How do you decide which private school option is right for your child? Choosing a program should be based off a number of criteria that include everything from the logistics of getting to school each day to the educational philosophy on which the program is based. The needs of your child, the location of the programs, the underlying philosophy of the programs, and the enrichment opportunities that are available are all criteria to consider as you explore private school options.
The needs of your child
All children have some of the same basic needs in the classroom. They need an environment where they feel safe and are provided with access to resources and information that will help them learn. Your child also has needs that are unique to him or her. If your child is gifted in one or more areas, you need to learn what resources the various programs provide for gifted children. If your child has a deep interest in a certain area, then you should look into whether or not your child will have the opportunity to explore and engage with that interest. Take some time to consider what your child needs in the classroom and then explore private school options with those needs in mind.
The location of the programs
Logistically, you need to find a private school option that is close to your home and/or work. On a practical level, you must be able to get your child to and from school each day. This criterion provides you with a simple way to narrow down your options to only the ones that fit within your preferred geographical area.
The underlying philosophy of the programs
The underlying philosophy of a private school will dictate a number of important elements about the school. For example, the Montessori classroom is designed to provide hands-on learning opportunities because that is an important part of the Montessori Philosophy. In order to determine if a private school is right for your child, you must first determine if you agree with the underlying philosophy of the program. Each school you consider will have an underlying philosophy that you can explore as part of your search.
The enrichment opportunities that are available
Another factor to consider as you explore private school options are the enrichment opportunities available at the various programs. The enrichment opportunities available are virtually endless, which means you can look for programs with options that fit with what you want for your child. For example, if you want your child to learn a second or third language, there are programs that offer language immersion. Take a look at the enrichment opportunities available at each private school to help you decide which one is the right fit for your child.
It can be fun to explore private school options for your child, but it is also a big job. Many parents feel pressure to find the ‘perfect’ program for their child. If you consider each of the criteria outlined above, you will have the information you need to make an informed decision about which private school option is best for your child.