Picking the right school for your child will ensure that they are in an
environment they can thrive in. Making the right choice from the start
will ensure that your child gets the best building blocks to their education
and that they are in a healthy, happy space and develop positive attitudes
to school and learning. Selecting a school should take time, research
and carefully weighing the options in your area.
Private or Public?
Don’t discount a school simply because of the way it is governed.
There are great, lousy and mediocre schools in both the private and public
sector. You should consider all the viable options in your area to find
one that best fulfills your wish list and suits your child’s needs
Make a List, Check it Twice
Write down all the things you are looking for in a school. Focus on the
teachers first because they really are the most important element in a
successful academic career. Next focus on the facilities that are available,
and whether the school environment is one that suits your child’s
learning style. Does your child need a very structured environment, or
do they prefer one that is more open and flexible?
You should also focus on what kids of support your child will need, and
how the school deals with social and emotional issues. Also worth investigating
is the way homework is handled, how behavioral issues are resolved and
how the curriculum is structured.
Extra-curricular activities are also important, so ensure that the school
offers activities that your child will enjoy.
How are parents expected to get involved in school activities and how far
is the commute? Check that the school’s policies and values are
aligned with those of your family.
Start by going to school orientations and fairs to get an idea of the kinds
of facilities the schools in your area offer. You can get an idea of the
demographics and grades of the students by researching your school on the
Great Schools website. Here you will find data and reviews from other parents so you can get
a better idea of how a school really performs.
Speak with friends and family members who have sent their kids to schools
in your area, and speak to their kids too so you can get a better idea
of which institutions are best suited to your needs. Schools that look
good on paper may not always be great in practice.
Pick the Right School for your Child
Getting your child involved in the decision-making process will help them
to feel confident when they start school. Choose the school that best
suits their personality and style; it’s best to go with your gut
on this. If you are still unsure, there is a great book online for free
which helps parents to choose a school that aligns most with their child’s
needs. You can find the Picky Parent’s Guide
Pic by Phil Roeder