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Is Private School Right for Your Child?

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Everyone wants the best for their child. Sometimes it can be difficult to decipher just exactly what that may be, as parents are often bombarded with incoming information, suggestions, must-dos, and other tidbits of advice, from both well-intentioned sources and those who just want to demonstrate that they know better. It can be overwhelming. But what is most important is that you are able to take all of the available information that you have, do some extra research if you have to in order to get all of the facts, and ultimately make a decision based on what is best for your family.

Getting your child started in the right school

It is vital to remember that your child is just that: a child, so the emphasis on getting him or her into the perfect preschool should not be a major source of worry. Even stressing about which school he or she will attend at any point after that can ultimately be distracting from one of the most important elements of childhood and development. That element is simply letting your child be a child! Education is crucial, of course, but putting too much pressure on a child so young to succeed and to be the best can be detrimental to the beautiful person that he or she could and would become as a result of being able to enjoy childhood.

Making the decision between public or private school

As long as you have established with your child a good balance between living and loving life as children should, and the importance of education, finding the right school should not be a stressful endeavor, at least as far as your child’s future is concerned. When you realize that you are looking for the best education that your child will benefit from, instead of what credentials a prestigious institution will give to your preschooler, the options become clearer. Many parents choose to have their children go to public school, receiving the type of education that millions across the country do. And if you are living in the same community where you grew up yourself, there will be the added benefit of having ties to the educators, and an established trust from that familiarity.

Others will choose to put their children in one of the 30,861 private schools that operate within the United States. These schools serve and educate about 5.3 million students ranging from preschool to 12th grade. There are many benefits of private school education, probably the most significant being the smaller class sizes. The average private high school is less than half of the size of a typical public school. This means smaller class sizes and more chances for teachers to interact with each student.

It boils down to a solid education and opportunities

The majority of parents who send their children to private school are happy with their choice to do so. About 80% of the parents of private school students report that they are happy with the academic standards at their child’s school. Not only are class sizes more conducive to teachers being more attentive to each student, but often private schools will have a bigger budget to work with, which can be directly reflected in the quality of classes and programs. On top of that, the National Center for Education Statistics, or NCES, reports that while only about 57% of public high school students apply to college, about 88% of students who attend private high school apply to college.

There are impressive statistics for private institutions, to be sure. And if that is what ends up being best for your child, that’s great. But when it comes down to it, it’s really about the available opportunities for the children, and what they are able to do with those opportunities. Is there a school library, or an honors program? How does the school encourage student athletes? These are the basics that should be important in any school. And if the children are being supported, have access to quality education, and are able to really experience their childhoods as well, then the ideal will be realized.

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