As parents, we go through so many emotions as we raise our children – it is not an easy job but it is worth it to see them grow into wonderful little people. We all struggle with different milestones, my mom cried for weeks when I started school and my dad was so chilled – which was strange because he teared up when I started walking. The point is we all handle things differently and we all have different parenting styles, what unites us all as parents is the fact that we all want the best for our children. Some of us want to give our kids all the opportunities that we never had growing up and some of us are just trying not to raise entitled brats. One of the most important decisions you will ever make as a parent is where you send your child to school. Here are a few aspects to consider when making that decision.
Growth Above All
None of us want to put our kids in a school where they won’t grow, we want them to grow and develop into the person they have always dreamed of being. When you’re choosing a school, be sure to spend some time observing how the children behave – particularly their body language. Children might not be able to fully articulate their thoughts or understand the full spectrum of their emotions but they do show tell-tale signs, if the kids are content and adequately stimulated by their educational environment you will see it from a mile away.
Ask the Questions
The only way to know the answers is by asking the questions. Don’t be afraid to question the staff, teachers, and management of all prospective schools, I can guarantee you that they will understand and be as helpful as they can be in getting you the answers you need. Some of the best private schools in Utah will allow you to ask the students questions too, you just need to get permission first and try and aim to do that during lunch breaks so you aren’t disrupting classes. Remember that the best schools will have the best people representing them so don’t forget to ask all of the questions that will set your mind at ease.
Lower Your Expectations
Before you grab your pitchfork, hear me out. I have this…let’s say “debate” with parents so often that I know all the possible reactions long before I even open my mouth. What I mean by this is, as parents, we cannot expect the schools to teach our children everything. Teachers have a hard enough job on their hands without us attempting to shirk off our responsibilities as parents, onto them as educators. There are skills that our kids are meant to learn at home, long before going to school. Far too many parents expect the schools to teach our children all of the tools they will need to be successful in life, especially emotional tools to help them recover from failure. I completely understand that we all lead very busy lives but we should be careful not to use that as an easy excuse for not putting in the effort with them at home.
Decide What Areas to Focus On
This applies to choosing a school for your child regardless of their age. For younger children, you need to know if you want to focus on a school that has a strict and structured environment or one that is unstructured and more relaxed; this is one of the most important factors to consider. Once your child is older, your priorities will change. Parents of older children need to know if their focus is on what they are good at – their studies, sports, or art? We all want our children to do well at school and recognizing that they have strengths and weaknesses will go a long way in helping you choose the right school. It is important not to put too much pressure on your children, you may mean well but you could be crippling your child’s development by expecting them to excel in areas they are simply not suited for.
Visit Different Schools in Different Districts
Feeder school systems are great and they do serve a purpose but don’t feel pressured into following that system. Spend a week or 2 visiting different schools without your child, just so you can truly get a feel for the school. We all want our children to be able to have a say in where they go to school but at the end of the day you, as their parent/s, will know what is best for your child. Whilst it is helpful to have all of your children attend the same school for travel purposes and for them to bond as siblings, it is important to remain cognizant of the fact that what is perfect for one might not be perfect for both or all of your kids.
Know Your Budget
Choosing the right school will depend entirely on your budget. Many prestigious schools have bursary programs but these are not guaranteed and they often come with exceptionally high expectations for your child. Spend some time deciding how much you can comfortably afford to spend without sacrificing too much. You don’t necessarily need to spend the most money to get the best educational experience for your child. If your child is younger then chances you be paying less for their school fees, which gives you the perfect opportunity to start an educational fund for later on in their schooling career.
Choose the Right Environment
It’s important to choose a school that will encourage your child to grow into a mindful, conscientious young adult. The right environment during the developmental years is vital in fostering the minds of tomorrow. The school your child attends needs to be the perfect fit for your child; every child has different needs and wants from their schooling experience. Don’t be discouraged if your child doesn’t find that immediately, there are so many schools in America that he or she will find the perfect one in due course.