnastics program (it was fantastic for my oldest who has sensory needs). You cannot find a community in this area that does not have soccer.

 

I have not heard good things about Reston Montessori. I had a nightmare experience with the Boyd School montessori in Reston. I don't know anything about Sunset Hills Montessori (also in Reston). Close by in Oakton there's a Montessori I've heard good things about. I'll have to find the name.

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For the lady(ies) moving into the area, there is actually a Charlotte Mason private school in Herndon.

 

http://www.ambleside.org/

 

I have heard great things about Renaissance Montessori in Manassas and have a tour planned next week. It is Catholic though.

 

http://www.renaissancemontessorischool.org/

 

We play lacrosse with a family whose children attend Ambleside -- the school is wonderful beyond words! I have a friend who was a substitute teacher at Ambleside last year, and she said she has never been in a school with such polite kids -- ever -- and she has a 16 year old and an 11 year old who have always attended private Christian schools.

 

I taught with a wonderful woman who left the school where we both taught and she went to Ambleside -- it has a great reputation.

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It depends on the townhome. Some don't even have decks! Our townhome is easily the size of previous house. About 2000 sq ft. Which around here seems 'small', lol. But it's perfect for us with 2 kids. We have a large deck and under the landlord had gravel. So I only have about 6 feet toward the common area of land to play with. We have no fence though and forest area behind us and all of our kids friends who come from townhomes love our 'backyard' LOL.

 

But I have seen some with long backyards and grass to mow. We have a 2 car garage but we chose to be a little farther out b/c we needed the space for our kayaks. We looked at Ashburn but everything there was a 1 car garage and often run down rentals.

 

Try to avoid a true 'rental' vs renting from an owner. The 'rentals' are through management companies and you could tell they were only rented out ever. Ours is from a landlord and we pay her directly. She had a lot of nice things done and it's clean. She has a bug service and a/c service and fixed the fireplace this winter when it wouldn't start. I even got a new faucet our first weekend ;-)

 

We looked with a realtor and that was helpful. longandfoster.com had tons of things to see and that is how I emailed and got the realtor. It was no cost to us to go through her and we were able to get more info on the properties than calling ourselves.

 

HTH,

 

Thank you! A 2000 sq ft townhome would be great! My boys would go nuts without some sort of outdoor space to run around in, it's good to know that some have yard.

 

IMO, Tess is the 'Leesburg' expert -- she's been there a few months, so everything she researched is very fresh in her mind....and we've met IRL. :D

 

Rt 7 is not a short cut -- but that's a relative term. I am out that way at least every two weeks for dd11's IEW writing class and I take Rt 50 out and back whenever I can. If your dh is going to Fair Lakes/Fair Oaks to work, Rt 50 makes much more sense:D -- that means your most convenient places will be Oakton, Chantilly (Fairfax County), South Riding, Aldie and Brambleton. And, there is also Chantilly in Loudoun County that is in between South Riding and Aldie.

 

IF I had to be in close proximity to Route 50 and traveling towards Fair Lakes, and I wanted the BEST place to rent for families and kids, I would look in Stone Ridge (Aldie) and Brambleton (Brambleton - zip code 20148). IF I had to be near Route 7, I would go where Tess is -- I've lived in Lansdowne and I wasn't 'in love' with it.

 

And what Tess says is also correct -- dealing with an owner will get you a better property than dealing with a management company. My dd30 and her dh rent from an owner in Reston.

 

To be perfectly realistic with you, a townhome in Aldie or Brambleton will likely be new and gorgeous and affordable and perhaps in the $2000/range -- a comparable townhome in Fairfax County would likely run at least $3200/mo.

 

I am a walking encyclopedia on rental rates, etc -- you can PM me. And, Craigslist is worth a look -- I think that I directed Tess to LongandFoster.com -- everything you need to know will be there.

 

http://homes.longandfoster.com/Real-Estate/PropertyDetails.aspx?MlsCompanyID=2&MlsNumber=FX7505753&Add=10902-HOWLAND-DR,Reston,VA-20191 That is the link to a sfh home in Reston that is for rent. I'm sending the link b/c we have friends who have rented a sfh in Reston for years -- from an owner -- and this house reminds me of theirs and they have such a nice set up.

 

http://homes.longandfoster.com/Real-Estate/PropertyDetails.aspx?MlsCompanyID=2&MlsNumber=FX7503522&Add=11670-STOCKBRIDGE-LN,Reston,VA-20194 Here is another link in Reston to a wonderful neighborhood -- we have friends who own in this area. Both these listings are easy commutes for your dh as he would just head down Reston Parkway (which turns into West Ox Road).

 

http://homes.longandfoster.com/Real-Estate/PropertyDetails.aspx?MlsCompanyID=2&MlsNumber=FX7390666&Add=2034-BEACON-HEIGHTS-DR,Reston,VA-20191 This is Reston and is $4940/mo. I'm including it b/c in South Riding (the Toll Bros townhomes there are very nice). Aldie and Brambleton, something comparable to this would be at least $2000/less.

 

Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.

 

Mariann you've given me so much to think about and look through, thank you thank you, thank you!!!

 

I live about 15 minutes from Aldie/Stone Ridge. We actually looked to buy there but couldn't agree on a house. It is a great area, I have a wonderful doctor that we've used for years who practices at South Riding Family Medicine.

 

Good doctor rec's are always welcome, thank you!

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We lived in north Arlington when I was in hs and it was very nice. It was $$$ back then but it was nice that my dad only had a 15 min commute. We lived in an itty bitty 3 br ranch house. If we were to move there now I would want to be close enough to be able to take the metro into DC to visit the Smithsonian very frequently. That is amazing!!!

 

Yes, I would love this too! I don't think it's feasible for us right now, but who knows, maybe one day!

 

 

I made some suggestions earlier, but here's more info to address recreation. In Reston there are 2 ice rinks (one is outdoors in the town center and open winter only). If you live within the bounds of Reston Association you have access to 15 outdoor pools (almost every neighborhood has a pool w/i walking distance), many of the pools have special features (some have jacuzzis, zero or 1 foot depth entry, slide, sprayers), all have 25 meter lap lanes. The outdoor pool pass for residents is $20 for adults. The community center has lessons with great teachers cheap for residents (you do have to sign up on the day registration opens). Nearby in Sterling Northern Virginia Gymnastics Academy has a great homeschool gymnastics program (it was fantastic for my oldest who has sensory needs). You cannot find a community in this area that does not have soccer.

 

I have not heard good things about Reston Montessori. I had a nightmare experience with the Boyd School montessori in Reston. I don't know anything about Sunset Hills Montessori (also in Reston). Close by in Oakton there's a Montessori I've heard good things about. I'll have to find the name.

 

Thank you for this! Knowing these things about Reston really helps, I don't think I would have been able to find it all online.

 

And I appreciate the info on those Montessori schools. It's so hard to find out which ones have a good reputation unless you live there and know people. I found that out the hard way when we first moved to where we live right now.

 

For the lady(ies) moving into the area, there is actually a Charlotte Mason private school in Herndon.

 

http://www.ambleside.org/

 

I have heard great things about Renaissance Montessori in Manassas and have a tour planned next week. It is Catholic though.

 

http://www.renaissancemontessorischool.org/

 

Thanks!

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  • 1 month later...

I agree with previous posters, the downside of Loudoun(Brambleton) is the commute.

 

We live in a townhouse and have a postage stamp for a yard that backs out to a common area that includes a lake and woods with a paved running trail (yard that we do not have to take care of:tongue_smilie:). There are kids everywhere, however when I was working in Reston the commute from here was 20-25 minutes on a good day with a $5 Toll.

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Thanks everyone!

 

We found a house to rent (it was actually the first place we went to see and we took it, we were really short on time!). It's in Clifton, near Fair Oaks area. We will be moving into the area at the end of this month!

 

I got a copy of the ParkTakes magazine and WOW what a ton of activities to choose from. I'm guessing commuting to Rec centers that are a bit a farther is probably not smart though huh?

 

I think Oak Marr Rec would be the closest to me right?

 

I love the activities available at the nature centers.

 

Mariann, how is your move going?

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OH, I've heard Clifton is so nice. It's probably 30 minutes from here.

There's a classical school there, I believe--I think it's Ad Fontes. I'm pretty sure they do some classes for homeschoolers, like a dual enrollment kinda thingy. I know the folks in Clifton are rather up in arms about the elementary school closing due to lack of enrollment--hope that doesn't happen, as it seems like a nice neighborhood school.

 

Anyway, welcome to NOVA!

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OH, I've heard Clifton is so nice. It's probably 30 minutes from here.

There's a classical school there, I believe--I think it's Ad Fontes. I'm pretty sure they do some classes for homeschoolers, like a dual enrollment kinda thingy. I know the folks in Clifton are rather up in arms about the elementary school closing due to lack of enrollment--hope that doesn't happen, as it seems like a nice neighborhood school.

 

Anyway, welcome to NOVA!

 

Thank you! I like the fact that the school you mentioned has dual enrollment available (6th-12th), it's nice to have options.

 

ETA: The statement of faith would negate us though.

 

 

So is Pittsboro way south? (Who could go look at Google maps to find out....work for me, people!)

 

I think Pittsboro is in North Carolina. So definitely farther south.

 

pming you later tonight when I have time to reply

 

Thanks!

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I'm not sure if you are religious but many of the Catholic parishes in the area have good homeschool groups going, my parish in Gainesville, VA (about 20 minutes west of Fair Oaks) has one of the best homeschool co-ops I've found with 150 active families. If you are interested in learning more please PM me.

 

Be prepared to spend a good amount of money on rent! A 4 bedroom house could easily run you 3k + per month, even as far-flung outside the city as I am currently located. It is just really expensive here. We have used both Swim Kids in Gainesville and Potomac Swim School in Ashburn and both have been great. Herndon's Classical Ballet Academy is also excellent. Good luck!

We recently leased a 4 br house in Burke Center for around 2500.

In fact it seemed like we could do better renting than buying at the moment.

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