Many important decisions in a parent’s life will be made for their children and their future. One of the most important ones is what will create and shape a child’s mind academically and start, or continue, shaping a great citizen. It will also create a responsibility for parents as providers of knowledge hand-in-hand with teachers and schools, enriching children’s lives and keeping them on the right track. This decision is choosing which school their children will attend.
Features, facilities, teaching methods, and the type of schools available are some things that must be considered to make the right decision. In this article, you will find some of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing a school for your children.
Investigate Your Options
The best way to start is by checking all your available school options. It is a good idea to start reaching the closest schools available. Then you can look into specialized schools in other fields like performing arts, music or sports. There are also digital/online schools for you to consider that will provide a new way of schooling and allow your child to study at the best pace for them.
Make a List and Highlight What Catches Your Attention
From a big athletics court, to a great arts classroom, or technology provided by the school, write down every detail that catches your attention about the school. Highlight what is good and bad about the school in your opinion. This will help you compare the school’s pros and cons and clear your mind regarding concerns about the school.
Stop and Reflect
Do you remember your time at school? Check how schools are improving and include things that concerned you as a student. How are they dealing with bullying or even cyber bullying? Are the school lunches healthier? Are teachers allowing students to express themselves and discuss ideas? You’ll be surprised how many ideas you can come up with and compare if they are better now with the school you are considering.
Learn How to Enroll and Apply
A very important step is learning when enrollment times and periods are, if they provide enrollment extensions, and what required paperwork you will need. Take the necessary time to know the enrollment process and procedures needed in order to have your child registered with the school on time.
Consider Your Budget
According to Grand Canyon University and their Article “Types of Public and Private Schools to Consider in the U.S.” there are many different types of schools. Here is a list of the different school types:
- Public Schools: The traditional option for education. They are funded by state and federal government funds and are typically free of charge. They follow the state curriculum rules for education.
- Magnet Schools: Similar to Public Schools, these schools are specialized study environments focusing on technology, arts, sports, STEAM, etc. They require applications and auditions to select students with previously shown abilities.
- Charter Schools: These schools will allow your child to attend a privately managed, publicly funded, and tuition-free school. It will usually process a lottery for applicants to accept students in a fair and organized manner. Charter Schools manage their curriculum, always following state standards, which makes them able to focus on some other programs like: STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), Arts, and College Preparation, for example. The CNN report How to choose a school for your child mentions: “A family could save a budget of approximately $1300.00 a month currently spent on private school tuition for two students a month if they enroll to a charter school.” These schools can provide an individualized approach to learning for every child since they are flexible, academically dynamic, and their courses are created and taught by certified, easily accessible teachers.
- Virtual Schools: Attendance at Virtual Schools rose during the pandemic and has continued to be a strong choice when considering which school your child should attend. During the pandemic, in 2020-2021, the amount of enrollments went up by 170%. During the next year it continued to go up by 176%.
Parents were able to discover a new way to follow up with their child’s education and also to spend more time together. This idea, and the fact that virtual classes are more personalized and teachers are available instantly by sending a message or an email, gives parents a great option to choose a new type of school that in fact can be combined with charter schools.
Why is it Important for Parents to Have the Option to Choose?
A Parent is the person who knows a child better, who will understand what they like and what they don’t like. Also who has interacted and educated the child for a longer period of time so it’s natural for the parent to be familiar with everything that will boost a child’s education.
It is very important for the parent to have the opportunity to assess and find various options so the child can fit better in the future school they will be attending. A parent will be able to see if an in-class option will be better or if on the other hand an online option fits better, will be able to see also if the school cares about their child and if their methods are the correct ones. If there is preference for arts or sports, science or accelerated education. These are things that only adults will be able to carefully assess in order to make the right decision. Is important to keep in mind that not only one school is available and usually we have many more options once we investigate a little further.
A parent can decide based on a curriculum level since public schools are ruled by the state curriculum and charter schools have more flexibility and will also be relevant at the moment of checking school expenses since these types of schools are privately managed, they are a tuition-free version of a private school.
Choosing the right school for your child can be a very overwhelming process, and like a good parent you will always want the best for your child. Remember that making a decision requires patience, and time to analyze what fits better for you and your child’s learning style. Remember that you can always choose a different school if an issue comes up along the way, but investigating and narrowing the options down to what you and your child like will reduce the chances of choosing the wrong school. We hope that this article will help you to clear up some questions and be useful for you to make the right decision. To see if a cyber charter school is for you, and to learn more about PALCS, visit our blog!