6 Ways to Choose A School for Your Child
6 Ways to Choose A School for Your Child
Whether your child is just starting out in school or you are considering switching their schools, choosing the right school for your child is very important. If you talk to your family and friends they are sure to have tons of advice and guidelines on what you need to look for when it comes to choosing the right school for your child, but they are lacking on huge thing. What they are lacking is your child and what you feel is important for them.
When you choose the right school for your child you need to look at what is best for your child, what school is going to fit best for them, not you or their grandparents. Putting your child in a school just because your parents recommended it or because that is where all the neighborhood kids are going is not the best way to go about choosing a school for your child. Picking the school based on what others think and feel can often lead to disaster, as it is not the right school for your child.
In order to ensure that you are choosing the best school for your child, you are going to want to make sure the school that you are looking at is the perfect fit for your child. To determine if it is the perfect fit there are several factors that you are going to have to look at. And, while this can be time consuming, it is definitely worth it especially as you watch your child grow and flourish in the perfect school.
#1 What Your Child Is Learning
One of the most important things to focus on when choosing a school for your child is what your child is going to be learning. After all, the main reason you are sending your child to school is to get an education; it’s not just about socializing. What subjects your child is learning is just one aspect to look at, you also need to look at how challenging the curriculum is. You want to choose a school that offers the best learning opportunities, but one that is going to challenge your child as well.
#2 What The Classroom Offers
Many times parents rely on the school’s standardized test scores as a way to determine if the school is good or not. They use these test scores as a means of not going to the school to see what the classrooms have to offer. There is really no substitute for physically inspecting the school, as well as the classroom. Test scores are usually totally meaningless because all they tell you is that the kids who are going to that school can memorize and retain information. As a parent you want to go down to the school itself to see what the classrooms have to offer. Look inside the room to see if the shelves are lined with books, your best classes will have a wide variety of books for students to choose from.
#3 How Your Child Learns
As a parent you probably already have a great idea on how your child learns best. As early as preschool age you should be able to determine if your child is a visual learner or if they are more of a hands on type of learner. No matter what kind of learner they are you want to find a school that is going to play to their strengths. And the only way to find out if the school is going to suit your child’s learning needs is to go down to the school and interact with the teachers and the staff. Talking to teachers can give you a general idea about their teaching style and whether it will work best for your child. For example, a child that is extremely hands on would do better in an environment that included a lot of hands on activities rather than sitting still at a desk for the entire school day.
#4 It’s Not Just About The Learning
Yes what your child is learning and how they are learning is important when it comes to picking out the right school for them, but school is not just about the books. Children spend quite a bit of their day at school interacting with their peers, so this is a good time deal with social issues. You don’t want to opt for a school that has no social interactions nor do you want to find a school for your child that is all about social interaction. Finding the right one is often a very difficult task, as the lines between too much and too little are quite thin. If the school offers no outside play or no social activities, such as school plays, you want to consider looking elsewhere. Without social interactions your child is not going to learn basic problem solving skills, which can seriously affect them in their adult life.
#5 Teachers Matter More Than You Might Think
Like many other professions you are going to find several different types of teachers under just one roof. One thing that you will soon discover as a parent is that how well your child interacts with their teacher plays a big role in their education. As you observe the goings on at the schools you are considering you are going to see that some teachers are there simply for a paycheck, while many others are their because they truly care about children and the education they receive. Obviously you want to find a school that has as many of the latter choices as possible. It has been proven time and gain that excellent teachers, those that really care about what they are doing, not only teach more, but students learn better from them.
#6 Name Doesn’t Mean Anything
When looking for the right school for your child you are going to come across names used to describe different schools, such as charter, public, and private. However, just because a school has that specific term in their name that doesn’t mean the school is automatically better than other schools. Whether you opt for private, charter, or public doesn’t matter, what matters is that it is the best choice for your child.
Knowing what to look for is one thing, but that doesn’t guarantee that you are going to choose the right school right away. Sometimes things look good on the surface, but deep down things are not as good as they might seem. So, how do you know if you made the right choice in schools for your child?
One of the easiest ways to determine if you made the right choice is to watch how your child reacts to the school. If your child’s school is the right fit for them they are going to wake up each morning excited and ready to go to school, after they finish waking up that is. On the other hand if your child is showing any kind of reluctance at going to school or they are verbally saying they don’t like the school than chances are pretty good that the school is not the right fit.
Another way to determine if the school is a good fit for your child is to observe your child’s behavior at the end of the day, as well as at the end of the school year. Kids who are happy and full of energy even at the end of a long school day are thoroughly enjoying their school experience. Kids who are unhappy and tired come the end of the school day probably are not having a good experience inside the school for whatever reason. At the end of the year your child should have made tons of progress and not just academically. Kids should also grow physically, socially, and emotionally by the end of the year. Kids who have grown in these areas are in a pretty well matched school. If your child hasn’t grown much or has even gone backwards you need to seriously consider finding them a different school.
Finally, some last things that you want to look for to ensure that the school is a good fit for your child is that they come home eager to tell you about their school day. They take pride in sharing what they have learned in class and that you feel they are being challenged appropriately. Kids who don’t enjoy sharing details about their day with you or those that seem to constantly complain about not having any friends or the teachers not understanding them are not fitting well into the school. When children don’t fit well into a school they are not going to be challenged nor will they perform to the best of their abilities. Choosing the right school for your child can be a bit overwhelming, but doing so will ensure they get the most out of their education.