One of the most important decisions you can make as a parent is where to send your child to school. If you have made the decision to send your child to a private school, it may feel like the work to pick between the best private schools around has just begun. While that may be true, there are things you can do to make the process easier.
- For younger children, developing a bond with the teacher is crucial. This is more important to the education of a child than just about anything else. One area in which private schools excel over public schools is the teacher to student ratio. When you are looking at private schools, take time to talk to the teachers and, if possible spend some time with them when they are with their students. It is important to look at the teacher’s academic record but also look at how engaged they are with their students.
- Look at what is in the classroom. Again, if you are looking at private kindergartens or preschools, you are going to want to find one that has classrooms that are filled with reading materials. For private elementary schools, you need to know that kids are encouraged to read and that, in addition to the books in the classroom itself, the classes make regular visits to the library. The private school you select should see how important it is to use reading, storytelling, and the like to the proper education of a child. This can help kids throughout their entire lives.
- Math is also important. When you are looking at the top private schools, you will find that they make teaching math a priority. From day one, children need to be immersed in concepts from the world of mathematics. This means even kids who are in preschool can benefit from being surrounded by math and math concepts. There are a lot of people in the United States and around the world who do not like to deal with anything related to math. If that describes you, you will have to take care not to pass down your issues with math to your kids.
- Let your child be a part of the process. If you are looking to enroll your child in a private school, you should talk about this with them. Take some time to go over the materials about the different schools with them and ask for their input. If your child has been going to another kind of school and you are making a switch, this can make the transition go a lot easier for everyone involved.
- Stop worrying about standardized tests. A lot of time, schools are measured by the scores their students get on standardized tests. This is true in public and private schools. While you want your child to do well on these tests, sending them to a school that only “teaches to the test” will not get them a decent education. Experts in education say that the tests only cover about one-third of what is normally found in a good school’s full curriculum.
- Recess is a good thing, make sure the private school you select agrees. Students get a lot out of recess. It lets them get some needed aerobic activity in and can help with cognitive functioning. For younger kids, learning how to play games and engage in certain kinds of activities to improve their motor skills are essential to brain development. Some research shows that kids who do not work on their motor skills before they reach the age of six can have problems in this area that last their entire lives. Plus, everyone, including the teachers, needs to take a break from time to time.
Finding the right private school for your child can take a lot of time and effort. You have to talk to people you know to get suggestions, look up and visit the private schools you are considering, and there are a lot of factors you need to take into consideration. The good news is that all of this time and energy spend finding the right private school is well worth it.