It’s very normal for parents to be anxious about finding a place where their child/ren will be healthy and happy. A Place that will prepare them for a bright future.
Looking for a guide on how to choose the best school for your child? This article was written with you in mind.
1. Ensure The School Caters To Your Child’s Needs
Gone are the days when people went to school for the sake of it; education, and nothing more.
Now, before you enroll your child in a school, you want to take a closer look at your child’s talents and interests and find a great school that’ll cater to those needs before you proceed to enroll him or her.
It is not uncommon for parents to seek out particular programmes for their children.
Some parents may look for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) focused schools, Performing Arts, or language immersion schools.
However, if you are uncertain as to what your child’s interests may be, you can consider enrolling them in larger schools, as they are more likely to have a diversity of classes offered.
You can also ask about other electives/extracurriculars. Find out if the school offers the non-academic stuff you might be looking for, such as theater, sports, debate, etc.
2. Sit Down With The Principal
A one-on-one meeting with the principal during the consideration stage can be the best time to ask many of your questions.
Principals should be open to meeting with parents and should be forthcoming with information about the school and its staff.
3. Ask Questions
Before your school visit, prepare some questions to ask the principal and teachers you will meet. Some good questions include:
- How are teachers trained, supported and monitored?
- Are behavioural problems handled properly at the school?
- How much homework is given to students?
- What sort of extracurricular activities are available to students?
You will probably have a number of your own questions as well, based on the specific learning needs and interests of your child.
Write questions down before you visit to ensure you don’t forget to ask any of these important questions.
4. Inquire From People Who Are There
Talk to parents, and students who go to the school because staff may put their best foot forward during a visit. However, parents and students at the school will often tell it like it is.
Extend the talk to neighbours or parents you meet while visiting the school. This will help you find out if they and their children are happy with the quality of education offered there.
Ask if the school staff is responsive to needs and concerns and if parents are involved with the school’s operations.
You can also share any observations you may have picked up about the school, reservations your instincts are suggesting.
5. Go On A Tour Of The School
Simply go on the school’s website to inquire about tours. Most good schools have gone digital now.
In fact, some would consider a school without a website in these modern times, a red flag.
Plus, almost any school will allow prospective parents and students to visit, if they simply ask.
Preferably, you and your child should go on the school tour –they are the ones going to resume there after all, and if so, the earlier they start getting to know the place, the better.
Some schools even offer the opportunity for a child to visit an actual classroom, which is very helpful.
On the day of your tour, target if possible, lunch and recess time.
You want to see that non-classroom time has adequate supervision and the kids look happy.
Non-supervised time on the playground according to research, is a big stress factor for many children.
6. Look Into Security
Beyond the organisation, ethics, and potentially impactful curriculum of the school, a top priority on the subject of choosing the best school for your child should be your child’s safety at the school.
The rule of thumb on this is that you can rule schools out by neighbourhood. The best school may no longer be the best for your child if the school is dangerous.
7. Check Transportation Options
Ensure transportation to and from the school is convenient and safe.
If transport to the school will by bus, take the bus to school during commute time before you go through with the enrollment.
The idea is that by experiencing, you will feel and know what it will be like.
If transport will be by car, go by the school during drop-off hours to ensure it is doable for you.
And if it will be on foot or a bike or tricycle, ensure there are good safety precautions, they are relatively convenient for you and your child.
8. Trust Your Gut
After you’ve done your research, gather and assess all the information you think is relevant.
The bottom line is to choose the school that you and your child feel best about him attending.
In some cases, this follows directly to the data.
In other cases, you might simply get a good feeling about the staff, the kids at the school, or other features.
The school you eventually choose will make a difference in your child’s academic future, so take the time to research your options and then choose the school that feels the best to both of you.
Best of luck!
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