How to Choose the Best Day School for your Child
One in four schools in the United States are private schools, and of those, there are many educational models. But why send your child to a day school? Is it necessarily better to have kids go to a pre-primary private school, even if it’s not required? What about for elementary or high school? Ultimately, there is no “best” private school: every school works within a different framework, and they’re all designed to work for different students. As you begin to look into schools, here are four questions to ask yourself help you choose the best school for your child.
What do you want your child to focus on?
One of the benefits of private school education is that young students can learn specialized skills from an early age. Does your child already have a unique passion for fine arts? Do you want your child to be able to work with a personal tablet? Would you like your child to learn another language? Day schools allow students to delve into different subjects and can teach them in new and exciting ways.
What are your child’s needs?
Every student is different, so you should look for a school that caters to their needs. One of the advantages of attending private schools is the extra focus on college counseling and test preparation. For younger students, day schools often start with the Socratic method and build the foundations of learning early. Students will often do more intensive work but can also receive more help to achieve their goals. They are great fits for accelerated students, but also those who may need an alternative learning style to succeed. If your child has a disability, behavioral challenge, or illness, do your research to find the perfect day school for them. Why send your child to a day school that doesn’t fit them as a student?
What values to you want to instill?
Of course, many private schools are faith-based and uphold the values of their beliefs. However, all private schools will have guiding values that shape their educational framework. Ask your school what their mission statement is! Some examples can include creativity, kindness, volunteerism, service, discipline, and ethics. What values do you want your child to learn?
What are the school’s credentials and certifications?
Preschool and kindergarten accreditation may not matter if you live in a state where these are not mandatory, but you should still see if the school is recognized by any professional organizations or educational bodies. Prep schools and private high schools should absolutely be accredited by the state or an agency that is recognized by the US Department of Education.
With those things aside, don’t be afraid to ask what about the qualifications, training, and certification of the staff. The best private schools will have higher requirements for their instructors, but be aware that this isn’t the case with all of them. Do your homework to be sure your child is in good hands.
So, why send your child to a day school? Day schools are best for parents who want their children to have unique and stimulating experiences in the company of other children. They allow children to start their educational journey in the hands of qualified teachers who are experts in early learning and development.