A child’s education is central to his or her well-being and their capacity to grow up into a functioning adult, so parents will of course want to send their sons and daughters to the best schools in their area, and this situation may come up when parents move to a new area or when their kids become old enough to start going to school. A number of factors may weigh into what school to which the parents send their kids, some of which are based on the parents’ finances, and other factors may depend on the school’s features and programs, and the child’s own feedback and reception to a school is another major factor; after all, it is his/her education that is on the line. What should parents consider when looking for the best schools for their kids? How will they know if a school is right or wrong for their little ones?
Types of Schools
Some schools are bigger than others and may offer more or fewer programs and activities for the student body, but a major factor for parents to consider is whether to send their kids to a private education like private high schools, or to send them to public day schools instead. The parents’ own finances may be the biggest deciding factor here, since private schools are considerably more expensive for sending kids to, but if parents can afford them, these private schools do offer some enticing advantages over their public alternatives. For example, while 21% of public school teachers say that student apathy is a problem at their schools, only 4% of all private school teachers have said the same thing. In a similar vein, among public school teachers, 24% say that a lack of parental involvement is a problem for the students, while by contrast, only 3% of private school teachers reported this particular problem. Finally, going to private school may also mean scoring higher on the SAT. On average across the United States, private schools had student SAT scores around 1235, which compares favorably to the national average (of all schools) of 1060. So, parents who are able to afford private school may find this to be a lucrative option, while the rest will send their kids to public day schools instead, from elementary schools through high school.
What to Look For
The best schools will offer not only a well qualified staff of teachers, but it will also have desirable features, programs, and supplies to go along with the core education itself. Some of the best schools will have sports teams where the students may compete, get exercise, and learn teamwork and have a good time playing their sport, and students can have a great time going to away games. The sports teams should be well supplied with sports balls and equipment, uniforms, and a qualified coach for the students. Along with sports teams, the best schools may also have a variety of after-school programs and special classes for anything from art (like painting or clay modeling) to a musical band (which should also be well supplied and funded for uniforms and instruments), a debate team, a model UN team, and more to stimulate the creativity and academic interest of the students, whether elementary students or high schoolers preparing for college. On that last note, the best schools will also have counselors who prepare students for higher education, and it has generally been found that private schools do a better job at this.
Finally, the child’s own feedback is an important factor. A child should be academically challenged and stimulated at the school without feeling overwhelmed, and the child should have ease making friends and not suffer becoming an outcast or a target for bullies, and the child should seem happy and satisfied when coming back home from a day at school. A child who is bullied often, overwhelmed or underwhelmed by the coursework, or generally unhappy may not be a good fit there, and the parents may look for different schools in their area instead. A child who is unhappy or not being challenged enough by the coursework may get a subpar education and miss their opportunity for personal growth, but a happy student will become ready for college and beyond.