The second most important decision you will make as a parent — apart from deciding to have the kid in the first place — is deciding which school for them to enrol in. Make the right decision and you could put them on a path toward lifelong excellence and a successful career. Choose wrong, and well, you get the idea. Talk about pressure! The good news is that there are many options in education today beyond the public school down the street.
The bad news is that the abundance of options often leaves parents in a dilemma over how to choose the best environment for their children. It is therefore really important to know what qualities to look out for when choosing a school for your child. Sometimes, the perfect school might indeed be that public school down the street. Some other times, it is not that easy. We will, however, guide you through how to make that choice without breaking a sweat.
Factors To Lookout For When Choosing A Good school
- Look out for the perfect fit for your child’s interests, needs and competencies.
The perfect school is not just perfect in itself. It must be perfect for your child, perfectly suited for their interests, needs and competencies. To know which school is right, you would have to understand completely what your child needs, what their interests are and what they are really good at. Does your child need a more structured environment or less structured environment? , Perhaps Does your child need more challenging work? Does your child need more individual attention? Does your child have any special learning needs? Does your child need an environment that fosters creativity? What is your child’s learning style? Does your child like to learn through physical activity? Is your child logical or mathematical? Is your child musical or artistic?
You must answer these questions and more if you are going to get the perfect school for your child. Once you do, look out for a school that is an answer to your child’s needs.
- Consider the school’s values
Like it or not, schools have a direct influence on your children as they would be spending a whole lot of time there. It is therefore highly important to consider the school values and ensure that they are tailored to yours. You should look out for schools that emphasize discipline, diligence, creativity, innovation, character, teamwork etc. It is important for your children to be taught core values like these in schools so as to help launch them on the path of excellence and success.
- Look out for the school’s academic performance
Before proceeding to choose a school for your child, you must be sure of the school’s academic track record. You need to be sure that your child will benefit greatly academically. As such, academic standards and 21st Century skills are key variables to look out for while searching for a good school. The primary goal of sending the child to school is for the development of knowledge and skills, the academic standing of the school will largely play a role in meeting this goal. If a school is well rated academically and the products are known to excel in school and public examinations, parents would be encouraged to select such a school.
You should do well to check how the school’s test scores compare to those of other schools, whether in the past few years, test scores have risen or declined, how students moving on to the next stage of schooling perform in their new schools, what special achievements or recognition the school has received and so on.
- Consider the school’s safety standards
Saying goodbye to your child on the first day of school is enough heartache. Knowing that your child will be perfectly safe in school will help ease your fears to a very large extent. As such, when you are choosing a school for your child, you have to ensure that the school upholds safety standards on all levels. This includes understanding how the school deals with and prevents problems with drugs, alcohol and tobacco, how the school prevents bullying, violence, harassment and other forms of abusive behaviour. Does the school have emergency plans for local and national emergencies? Are there security officers on duty in the school? Ultimately, your child’s safety is paramount so you have to ensure that they would be completely safe in school.
- Consider the school’s location
The location of the school is quite important in making your choice. While it may be much easier for your child to go to a school that is just around the corner, sometimes, it might be a better idea for them to experience a different environment. If you would prefer the latter, you need to consider the location of the school you have in mind. You also need to consider how far away you would be comfortable allowing your child to go. Is the place where the school is located safe? Would you drive the child to school or would the child take the bus? Are there other children within your neighbourhood that would be going there as well? These are important considerations in choosing a school.
- Consider the school’s facilities and services
A school is just as important as its facilities. Children learn better in a highly conducive environment with safe and good facilities. The classrooms do not be too sophisticated. They, however, should be perfectly suited for learning and communication. Good lighting and clean bathrooms are sometimes underrated but are really important. You also need to make sure the school has a well-stocked and functional library, computer room with internet facilities, a clinic with a standby nurse etc. You also need to confirm that services such as Counseling and school transportation are available.
In the end, your child will benefit tremendously from your active concern and involvement with his or her education. By collecting information, talking to other parents, visiting schools, and exercising your right to choose, you can make sure your son or daughter gets the best possible education. However, this is only the beginning. Stay involved in your child’s education by encouraging them to work hard and providing additional opportunities to learn at home and in the community.