As a mother of two grade-school children, I know first-hand just how hard it can be to keep kids motivated and excited about school--especially as summer break draws to an end. One year, I decided to implement a study routine for my kids throughout the summer, which I found helped them retain the information they learned during the academic year and made for an easier transition back to school in the fall. I've put together this blog to help other parents prepare their children for success in the upcoming school year. I hope this helps your child have his or her best year yet!
You want the best education possible for your child. Depending on where you live in the United States, public schools may not offer the college prep you are looking for. What's more, the public schools in your area may not boast a good graduation rate. Instead of consigning your child to common failure, a private school may be a better option. However, no two private schools are created equal. Here are a few factors to consider when trying to choose.
1- Your Child's Needs. Potentially, the most important factor in choosing a private school are the needs of your child. How does your child learn? Do they need smaller classes or specific help? Does your child have special needs such as speech therapy or behavioral issues? There is no reason to send your child to a school that cannot meet their needs. When researching private schools, go meet the teachers and talk about how your child learns. Ask about resources and homework help. Discuss the outcome you desire for your child. Depending on the school, teachers are usually willing to work with you to help your child succeed.
2- Your Child's Wants. Another factor to consider is your child's wants. Do they play an instrument or sport? Sending them to a school with a strong band, orchestra, or sports program will be important. Some private schools require special uniforms. If your child's outfit will cause a daily fight, perhaps another school would be better.
3- Budget. No matter the programs a school offers, if it puts your family into financial trouble it is just not worth it. There are private schools for every budget. Before you fall in love with a school, acquaint yourself with their tuition and fees. Most schools also offer scholarships or budgeting options. Make sure to ask questions about tuition and payment options.
4- Logistics. Looking into the specific daily logistics of some schools may rule them out early in your search. Is it a boarding school? If not, does the school provide transportation? How far must you drive each day? Do you want religion or the military to be a part of your child's education? Is the school year-round, or do they have summer vacation? Think about how your child's daily life would be if they attended this school, and then choose accordingly.
Unfortunately, due to personalized curriculum at each school, private schools are impossible to rank. Do not be overwhelmed by that fact, though. Just focus on finding the best school for your little one.