Every parent wants the best education for their children, but where should you begin your search? Educational options available to parents have increased dramatically in recent years, and choosing the right one for your child can be confusing. Depending on your family, child, and district, the best choice may be your neighborhood public school or another alternative.
Most parents take many factors into consideration when it comes to selecting schooling for their children, including parent involvement, curriculum, school ratings and extracurricular activities. Sometimes the rigid regiment of one type of school cannot meet a child’s needs, whether this is because of medical, family, or maturity reasons. Fortunately, many families have options to help them choose the right education for their child. Here are just a few possibilities that may help your child reach their fullest potential academically.
Private schools may offer the perfect solution for your child. One benefit of private schools is that they are known to provide challenging educational experiences. Private school students constantly score top marks on standardized tests and college entrance exams. Many of these institutions have a high success rate of students attending university after graduation. In addition, private schools are able to afford incredible resources to support students with the opportunity to explore their interests and talents in their education and beyond.
The main issue comes down to funding. Private school education isn’t cheap. It can easily place a large financial burden on an average-earning family. However, some institutions do have scholarship programs and grants that can help cover the cost of private schooling for your child.
One of the most significant changes in public education recently has been the growth of the charter schools. Charter schools are public schools that do not have to comply with some traditional school regulations required by the state. They have been known to have engaged teachers and to encourage parents to work with teachers to advance their child academically. In addition, charter school enrollment is not governed by neighborhood boundaries, meaning your child can choose to attend any charter school so long as there is space available. However, keep in mind that charter schools are usually very difficult to enroll in due to space, most have a lottery to determine who will be eligible to attend.
If you have the time and patience, homeschooling is the ultimate answer to taking your child’s education into your own hands. By homeschooling your children, you will not only be able to tailor their studies and give them a more in-depth education, you’ll also be able to give them more time to pursue their natural, extracurricular talents. However, this will be a regular time commitment and is not recommended for parents working full-time. Furthermore, parents who homeschool also need the resources to do so. Fortunately, there are a number of these resources through local groups and internet websites (Open online college courses, for example, are a great start to homeschooling for financially struggling families and are free.).
Regardless of whatever option you choose for your child, remember that though you may not be in the front line of every aspect in your child’s education, you’re still their first and most important teacher. Although a parent’s role in their child’s learning evolves over time, one thing remains constant: we are our children’s learning models. Our attitudes about education can show them how to take charge of their own educational journey. Good luck!
By Katherine Truong