If the past few years teach us anything, let it be that planning your child’s education is essential. For every school virtual learning was a challenge. As it continued, many parents became more aware of the value of the school environment.
Moreover, they saw how important the values, content, and educational approach of a school are for a child’s future. Whether you focus on Montessori education or want to find a classical school, finding the right environment for your child is essential.
As you begin to plan your child’s education or decide to make a change, consider the eleven questions below.
#1 Public or Private: What’s better for my child?
When it comes to public vs private school, parents have many questions. As you search for a new school for your child, it’s one of the most significant decisions you make. To many parents, the idea of private education immediately brings the cost to mind.
While private school costs more money, it is often a worthwhile investment in your child’s future. Generally speaking, there is nothing more valuable than a solid foundation for your child’s success. With the right school, it’s easy to see the value of what the program brings to your family. Moreover, many schools offer financial aid, grants, scholarships, and more to help parents meet the costs.
#2 Are private schools only for the wealthy?
As mentioned above, the short answer is no. Too often, parents have a negative image of private school. Typically, this stems from film and television, which often portray these environments in a harsh or inaccessible light.
However, the reality is that many private schools have highly diverse students from an array of backgrounds. Again, many financial concerns have solutions to help parents afford private education.
#3 Are the teachers qualified?
A curriculum is only as effective as the teachers who deliver it. While planning your child’s education, be sure to learn more about the teaching staff.
What is their hiring process? Do they have specific requirements for teachers?
#4 Is class size important to you?
One major differentiator for parents is the size difference in classes between public schools and private schools. Often, smaller classes allow teachers to provide students with more individual attention. This helps to boost performance and offers teachers the space necessary to teach effectively.
#5 Does the school value art in education?
Today, the norm for many schools is budget cuts. Unfortunately, this leads to a sacrifice in art and creativity for the students. From visual art to dance or music, the programs continue to vanish from public schools.
Often, it’s the children who suffer because of this. While planning your child’s education, consider the opportunity for artistic expression at the schools you assess. From learning how to collaborate to building confidence in self-expression, it’s hard to imagine an education with no focus on the arts.
#6 What is the admissions process?
Oftentimes, the perception of private school differs from the reality. Many parents assume that the admissions process is in place to exclude. However, many private elementary schools are inclusive and welcoming.
Students from different backgrounds and cultures walk the halls of private Christian schools, and those schools are proud of that fact. Still, it’s difficult to understand the dynamic of a school without being part of its community.
That’s why it is so important to schedule a tour of the campus to learn more and observe the school environment for yourself.
#7 What years are most impactful?
To many parents, private education is something to start with older children. Alternatively, they believe high school is the right time to highlight achievements on university applications. However, both of these are far from true.
In planning your child’s education, it’s important to understand that habits form early on. The earlier your child develops habits that foster success, the better.
#8 Does the education address values and character?
While planning your child’s education, it’s easy to develop tunnel vision on the curriculum of each school. That’s easy to understand. What parent doesn’t want a curriculum that challenges their child to help them grow?
However, it’s important that this not become the only metric you use to judge a school. In planning your child’s education, the curriculum is crucial. Still, it is also essential that the school support the emotional and social development of the child.
At private Christian schools and secular schools alike, it’s important that the education cultivate character and personal values. When you choose the right school, it aligns with the values you maintain at home.
#9 Does the curriculum follow fads or proven paths?
Often, public schools have to adapt or amend the curriculum to match up with testing, fads, or trends in education. Unfortunately, this has the potential to disrupt and confuse the students.
At a private classical school, the teachers follow a model with time-tested methodologies. Of course, private schools remain open to change as well. However, the standards and implementation are much more planned out.
When something works, why abandon it outright?
#10 Is the school focused on the future?
As you continue planning your child’s education, it’s important to think of who their education shapes them to be. When you interview with different schools, it’s a good idea to ask after the alumni of the school. Did they continue to succeed?
Early education is crucial for the development of the whole child. With the right habits formed and a love of learning, the child has the tools and confidence to grow and succeed.
#11 Does the school emphasize talent and ability?
Abilities and talents are wonderful things. It’s important to nurture and cultivate these as a child grows. However, in planning your child’s education, consider how important it is for a well-rounded education.
While it is necessary to nurture natural talent, it’s essential for a student to face challenges and learn broader skills in all arenas. When a student has access to a broad range of subjects, they have an opportunity to develop abilities in many areas.
Planning Your Child’s Education? Learn More About Our Private Christian School
As you plan for your child’s education, you’ll come across many schools and educational styles. At Saint Nicholas School, our campus offers children a space to develop a love of learning. As we bolster their confidence to learn, we help them develop skills that last a lifetime.
To learn more about our school, schedule a tour of our campus!