Common Mistakes Parents Make When Choosing a Private School
As your child grows, you will inevitably face the difficult decision of what school to send them to. Many parents choose private schools for their children because they are known for the high standard of education and discipline that they provide. However, there is a lot to consider when deciding on a private school and mistakes can be costly, both financially and emotionally, for both parents and their children. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when choosing a private school:
Choosing a School that is not suitable
If you want to maximize your child’s potential, then it is important that you choose the right school for him or her. Before enrolling in any private school, make sure that the school has a good reputation and will be able to provide all the necessary facilities and teachers. Do not get carried away by those beautiful pictures schools upload on their websites, schools will show you what they want you to see. That’s not a bad thing; however, those websites may not necessarily address your specific needs and requirements.
Just like Geri Coleman Tucker said, “Sure, you want to pick a school that is clean and attractive, with all the newest technology. But remember that looks aren’t everything. Some schools might not have the latest and greatest equipment. But they have engaged and well-trained teachers who can bring out the best in their students—including those with learning and attention issues. The teachers are the most important element. Watch them interact with kids, and ask parents of current students for more insights.”
Visiting Only Once
First impressions are important. But you may not get all the information you need if you only visit a school one time. Let’s say a teacher seemed unenthusiastic. Is it just an off day? Or is it a sign of bigger problems at the school?
A second visit can give you a better idea. Ask to spend time in a classroom so you can see the teacher with students. Also, ask for the names of parents or caregivers who might talk to you about their experiences with the school.
Forgetting those Crucial Questions during Visiting Day
Visiting days are a great opportunity for parents and prospective students to find out more about the schools they are interested in. However, it can be easy to forget some of the questions that you should ask during your visit. Here are our top 5 questions:
- What is the school’s philosophy? How does it align with your own values?
- How do teachers teach, and what methods do they use? Do they use technology in the classroom and how do they assess progress made by students?
- How does this school deal with discipline issues if any arise (including bullying) – is there an approach that works for you or would you prefer something different?
- What extra-curricular activities does this school offer – sports clubs/drama club etc. – and will my child have access to them depending on their ability level or area of interest (e.g., music)?
- What assessment methods will be used at each stage of learning within this curriculum; are there common assessment tools across all subjects or is each subject assessed differently according.
Not including the Child in the Decision-Making Process
It is important to include your child in this process, as they should be given the opportunity to voice their opinions. If not, they may feel left out and resentful. Additionally, if your child doesn’t feel that you trust them enough to take part in decision-making, they may begin to question whether or not you truly care about them.
Focusing too much on Academics
Academics are important. But so is your child’s social and emotional growth. In today’s increasingly competitive and rapidly changing world, those who succeed are the ones who have strong people skills, know how to relate to others, and are able to develop strong personal and professional networks. In other words, EQ (Emotional Quotient) is more important than IQ (Intelligence Quotient). Some kids might be brilliant, but they lack the social or interpersonal skills that are so necessary in today’s world.
If your child is a poor communicator or is unable to collaborate with others, does it really matter how bright he or she is? Employers, and highly competitive schools for that matter, want those who are multidimensional, deep, and interesting. Kids who have just outstanding academic records and high test scores are actually not all that remarkable.
I’m not suggesting that academics aren’t important and that it’s okay for your child to not give his or her best when it comes to studying. Rather, my advice to you is to ensure your child has a manageable balance between academics and his or her other activities whether that’s sports, art, community service, or extracurricular.
We hope this blog has given you a better idea of what to look for when choosing the right private school. This is an important decision and one which will provide your child with a great educational foundation. If perhaps you need help looking for the right school, check out SchoolsCompass.