Finding the Right Private School for Your Child
When most people think about private schools, they consider tuition costs, class size, and school location.Although these factors should be considered when choosing a private school for your child, there are many other things that need to be looked into before making the decision to send your child to a private school. Below, we’ll discuss all the factors you need to consider when choosing a private school for your child.
Is Private School Right for Your Child?
Private tuition can be a better option than sending your child to the local public school. Some children find it very difficult to settle in and learn without undue distractions at a large school, where they are often one of only a few ‘older’ children.
Advantages of Private Schooling
- Private schools often offer smaller class sizes than public schools. This means more one-on-one attention for your child. The teacher-student ratio is usually 1:8 – 1:20 and sometimes even lower.
- With smaller class sizes, private school teachers are usually able to spend more time getting to know each child’s strengths and weaknesses. This allows them to tailor their tuition accordingly.
- Many independent schools offer an academic curriculum based on traditional values and historical teaching methodologies including grammar, geometry, rhetoric, and logic which youngsters may find appealing. Naturally, these kinds of methods take longer than an inferior methodology but they produce better graduates in the end.
- Private schools often have amazing sporting facilities which mean that your child(ren) will be able to get involved in a range of different sports and activities regardless of whether they are athletically inclined or not.
- For some parents, the most appealing aspect of private schooling is its exclusivity. Parents who choose this route view it as a means to protect their children from negative influences in society.
How Do I Choose a School for My Child?
There are lots of things to consider when deciding on the perfect education for your child. Make a list of what you want them to gain from their school days as this will help to narrow down your field of choice at the beginning stages and should make the process easier overall.
The best way to find out whether an independent school is right for your child is by visiting it in person. These places are usually built on tradition so most adhere to tried, tested, and trusted teaching methods which means that it’s not just a case of getting in there and seeing what they’ve got – they might not even teach anything relevant!
If you can’t visit then call up or email someone from the admissions department and ask about academic entrance requirements, religious affiliation (most independent schools are very pro-Christian), extracurricular activities, etc.
Saving Money on Private Schooling
The best way to save money on private schooling is by asking for financial assistance. Most of these places have some form of bursary fund to help families in need. If they don’t offer one then talk to them about ways you can reduce fees – you might be surprised at what they come back with!
If your child has a learning difficulty or disability which means that they won’t be able to cope with the demands of an independent school, then ask if they offer home tuition instead. Note that it’s best not to mention any sort of problem until you’ve got there as this can work against you if the school thinks that you’re not supportive.
How to Find the Right Independent School for Your Child
Private schools are found throughout the world, but there is no real way to find one other than using the same methods as finding a public school. The best thing you can do however is ask around – check out your local community and see if anyone has attended or still sends their kids to such places (you could also try talking to people at church).
Visit as many private schools as you can. Remember that they all have their own unique set of rules, so don’t try comparing them because this will only confuse things further! Look at the facilities on offer (e.g., sports, IT, drama, etc.) and ask lots of questions about the teaching methods used – not just with regard to what is being taught but also how it is being taught. The right school won’t just provide academic excellence; it should have an impressive list of extracurricular activities, seminars, and workshops.
Ask about the students’ average grades as well – how many people pass with A’s? What percentage get all B’s? How many kids are eligible for free lunches? Things like this will give you a good idea of what to expect from your child in the future!
Should I Pay More for a Better School?
Not necessarily. The most important thing is to find a school that meets your needs wherever possible. If you’re looking for excellence, then don’t rule out smaller schools because they might offer some amazing opportunities (e.g., teaching experience, etc.) that other places don’t.
Is Private School for Your Child a Good Value?
This is a tough one because it all depends on who you ask. You should talk to some of the students and parents at your child’s prospective schools and see what they have to say about it all. Don’t just listen though – find out if they feel that their money has been well spent (in terms of what they’ve gained rather than how much they paid)!
Ask yourself whether you’re going for educational excellence, a particular social or religious affiliation, etc. – whatever it might be, focus on finding somewhere with these things in mind, and make sure that you compare different establishments before making your final decision.
How to Get Your Child Into the Best School
The best way to get your child into the school of their choice is by talking to people who already have children who go there. Ask them how they found out about it and whether they would recommend it as a learning environment (e.g., does the teacher-student ratio suit their needs, etc.)? Most schools will have some sort of open day where you can chat with other parents. So see if your prospective school offers one!
Factors to Consider When Choosing a School for Your Child
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a school for your child:
- Is it suitable for you and your family?
- How much does attendance cost?
- What opportunities are on offer to students after graduation (e.g., scholarships, etc.)?
- What sort of extracurricular activities will they have access to?
Don’t just contact the school – also try speaking with parents living in your community who currently send their kids there! They can tell you what they like about the place, how much it costs and answer any other questions that might be on your mind.
This is a great way to find out whether or not sending your child here would be an appropriate choice. If possible, arrange a time when you can speak to teachers as well. Try to set up a meeting with your child and the headmaster! This is great because they will get a feel for your child’s abilities and personality before they even start school which should help them adapt faster if everything else fails.
You might also want to check out some of the seminars that schools often run (e.g., SAT preparation courses, etc.) – these things are always advertised on local flyers so take a look around your community and see what turns up!
What Kind of Education Are You Looking for Your Child?
This sort of depends on what you’re looking for your child to do after high school graduation. If you want them to go into a more creative field, then it’s good to take them to a school with a good art or music department.
Alternatively, if they’ll be going onto university later in life (e.g., studying engineering, etc.) then a school with lots of extracurricular activities could help them stand out from their peers when it’s time to apply!
Resources and References