Choosing a school for your child is an important step in determining the direction of their future.
Having a good education behind their name will help give your child a wide variety of opportunities to pursue, and equip them with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions when it comes to choosing a college, deciding on a career path, or making other life-changing decisions.
But with so many options in front of you, how do you choose?
Choosing a School
The truth is that each child is different – their needs are different, and therefore different environments will benefit different children in various ways. You probably know your child better than anyone else, so always make a decision based on what you feel is right for them.
That being said, there are a few important factors to consider, and they might make the choice a bit easier for you.
Private vs. public?
This is a debate that has been going on for many years – is public school or private school best for children? Both have their pros and cons, and the truth is that this choice alone depends on a lot of factors, especially when it comes to finances.
As a general rule, private schools are much costlier than public schools. However, many parents feel that the quality of education received from a private school exceeds that of a public school.
The best thing to do would be to research different schools in your area, such as private schools in Utah, and compare the pros and cons of a private school and a public school.
As mentioned, a private school will put a bigger dent in your bank account than a public school. However, this isn’t the only financial factor you will need to consider.
How much will transport to and from different schools cost? Are extracurricular activities included in school fees or do you need to pay extra for them?
All of these small factors can add up to quite a big sum. It is therefore advisable to sit down with your different school options and do some hypothetical budgeting projections to see how much it would cost you, and whether you can afford it.
Doing this might even instantly eliminate certain schools due to their costs, narrowing down the pool from which you can choose and making your choice easier.
While schools are primarily there for educational reasons, other factors also play an important role. Some schools are solely focused on academics and pride themselves on things like pass rates, grade averages, and college acceptances.
Others might brag with their sports achievements or variety of activities relating to the arts.
You need to decide whether you want a school that is focused more on academics, sports, or the arts.
Keep in mind your child’s strong suits when making this decision, but if you’re unsure, you should aim for a well-balanced school that offers a little bit of everything.
There are various benefits to sports, such as soccer, so try to choose a school that offers some kind of sport.
You need to ask yourself whether you would be willing to look at schools a little bit further away if it means getting a better education for your child.
Keep in mind that long commutes can cut into time your child usually spends on homework, and it can also be quite draining for children to have to travel long distances to and from school.
There is always the option of boarding school, if you can’t find a school close enough that suits your needs, but this will bring in a lot of other factors you need to consider.
Ultimately, if you feel that there are no suitable schools in your area, you can look for schools in other areas, but keep in mind that it will put a strain on both you and your child.
More and more schools are priding themselves on smaller class sizes. Less children in a class means that teachers will have more time to spend focusing on an individual child.
This attention can be greatly beneficial to children who struggle in school and need more one on one time with teachers in order to grasp the work.
While there are many advantages to small schools, this might not affect all children equally. If your child is used to working independently, or they are a very social child, it might not make a difference to them either way.
Not all schools offer the same subject choices. While most of them offer a few basic, similar classes, some schools might offer a wider variety of classes in a particular subject, such as science, music, or hospitality.
If your child is already interested in going a certain direction with their life, it might be smart to expand on this interest and put them in a school that will help nurture this talent.
Most parents want to help their children get into college. Many children also want to get into a specific college of their choice.
That’s why it’s a good idea to choose a school that is going to expose your child to a variety of things and offer them loads of experiences and opportunities that will help them in their goal for a brighter future.
Many schools go the extra mile by offering workshops, inspirational talks, international tours, and more culturally immersive experiences. The more your child experiences, the more they’ll have to put on their college application.
It’s important for your child to have a balanced and well-rounded lifestyle. Focusing solely on their academic progress can lead to burnouts. Doing activities – whether social, cultural, or sports-related – will help them improve upon their social skills as well as expand their skills.
Even if your child isn’t currently into any sports or cultural activities, that can change. If it does, you want your child to be in a school that offers them various options when it comes to extra-curricular activities.
Do some research on what different schools offer, and don’t be scared to involve your child in the decision. Asking them about their interests and dreams might make the decision easier.