Moving from public school to private school can be a big change. The differences in the environment of each program will likely be the first thing your child notices. The number of students in each class, the size of the school itself, and design of the classroom will all be different in a private school. As your child begins a private education, more differences will become clear in areas such as the curriculum, student expectations, and teaching style. As a parent, you understand the positive impact that these differences will have on your child’s education and future. It can be a little more difficult for your student to understand the importance of the change. There are some proactive steps you can take to help your child make a smooth switch from public to private school.
Talk through the day
Fear of the unknown is typically the most difficult element of switching from public to private school. Your child likely understands that things will be different but does not know which things are going to change. Are the changes going to be good or bad? Will a private school be harder than public school? Are there any fun things to do at private school? These are simple questions that your child may have about switching from public to private school. You can answer these and other questions by talking through a typical day at the new program. Look at the breakdown of a typical day in kindergarten at Fountainhead Montessori School on the program page. This will help you give your child an idea of what to expect in private school. Simply understanding the schedule at the new school can ease a number of fears about the change that your child may be experiencing.
Discuss the educational philosophy of the private school
Discussing the education philosophy of the private school you choose may sound too complicated for a child, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, if you have chosen a Montessori program, you can talk to your child about how the program focuses on hands-on learning. Your child will understand the difference between sitting in a desk all day and moving around the classroom to various activities. Talking about these types of differences can help your child get excited about the switch.
Set up a visit to the new school
One of the most effective ways to make a smooth switch to private school is to take a campus tour. It is helpful for children in a time of transition to have a clear picture of the change that is coming. Visiting the campus will give your child a clear picture to use when thinking about the transition.
The switch from public school to private school can be a smooth transition for your child. You understand the benefits of making the switch, but it is important to remember that your child may not have your long-term viewpoint. Take some time to go through the process outlined above so your child can quickly adjust to switching schools.