How to Choose the Right School for Your Child
- April 24, 2018
- Posted by: Yorktown Education Team
- Category: Picking the Best School
With summer so near, it may not seem like the right time to think about where your child will go to school in the fall; and yet, it might be the best time of all. Why? Because choosing the right school for your child takes time, research, asking relevant questions, and visiting the schools.
First things first, what does your child need? Every child is different, even if they’re in the same family, assessing the educational needs of a child is no easy task. However, if parents know their children well enough to comprehend what they need – a more scheduled environment, or a slower pace, special needs, extra instruction, a gifted program, or a more nurturing culture – they at least have a direction to follow.
One central focus should be your child’s strengths and what they enjoy doing. A school that will prepare them for the higher grades and college will serve them well. Another important focus is for parents to define what they believe is the ideal school for their child.
Consider how your child learns best and don’t just focus on what you want them to learn, but consider what their interests are as well. Helping your child discover what their passion is for learning is a giant step toward lifelong success.
Whether you’re looking at a public school or a private school, remember they all differ in more ways than just location. There are good schools, great schools, and excellent schools in both categories.
The National Center for Education Statistics can provide information about how well students do at a school, compared with other schools at their same grade level. You can review how that has changed over time.
Always make a pre-enrollment visit and prepare your questions in advance to make sure you get answers that will help you make your decision. Here are a few important ones.
- What are the school’s expectations for their students?
- How are teachers selected and is training ongoing?
- Is there homework and what is the process?
- How are behavioral problems dealt with?
Find out the application process for enrollment and financial aid if applicable. Ask if the school requires a letter of recommendation. Also, find out the enrollment timeframe for special classes or extracurricular activities. Sometimes these fill up quickly.
Finally, be sure to know what the exact documentation is that you will need, such as child’s birth certificate or proof of identity, your residence, vaccinations and all other pertinent medical and dental records. If you’re not sure, ask and save time and effort.
Choosing the right (best) school for your child is a major decision, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.