There’s no handbook to being a parent. No one tells you how to prepare for those sleepless nights with your firstborn or how to calm your child when they have a bad boo-boo. As they grow, you have to navigate how to choose the right school for kids and how to best develop their character, too.
Most of the best parenting lessons are learned hands-on, but, there are a few tips you can keep in mind along the way. When it comes to education, use the insights below to help you make the best educational decisions from pre-school to high school and college.
1. Put Your Child’s Needs First
Before you start trying to figure out which school is better and which school is worse, take a step back and think about your child. What does he/she need from their educational environment?
Consider whether your child could excel in accelerated learning or whether they need the ability to learn at a slower pace or in smaller class sizes. Think about the long-term educational achievements they are capable of, like becoming a merit scholar or completing a few their college courses before graduating high school.
2. Consider More Than Standardized Test Scores
While you’re thinking about how much your child can learn and at what pace such accumulation of knowledge is available to them, remember to look closely at each option. A school’s test scores do not tell you the whole story.
3. Think About Arts and Athletics
That’s right – the arts and various athletic opportunities are just as important as textbooks and class discussions. This is what creates a well-rounded learning environment for every child.
Regardless of whether your child goes on to become a college athlete or if they just do one year of JV, the things they learn as an athlete become lifelong lessons applied outside of school. The same goes for art students who find an outlet to express themselves and ways to challenge their thinking that traditional education just can’t do.
4. Look at Public and Private School for Kids
Just as it’s important to look at education from all sides in terms of what a child is learning, think about where they’re going to learn, too. There are pros and cons of public and private schools.
Private schools, like Lake Mary Preparatory School, usually have smaller class sizes which tend to make it easier for students to connect with teachers and engage in learning. However, this concept does not always ring true as some students really do thrive in larger, more complex environments. This is just one difference between the two school systems to consider.
5. Visit Each of Your Options
Whether you have a list of all the best public schools in the area or you’re only interested in private schools, it’s still a good idea to visit all your options. This is your opportunity to gauge the kind of culture at each school.
Ask yourself how invested the teachers genuinely seem in the students and how well-behaved and interested overall the students seem. It’s hard to notice all the details from just one visit, but a few conversations with teachers and a walk around the school should give you an idea of what you may be getting into.
Pick the Best Schools for Kids All Their Life
Choosing the best school for kids is hard to do if you just moved to a new city or you’re trying to figure this out for the very first time. The good news is, though, that it gets better with practice.
As your child graduates from kindergarten and goes into the rest of their elementary, middle, and high school years, you can trust that you’ve made the right decision. Plus, if things come up along the way, there’s always the opportunity to transfer.
Did you recently go through this process with one of your children? Are you new parents who are already thinking about your child’s education? Check out the rest of our blog for more posts with helpful tips.