In your search for the right private school, you will need to measure each program on a set of criteria. Without a set of consistent criteria, you risk choosing a school based on factors that do not ultimately matter one way or the other. The overarching element that should be involved in each criterion you choose is your own beliefs about education. As long as that factor comes into play with each criterion, you can choose a private school for your child with complete confidence in that choice.
The educational philosophy is, arguably, the most important criterion to consider as you choose a private school for your child. The philosophy on which the program is based will dictate all other elements including, curriculum, classroom design, class size, enrichment opportunities, and the goals for your child. Start your search for a private school by considering your own educational philosophy. What is important to you when it comes to your child’s education? Getting clear on your own beliefs about education will make the process of choosing a private school much easier. For example, consider the educational philosophy of Montessori programs. Some of the core tenets of the Montessori Philosophy include the belief that children are naturally smart, the purpose of education is to prepare students for success in life, and that instruction and curriculum should be tailored to the needs of the individual student. If your own beliefs about education align with the tenets of the Montessori Philosophy, then Montessori programs are a good place to start your search.
Class size in private programs is typically smaller than what you will find in public school. Parents often consider private programs because they want to avoid their child getting lost in the shuffle in a big public program. However, it is important to note that class sizes can vary between private programs as well. The important information to consider is the program’s reasoning for the class sizes. If the class size at a particular private program is typically around twelve students, ask why. Is there a reason twelve is the number? The chances are that the private programs you are considering do have specific reasons why they choose a particular class size. As with educational philosophy, you must decide if the reasoning behind the class size choice aligns with your own beliefs about education.
The type of enrichment opportunities you want for your child should be factored in as you search for a private program. Are culturally diverse opportunities important to you? Do you want your child to learn a second language or a musical instrument? Are you looking for a program that offers enrichment opportunities focused on one overarching goal or a program designed to expose students to a wide range of interests and opportunities? Again, your own beliefs about education will play a big role in how you decide which enrichment programs will provide your child with the greatest benefit.
Once you take a personal inventory of your own views on education, you can start the search for the right private school for your child. A great place to start your exploration is with Montessori programs. You can learn more about the Montessori Philosophy and decide if it is a good fit for your child by exploring the resources in the Fountainhead Montessori School parent library.