Not all schools are created equal; that’s a fact. But that doesn’t mean that the best school around is the best for your child. Each educational institution has different programs that cater to different people. While they have plenty of similarities, they also have distinct differences.
Choosing the right school is important for your child’s development. It can make all the difference in your child’s life. So between the best international schools, public schools, private schools, and other alternatives, you have a lot of narrowing down to do.
Typically, most parents want their children to go where they went to school when they were children. But that’s not always the best thing to do. Times change, and so do academic programs. You also need to consider that between the time you went to school, and now, there are a lot more options available to you. So you need to do your homework and give careful thought to which schools will make it to your shortlist.
Once you already have a list of options, the process gets a lot easier.
What to Consider When Choosing the Right School for Your Child
Are the school and its program a fit for your child?
Finding the best possible learning environment where your child will flourish is important. You need to set some criteria to help you know if your child will fit well with the school.
Identify the following needs and see how your options can meet these needs:
- What you want your child to learn
- How your child learns
- Social interaction
- Practical matters
What is the focus that you want for your child?
As we mentioned earlier, some schools are distinctly different from the others. Some offer a wider range of services and studies compared to other institutions of learning. Some emphasize foreign language in their curriculum; others focus on arts. Still, others have a religious and theological slant. These features give them an edge over other schools, so you need to find out how they can best serve your child.
Check out the ratings and scores.
We all know that high student scores aren’t always indicative of a school’s performance, but they are also an important factor in the decision-making process. You may also look at the school’s ratings to see if they can provide your child with the best quality education.
Make a list of the school features you are looking for.
It’s one thing to make a list of what different schools have to offer; it’s another to make your own list of what you’re looking for in a school.
Some of the basic things most parents look for are:
- Competent teachers and staff
- Good quality academic program
- Great extra-curricular program
- Vibrant and active PTA
- Children who are happy yet excelling in performance
Drop in for a visit to see what the environment is like.
A school visit is always a great idea. This way, you get a better idea of what your child will experience if you decide to enrol them there. You get to see first-hand the environment and how teachers and students interact with each other.
Don’t shy away from asking questions.
Before you swing by for a visit, prepare beforehand a list of questions you would like to ask. Asking these questions — especially the tough ones — will help you better grasp what the program and the learning environment are like. List down all of your concerns and ask the teachers and principal about it.
Get input from parents and children who are attending the school.
It’s not enough to get the answers from the staff and faculty of the school. In most cases, they will try to impress you by having their best foot forward. For this reason, you need a dose of reality in your queries. The students and their parents can give you honest and sincere answers to some of your questions.
Meet with the principal.
A meeting with the principal is a great way to have all your questions answered. Ask for an appointment and make sure you take that opportunity to get all the information you need to help you decide for your child.
Attend one of the PTA meetings.
PTA meetings are a great way of asking more parents about the school and getting additional information. It’s also a terrific way of connecting with other parents and getting their numbers so you can contact them later on if you decide to enrol your child in their school.
Go with your gut.
Once you’re done with your research, and you already have all the data and information you need, the choice of whether your child should attend that school is on you. In some cases, it makes sense to go with the data, but in other cases, you might not be comfortable with it. Either way, go over everything, make an assessment, and trust your parental instinct in what’s best for your child.
With these tips, you are better positioned to make the best possible decision to help secure your child’s future. We hope that you found this article helpful. Good luck with the hunt!