Choosing where your children go to school is a big decision. They will spend a large proportion of their childhood there so you want them to be happy and in a place that they are comfortable. Being happy and comfortable will also enable them to perform to their best, as academics and performance are also important criteria also when it comes to selecting the correct school. So here are some tips to consider for when it comes to choosing the right school for your child.
The type of school
There are a variety of different schools across America all of which are worth researching. It may be that your child would benefit from a Charter school over a Montessori school or perhaps you follow a particular religion and feel your child would fit in well at a religious school. It may be that the local school to you is a public school or a Waldorf school and you need to know the difference. Knowing the difference in the type of schools available will help you when making the decision.
There is also an increase in cyber schooling, be it a PA charter school and a virtual public school, they are becoming more commonplace and a desirable hybrid for the homeschooling option. When deciding on the type of school that would be a good fit for your child think about their learning styles, social needs, level of support they require, and any practical matters such as scheduling.
If you do opt for a more traditional school then you will need to factor in the location of the school and how your child will get there. Is there transport? Can you do the school run? Can they walk? Is it safe to? How long will the commute take? Also choosing a school in close proximity can be an advantage when it comes to their social life and mixing with their friends outside of school. If they attend a school 20 miles away for example it may be that their social circle is that far away too.
Look at the school’s scores
There is more to a school than its tests scores but it will give you an indication of the academic level at which the pupils are performing at. Some schools may also provide further information with regards to the colleges their pupils go on to attend or the professions they choose. The more information you get the better placed you are to make a decision.
Visit the school
Visiting the school is one of the best ways to get a feel for it. Walking around the building, classrooms, meeting teachers and pupils will tell you a lot more than the information you read on a screen. Allow your child to accompany you and to decide as to whether they feel comfortable there.
Extra circular activities
Does your child have a particular interest in any activities? Perhaps they love to dance or are a keen sportsperson. Some schools offer a wide variety of after-school activities, and some are known to specialize in certain areas. It may be that choosing a school with a wide range of extra circular activities will benefit your child or perhaps they are a keen musician and the school offers an excellent music program. Take a look at everything the school has to offer and not just the curriculum.