Choosing the Best School for our Children
One of the most important decisions we can make with our children’s education is choosing the right school for them to attend! Early education is fundamental to the successful development of a child. And the school provides the support base and required complement to the education imparted at home.
For this reason, it is essentially important to choose carefully which institution our child will attend. We need to thoroughly investigate and make a decision—not only in regards to the reputation of the school—but also one that suits the needs of our child in the best possible way!
During the first years of a child’s life, especially in preschool and kindergarten, the most important thing is the relationship of your child with the teacher. So take the time to talk and learn about the individual that will teach your child. Choose a capable teacher that can discuss the strengths and weaknesses of individual students and be well informed of their interests and achievements. On the other hand, avoid authoritarian and grumpy teachers!
With considering the curriculum, choose the one that promotes reading and comprehension so your child learns to speak and read correctly. Mathematics is also important at the start! There is no need to wait until a child has the abstract ability to impart basic mathematical knowledge. Exercises as simple as learning how to count will enhance and help the perception of mathematical concepts. You can help your child with questions such as: how old are you or how many cupcakes are on the table?
When you visit the school, make the most of your visit and meet the teachers, the principle and other parents.
It will also be a great time to observe the facilities.
Observe how adults and children interact and what type of involvement the school requires of the parents. Note if your child feels comfortable with the location and if you think they will be comfortable in that environment. Compare with other schools before you make the final choice.
Keep in mind the fundamental questions needed to really learn about the facility in order to compare with others.
Some of the questions you can think about:
-Do teachers support the students and are interested in their needs? What about proper or appropriate follow-up with the children?
-What about leisure time? You will not want to commit your child to a school without leisure periods or recreation. These leisure moments are necessary to recover energy, strengthen social bonds and develop physically through games and other activities.
-How much homework is required on a daily basis? Some schools exceed homework requests. When this is added to school hours, it can result in an exhausting day for your child. However, no homework can have the opposite effect and is not good for your child. Good balance is the key! Then your child will learn and show interest without getting exhausted!
– If behavioral problems occur, how is it handled at the school?
-Are there any special workshops? What types of activities do they provide? The education of your child should be comprehensive to allow your child a greater range of knowledge when choosing a career in the future. A school should not only provide the basic curriculum, but also sports, specialized art workshops, music and languages or literature as an example.
-What teaching methods are available? It is essential to know if your child can or cannot adapt to the school system.
Trust more in what you observe and learn by inquiring of the school’s reputation or third party recommendations. Many times the reputation of the school changes and stops being what it used to be!
Don’t focus too much on the scores of standardized tests! Although it’s good to check them, they only score about one-third of the curriculum being taught, which means that if the school only teaches the test material, your child will fail a grade!
When enrollment begins, parents should evaluate the needs of their children, according to Bill Jackson, founder, president and executive director of GreatSchools, a nonprofit organization to help parents find, compare, and get involved in the local schools.
Many parents will know, from previous experience, if their children has special needs, if they respond better to rigid schedules and strict discipline, or if they flourish with practical projects moving at their own pace.
Older students may need additional instruction in certain areas or show a talent in math, science, music, languages or art that needs to be encouraged.
Find out about local laws on the subject. This will help you determine where you are or are not allowed to enroll your child.
If you like a specific school but it’s private and you feel you can not meet the cost, ask about financing, if there are scholarships available, financial aid or other options. Never assume anything! It is always best to ask questions, take note and then compare them. This will help you to make the best decision, which in turn will make your child and the whole family very happy!
Find out the deadlines for applications and enrollment as soon as possible! Special schools may require an interview and tests. Or they may require more information in later years, letters of recommendation from previous institutions or previous records. And finally, don’t forget to ask the school of your choice what information is required for enrollment. Take all paperwork with you, which can include residence or vaccines, for example.
Finally, have a plan B! Perhaps your child will be unable to attend the school of your choice but there are other options available. This will greatly reduce stress and disappointment in the long run!