As the end of another school year approaches (a less than ideal one at that) many are exploring new options for next year. But where to begin? With over 200 private and charter schools, an additional 500 public schools, and not to mention the endless online and homeschool formats to choose from, how do you know which is the BEST choice for your child? Like shoes, schools are not one-size-fits-all. As you consider choosing the right school for your child, analyze your options through these three tried and true lenses.
The Right Chemistry
Is your child introverted or extroverted? Is your child athletic or artistic? Is your child studious or adventurous? The first and most important consideration for your child’s school decision should be your uniquely gifted child. For the child who is a natural intellect, we are blessed with some of the greatest classical academics-based charter schools in the nation. For the child who is flexible and makes friends easily, the valley’s public schools are continually raising the bar and becoming superior academic centers. The mission of the school you choose should have good chemistry with your individually wired child.
An Aligned Culture
Have you ever talked to a group of teachers who work together? They are like family and we all know… no two families are alike. Get to know the prominent teaching styles of the school. Is it discussion-based, hands-on, or a balanced mix? Take the time to talk to families who attend the school. Since we can’t make every life decision based on Google Reviews, it is invaluable to get first-hand feedback from those who spend a significant amount of time at the school. Look through the mission and school’s initiatives as they are portrayed through the website, social media, and even a tour. Envisioning your child among the mission played out can offer all the confirmation you need to pull the trigger and apply for enrollment.
An Ideal Curriculum
As an educator myself, I typically view curriculum as less important than most other things because a good teacher can effectively educate and help a child reach their potential with any curriculum. However, not every curriculum is the right fit for every child…hence the reason there are so many different ones available. For me, the math and language arts curriculum contribute less to a school decision than foreign language, science, music, and athletics. Math and English are quite similar from one school to another, while the other subjects often vary. Take into consideration the “extra” subjects that your child enjoys and that you value when reviewing a school’s curriculum.
Ask an Unbiased Expert
As you explore the many school options the area has to offer, remember you know your child and you know what matters the most to your family. While one school is absolutely perfect for your neighbor, it may not be the right school for your child. If it would be helpful to talk to someone who is familiar with all the school options, please reach out to us at Advantage Tutoring. Since 2009, we have been coming alongside students at so many valley schools and can offer an insightful, yet unbiased opinion.
Thankfully, choosing the right school is not the same as choosing a life partner. If you try a school and it ends up not working out, it is okay because there are many more wonderful options available for your child.