With fewer kids and a better understanding of the educational system, parents today know the kind of education they want for their child, and private schools are becoming an accessible, affordable, and popular option. Offering much more than tradition, prestige or religious instruction, qualities which were highly valued in the past, they’re catering to modern parents who are more concerned about finding a particular educational approach that suits their child. With a range of schools as unique as each individual child, finding the right one seems like a formidable task. But with the right techniques, the school search can be painless for parents and children, resulting in a valuable education that will fit the entire family.
A 5 step approach will help any parent in the search and selection of the right school. Today we will cover Step 1 and 2, and a bit of step three.
Step 1 – The Wish List
Before even beginning the search, parents need to decide exactly what they’re looking for. Involving the entire family, including a long standing nanny that knows the children well, in creating the list of wants and needs in a school is also a way to build excitement, help parents get to know their children better, and support family bonding. It will also ensure that the money parents spend on education will achieve their desired goals. Having a list of “needs”, and a smaller list of “wants” like certain extracurriculars, technology, or sports teams, will help you stay focused on finding the perfect school.
Some questions to keep in mind:
About your child:
About your family:
About the school:
Step 2 – The Preliminary Search
It has probably been a while since parents have had to do homework for themselves, but finding a private school takes the same concentration, dedication, and time management as a final exam or research project. And just like school projects, the amount of time and effort that goes into the early stages has a direct effect on the quality of the end product – in this case, a child’s happiness and success at school. This phase of the search can be exciting as you discover the different learning options available for your child, but the most important thing is to select the best fit for your child, not to make your child fit into a school at all costs. And the perfect fit for your neighbour or friend’s child may not be right for your daughter or son.
Here are some tips on the preliminary search for a private school:
Step 3 – The Private School Expo
Attending a fair (or expo) that brings together students and representatives from all types of schools across a city for parents to use as a one-stop source of information. This step, together with the remining 2, we will cover in our next posting. Fall is the “season” for Expos and 3 are coming in the next few months:
TORONTO: Saturday October 15, 2011
HALTON-PEEL REGION: Sunday October 23, 2011
VANCOUVER: Sunday November 27, 2011
See Private School Expo for details.