When the time comes for the parents to start applying to schools for our children, we suddenly realize the responsibility that we have in our hands. The difference between a great school and a bad school for your child could be the difference between them having a great school life, and one that sucks.
It isn’t easy to pick a school and the truth is that none of us can see into the future to see what their life will be like in various different school settings and with varying styles of education. All that we can do is making the smartest and most pragmatic choice with the information that we have at our disposal and here is how to go about doing exactly that.
Write Down Your Needs
The first thing that you should be doing when it comes to finding the best school for your child is to write down a lost of what you child needs. Whether it be social, academic, emotion or logistic is irrelevant and whilst the list may appear a little pie-in-the-sky, this will be your checklist as to how good a school will be for your child.
Chat to Parents
Your child will naturally want to follow they friends into whichever school it is that they wish to go to and this is not always a great idea. Have a chat to the parents of your child’s friends first to get a gauge of what they are looking for in a school or if they have already chosen one then try to find out a little more about why they chose that particular one. If you know other parents whose children went to a particular school in the past then ask them a couple of questions about what you can expect should you send your child there too.
All schools are more than happy for you to visit the school, take a look around, chat with teachers and staff in order to better understand what they can do of your child. There is nothing wrong with visiting a handful of schools to help you with your choice. If you have a couple in mind then why not take your child along too in order to see how they feel about it.
Strength and Weakness
The final step is to assimilate a list of all of the schools that you have visited, highlight their strengths and their weaknesses in relation to what your child needs. From this activity you will be able to get a very clear picture on what school is best for your child. Try to take a pragmatic approach to this activity and strip the emotion out of it. As we mentioned before, there is no crystal ball which will tell you how your child will get on at one particular school, the best thing you can do is to weigh up the facts and make a decision based on those.