Picking a new school for your child can happen at any grade. Most commonly, you’ll find yourself looking for a new school after preschool, sixth grade, 8th grade, and 12th grade should your child go to college. How do you decide on a school? Whether you are choosing public, private, or homeschool, there are things that you should think about tuition or no tuition. After all, this choice can and will affect the future opportunities your child will get.
First, Write Five Important Factors
Think about the most important factors in this decision. These should be the five most important factors that will come into play when choosing a school in your final list. As you go through the process, there is a high chance that you will revise this list to be open to change. In addition, think about what could make this listing change. If you can say, I would think about X unless Y, make sure Y is higher on your list of five.
Next, Think about Your Child and Family
Obviously, the first factor in what school to attend will be what your child needs. This can be simple things like preferences or more complex and demanding factors like a peanut allergy or special needs. Go into factors like the environment structure, challenge level, attention level, and learning styles that each school displays. If your child learns best by doing, then make sure that your schools have a focus on hands-on learning rather than at desk testing.
If your child loves to read, find a school that still has reading lists and a library for the children to explore. On the other hand, some children need a more creative environment to let their artistic skills thrive while some love math and science and hate art-focused schools. Only you know what is best for your child’s learning.
Lastly, think about family needs in this situation. If your child needs to be within walking distance of the home, think about your options. Is there an opportunity for your child to be bussed, or can you drive? Are you looking to have your child in school with their local friends or siblings? This information will be helpful in further determining what will be best for your child, whether they are looking for a preschool in Biose or a college in Atlanta.
Once you have a list of requirements for both the child and the family, it’s time to gather information. If you were to buy a car, you would make sure you’ve checked around, looked at the MPG and safety ratings and more. The same or higher level or research should be looked into when looking for a new school to ensure that all details were accounted for. Think about the curriculum, their approach to learning, the safety, academic performance, behavior policy, approach to learning, special offerings, facilities, and services, admissions, and more to ensure that you are getting what you think you are.
Paying special attention to the core programs to ensure that they are strong and will help your child succeed will ensure that they have the base knowledge to do anything they want. Looking at how hands on each school are versus how many standard tests they give a year will help to determine what you are looking for in a school. Also, think about how the school’s test scores compare and how new students transition into the programs. All kinds of questions will be needed to ensure that your child is going to the right place.
Visit The Top Five Schools on Your List
Once you’ve done all the research and picked your top five schools, it’s time to go to each and watch a class or two. This will help you to learn the truth behind the online stories and reviews. Make sure to pay attention to the culture in the school, the beliefs and actions of the principle, how the teachers handle conflict and , and how the students react on a day to day basis. If the students seem stressed and unhappy, then you should think twice, even if that school has the best testing scores and programs around.
Finally, Apply to the Top School(s) on Your List.
Depending on your final choice, you may not have to complete this step. However, if you are interested in private or home school programs, you’ll need to apply to the top few schools just in case you can’t get into the top school. If you are attending a public school, though attendance is much more likely, it’s not a bad idea to apply to more than one to be certain you’ve made the right choice.
Now that you’ve picked and applied for the schools for your child’s future, you can rest easy. The school should tell you what to expect, what you’ll need, and when everything will happen. If you decide not to go forward with one, let them know. At the end of the day, your child will have a bright future in a school perfect for them.