How to Choose the Best School for your Child
Our babies grow up and we have to start to make important decisions. One of the first ones we have to make is which school is best for them. Your child will spend the majority of his time there, his teachers will shape his education and his classmates will affect his social environment.
This is no small decision. To a large extent, their school education will define their future. There are so many options and factors to consider, such as price, family values, and what you hope your child will learn.
Therefore, you should take some time to research and choose the best school for your child. Here are some recommendations for the things that you should keep in mind.
Public or private education?
This choice is very important and isn’t just limited to economic possibilities. Although it’s important to calculate whether or not you can afford the costs of a private school, or if you’re limited to a public school, other factors play into this decision.
Many private schools have a limited number of spots. Therefore, enrollment is more difficult. If you have already planned on your child going to a private school, you better make sure to get the paperwork done in time.
Public schools have to admit any child that applies. However, in some countries and cities, there are zoning restrictions, so the schools will only admit children that live nearby. If that’s the case, you should find out if the schools in your area meet your expectations.
If not, you may want to consider moving, but keep in mind what else that requires.
The subjects that are studied, the books that are used and the terms of studies are usually uniform in public schools, according to the state’s educational requirements.
However, this isn’t always the case in private schools. Although they have to follow general guidelines, they have more freedom when it comes to modifications in the curriculum.
Take a good look at the education inside the school before deciding which is the best school for your child.
Generally, public schools have proper educational training and teachers must pass selection exams to teach.
Some private schools use the same type of filter to admit their teachers. However, others look for professionals or experts in the field. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean they’re any better or worse.
The best thing to do is ask, and even meet the teachers, if possible.
Public schools are generally more diverse since they admit students without so many filters. Private schools can be more selective and less inclusive because, in addition to the economic filter, some also have restrictions on sex or religion.
Keep in mind that your child will spend more time with his classmates than with you, and they will have a large influence on his or her life.
Read this article: Bullying at School: Is Your Child a Victim and You Don’t Know It?
Religious or secular education
If you have decided to send your child to a private school, you also have to choose the best school according to your values and the types of activities that will be available to your child.
If religion is important to you, religious schools teach the sacred texts, rites, and other particular values of your religion.
Secular schools, both public and private, are solely based around academics. However, they may also offer some extracurricular activities, including some religious ones.
Often, schools also offer specializations. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s their only focus, it should mean that they put greater emphasis on a particular area.
Some schools teach classes in other languages, such as Spanish, French or German, schools specialized in art, science, and others with advanced sports programs and many other varieties of teaching.
If you think that your child has potential in one of those specializations, you might want to consider choosing a school that will best focus on his or her skills at an early age.
What to do before choosing the best school for your child
Taking into account the above factors, we recommend looking into different schools as much as possible. These are some of the things you can do to gain more knowledge so that you can make a more informed decision:
- Check the schools’ classifications and rankings. All countries maintain a ranking of schools. Search the web for the schools’ classifications to know how the different schools rank.
- Search internet forums and blogs. Comments from other parents who already have children who go to a school that interests you can help you out. It’s even better if you know the parents personally. You can ask them questions, but don’t take give their opinions too much weight, since everyone has different experiences.
- Visit the schools. Ask for an appointment with the principal and teacher advisors. Ask questions if you have any concerns and request a guided tour. Some schools will even let parents sit in on some of the classes so they can see how it is. Ask if that’s a possibility and try it out.
- Pay attention to the guidelines. Most schools organize events to explain how they work, their characteristics, and their conditions to potential students. Attend, take notes and ask questions.
- Visit the school with your child. Your child’s opinion counts. Take him or her to the school and see how s/he feels. She or he might be a little intimidated – it’s a new experience – but your child’s impressions and reactions will help you. S/he can also help you choose the best school.
The most important thing is to start the selection process several months before the start of the registration period.
Choosing the best school is a task that takes time and proper analysis. If you leave this task until the last minute, you’ll have fewer options and you may have to settle for whatever is left.It might interest you...