The cost of private school is one of the first factors that families consider when looking at educational options. Is a private school really worth the cost? The cost is a decision that you will have to make as a family. To help with that decision, you need to consider the elements that differentiate private schools from public programs. Three important differentiators include the classroom environment, the educational philosophy, and the unique opportunities private school can provide.
The classroom environment
The classroom environment in a private school is much different than the environment you will find in public school. The student to teacher ratio in the private classroom is generally much smaller than you will find in public school. A smaller student to teacher ratio allows the teacher to spend more time with each student and customize lesson plans to individual needs. Also, a smaller classroom provides opportunities for students to develop deep relationships with one another and learn valuable social skills. You will also find that the classroom environment in a private school looks different than what you will find in public school. Private programs have the freedom to design the classroom in a way that best serves the needs of the students.
The educational philosophy
Another element to consider as you weigh your options is the educational philosophy of a private program versus a public program. If you find a private school with a philosophy that aligns with yours, you may decide that it is worth the cost to have your child attend that program. The educational philosophy in private schools can be very different than what you find in public school. Public schools are bound by the standards set forth by the state when it comes to how students are educated. These standards mean that public school teachers have very little flexibility in how and what they teach students. Private schools are not bound by the same standards or red tape as public programs. Private schools have the freedom to implement the educational philosophy of their choice.
The unique opportunities
The additional freedom and flexibility that private schools enjoy can provide your student with unique learning opportunities. For example, private Montessori programs allow students to have a say in what and how they learn. This flexibility in learning creates a unique opportunity where students develop a sense of responsibility for their education. It also keeps students engaged on a much deeper level than the typical public program. Many private schools also offer language immersion programs and enrichment programs that you will have difficulty finding in the public classroom.
The factors outlined above make private school worth the cost for many families. Consider the needs of your child and your own beliefs about education to help you determine if private school is the right option. You can also schedule a time to observe a class to get a deeper understanding of what sets private schools apart from public programs.