Private education can provide a long list of benefits to your child. Each private school is unique so it is important to thoroughly research any program you are considering. Some of the factors you should consider as you explore private education include: the school environment, curriculum, training of the teachers, class size, and enrichment opportunities. Looking into each of these elements will provide you with enough information to determine if the school will be a good fit for your child.
The environment of the school is an important factor to consider because it can have a direct impact on your child’s education. For example, Montessori classrooms are intentionally designed to align with the Montessori philosophy of education. The classroom environment supports the Montessori curriculum. Many private schools give parents the opportunity to observe a class to help with the decision-making process. You can learn a lot about a program by taking the time to observe a class and explore the school environment.
Private schools have the freedom to choose or design their own curriculum. This freedom means that you may find big differences in curriculum across various private programs. You need to look at this factor to make sure the curriculum aligns with your own beliefs about learning and education. Most private programs have a core educational philosophy on which the curriculum is based. You can ask about the educational philosophy at each school to learn more about how they approach learning and teaching.
Training of the teachers
The guidelines for teacher training are different in private school versus public school. Public school teachers are required to meet a very specific set of standards in order to be able to teach. Private schools have more freedom when it comes to teacher training. The fact that private schools can set their own standards means that you need to ask about teacher training at each program you seriously consider.
Most private schools have the flexibility to keep class sizes small. If class size is an important factor for you then be sure and ask about averages at the programs you consider. The definition of ‘small’ can vary depending on the program. You can also ask the leadership in each program what they consider the ideal class size and why.
A quality education includes much more than the basics. It also includes enrichment opportunities. Many private programs can offer a wide range of enrichment opportunities for students both during and after school. The flexibility that private schools have to design curriculum makes it possible for them to add in a variety of enrichment opportunities that you may not be able to find in the typical public school program.
Private programs have much more flexibility than public schools. This increased flexibility is an attractive factor to many parents who are looking for the best educational opportunity. Increased flexibility also means that you cannot really know what a private school has to offer until you take the time to research the program. If you look at the five factors outlined above at each potential program you will have the information you need to make an informed decision.