Our children are growing up and we need to start making important decisions. One of the first things you need to do is decide which school is best for your child. Children will spend most of their time there, teachers will shape the education and classmates will influence the social environment.
This is no small decision. To a large extent, the school’s education will define the child’s future. There are so many options and factors to consider, such as price, family values and what you hope your child will learn.
Therefore, you should set aside some time to research and choose the best school for your child. Here are some recommendations for what to keep in mind.
Public or private education?
This choice is very important and is not just limited to financial opportunities. Nevertheless, it is important to calculate whether you can afford the cost of a private school or not, or whether you are limited to a public school. Other factors also play a role in this decision.
The best school for your child: Admission opportunities
Many private schools have a limited number of places. Therefore, registration is more difficult. If you have already planned for your child to go to a private school, you should make sure that the paperwork is arranged on time.
Public schools must admit any child who applies. In some countries and cities, however, there are regulations, so schools will only admit children who live nearby. If so, find out if the schools in your area meet your expectations.
If not, you may want to consider moving, but remember what else this requires.
The subjects studied, the books used and the study conditions are usually uniform in public schools, according to the state’s educational requirements.
However, this is not always the case in private schools. Although they must follow general guidelines, they have more freedom when it comes to curriculum changes.
Take a look at the education at the school before you decide which is the best school for your child.
The best school for your child: Teacher certification
In general, public schools have proper pedagogical training, and teachers must pass exams to teach.
Some private schools use the same type of filter to hire teachers. However, others are looking for professionals or experts in the field. Yet that does not mean they are better or worse. The best thing you can do is ask and even meet the teachers if possible.
Public schools are generally more diverse since they take in students without so many filters. Private schools may be more selective and less inclusive because some, in addition to the economic filter, also have restrictions on gender or religion.
Remember that your child will spend more time with classmates than with you, and they will have a big impact on your child’s life.
Religious or secular education
If you have decided to send your child to a private school, you must also choose the best school according to your values and the types of activities that will be available to your child.
If religion is important to you, religious schools teach the sacred texts, rituals, and other special values of your religion.
Secular schools, both public and private, are based exclusively on academics. However, they can also offer some leisure activities, including some religious.
Often schools also offer specializations. This does not necessarily mean that it is their only focus, it should mean that they place more emphasis on a particular area.
Some schools teach classes in other languages, such as Spanish, French or German, some specialize in art or science and others in advanced sports programs and many other varieties of teaching.
If you think your child has potential in one of these specializations, you may want to consider and choose a school that will best focus on his or her skills at an early age.
What to do before choosing the best school for your child
When we take into account the factors above, we recommend researching different schools as much as possible. These are some of the things you can do to gain more knowledge so that you can make a more informed decision:
- Check the schools’ classifications and rankings. All countries have a ranking of schools. Search online for school rankings to know how the different schools rank.
- Search internet forums and blogs. Comments from other parents who already have children attending a school that interests you can help you. It’s even better if you know your parents personally. You can ask questions, but do not put too much into their opinions since everyone has different experiences.
- Visit the schools. Ask for an appointment with the principal and teacher advisors. Ask questions if you are interested and ask for a guided tour. Some schools will even let parents sit in some of the classes so they can see how it is. Ask if there is a possibility and try it out.
- Pay attention to the guidelines. Some schools organize events to explain how they work, their characteristics and relationships with potential students. Participate, take notes and ask questions.
- Visit the school with your child. The child’s opinion counts. Take him or her to school and see how the child feels. They may be a little intimidating – it’s a new experience – but your child’s impressions and reactions will help you. They can also help you choose the best school.
The most important thing is to start the selection process several months before the start of the registration period.
Choosing the best school is a task that takes time and proper analysis. If you wait with this task until the last minute, you will have fewer options, and you may have to settle for what is left.