1. Make a list of what’s important to you:
Think about school size
• Consider the personality of your child.. a shy child may thrive better in a smaller school, while a more outgoing child may do better in a larger environment
• The size of the school will affect how much attention each student gets; consider how independent the child is, if they have always been a hard-working student they may not need the extra push of a small environment and instead will benefit from a large setting where they can interact with a greater variety of students.
• However, there is power in a small school, the child cannot be anonymous and therefore teachers and adults socialize them and deter the pressures of peers
Think about what types of programs are important for your child: advanced academics or arts programs?
• Does your child excel in science or theater? This will help you determine what sort of specialized curriculum you may want in a school.
Public or private school?
• There is something to be said for public schools, they have a much harder job to do they have to be all things for all people.
• Private schools, however, have much more financial aid to provide and they can fill a specific need.
2. Consider Family Values:
Focus on the Four Key Points that will truly make a difference and will help you to determine which institution is right for your child and your family.
Curriculum: How greatly do you want your child to be challenged academically? What kinds of values will they also be learning? What are the schools policies, dress codes
Learning Style: These are aspects of your family that affect how a school should teach and interact with your child both in and outside of the classroom. These include your family’s values about how children should behave at school, and how children should learn and be taught at school (teaching method and classroom management).
Social Environment: What types of students typically attend? Is it a group of hand-picked academically competitive students or is there a mixture in achievement levels? How do the teachers interact with students and parents? Is there parent involvement? What are the involved parents’ values and ethical standards?
Everyday Needs: What can you pay? Do you need aftercare services? Would you like a school that offers tutoring services? Is there a certain location you prefer or do you need to have bus services?
3. Match them Up!
• Figure out which of the institutions meets the desires on your list and is also in line with the values of your family. This will allow you to make a thorough decision that is truly a good fit.