You want to do everything you can to ensure that your child will thrive. You take them to annual physicals, make sure they are vaccinated, bundle them up when it’s cold, enrich their lives with opportunities you may not have had, and provide them with all of the love a child could ever want. You also do what you can to make sure they thrive academically. Thriving in school doesn’t start with a well-stocked backpack, however. It starts with making sure your son or daughter is enrolled in the right school. Once you’ve narrowed your choices down to private school, consider these other factors before you start filling out that application.
- Practicality – Is the school convenient? Not just to home, but to work, aftercare, and medical facilities? The idea of having your child in a neighborhood school is great – unless you commute 50 minutes every day. Think about the location, traffic patterns, school surroundings that could impact your little one, and transportation alternatives that may be necessary.
- Individuality – Think about how your child learns from and interacts with the world. If you know your little guy learns best with tactile activities like playing with letter magnets on your fridge, then a school that will require him to sit quietly with a workbook may not be the right fit. Inquire about the learning philosophies of each school. Do they believe in collaboration? Do they provide opportunities for play and imagination? Are they focused on STEM programs or do they emphasize the arts? Making sure your child’s learning needs are met is a critical step in helping them have a positive association with education.
- Amenities – For many parents, leaving work in time to be in the car pick-up line by 3:10 is difficult, if not impossible. If your child will need early care or after care, that is something to consider. Meals for your child may be another concern; if it’s important to you and tuition covers the cost of breakfast and lunch, be sure to mention so when you’re exploring your private school options.
- Extracurriculars – All kids need some kind of structured activity to help them become well-rounded. Whether they enjoy rigorous activities like a pickup game of football or calmer activities such as picking out a tune on your family piano, find a school that provides sports or music activities for your child.
- School Culture – If you were to be a fly on the wall of your child’s classroom, what would you want to see? If possible, visit schools while classes are in session. Pay attention to how the teachers interact with the students. Do the students seem to be comfortable? Do they hesitate to ask questions or know that it’s a safe environment? Talk to parents of other students, as well, to get their takes on the overall feel of the school.
Realistically, your child is not going to love every second of every day of school (and if they do, they’re probably not being challenged enough). While the occasional crummy day is to be expected, doing whatever you can to instill a love of learning in your son or daughter starts with making sure they are placed in the right school. If you have questions about St. Philip Lutheran School or would like to schedule a tour, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.