Public or private, the school your child attends has an enormous impact on your child’s academic achievements. The teachers, the curricula and the atmosphere in school can all affect your child’s performance and well-being. If there are few schools in your district you can choose from or if you are moving to a new location and you are looking for a school for your children, take some time to consider the following aspects:
The right Fit for your Children
When you are evaluating the pros and cons of registering your children at a specific school, make sure that you are considering your children’s opinions, their personalities, favorite activities etc. When you are visiting the school for the first time, try to imagine how your children would fit in there. Do they prefer to work alone and would benefit more from attending a small school, or are they very sociable, like working in groups and would feel more comfortable at a large school? How big are the classes? Does the school offer any after class activities that play to your children’s hobbies? Does the school feel safe and warm? If you liked the school during your first visit, take your children together with you, when you visit for the second time and ask about their opinion.
The Educational approach of the School
Many schools follow particular philosophies and teaching methods, which is something you should pay a lot of attention to. For example, some schools represent the alternative methods of teaching, such as Maria Montessori techniques or Rudolf Steiner approach. These schools can differ significantly from regular public and private schools, for example the material can be organized and taught in a different order; the method can favor working in groups or pairs, instead of individual studying; finally, the methods used to test students’ performance can be very different from what is applied in public schools. If you consider one of these schools, it is really important to dig deeper and check how the school can benefit your children. Will they be given a better start and preparation for the next stages of education? In the same manner you have to evaluate the curriculum of the school. For example, many schools apply the innovative math teaching program called Singapore Math, which is reportedly more effective than the traditional math curriculum. If your child has been taught Singapore Math in elementary school, it is important to find a middle school, which also favors the same approach to math. On the other hand, if your child does not know the rules of Singapore Math and this is the method applied in the school you have chosen for him, he might need some extra math classes to get a better understanding of this approach.
Technology and Equipment
It is important to choose a school, which follows new trends in technology and is well equipped, in order to allow your children to participate in different types of activities, such as different sport games, after school clubs etc. Check how the school facilitates modern technologies, such as the internet, computers and mobile devices: are these technologies used during classes and for homework? Visit the gym and classrooms and check whether they are well equipped.
Marta Gromadzka is a writer and editor with a wide variety of experience, including writing for websites internationally and editing books on many different subjects and in a variety of formats.