Not every child is cut out for the constant press and hustle of large public schools. While it’s true that some children thrive in a crowded environment and rise to the top surrounded by hundreds and thousands of peers, not every child is like this. Many children are quiet, reserved, or work better in small groups rather than large ones. It’s not uncommon for a few children in every grade-year to struggle simply because there are too many other kids around them and not enough time or attention from the teachers to help them.
If your child is someone who would benefit from learning in a smaller hands-on school, chances are that you have already seen the signs. As a parent, naturally, you want your child to have the best possible start and choosing a local school is a great way to do that for them. Especially in large cities where the school districts are packed but there are many alternate schools to choose from. If your child has demonstrated stress or learning trouble in high-population classrooms, perhaps they would perform significantly better in a small school.
Here are five clear signs that your child would benefit from smaller classes and more attentive teaching:
1) Crowds Stress Them Out
Many children have trouble with crowds when they are little and some never quite get the ‘knack’ for casually swimming through a few hundred classmates before class and at lunchtime. And for some children, it’s much more than clumsiness or shyness. Children who get stressed out when surrounded by a crowd may be taking that stress into the classroom where it negatively affects their work and happiness.
You know your child better than anyone. If they are the type of person who gets panicked or stressed out when surrounded in a crowd, they are likely to be much happier in a small school with reasonable lunch lines and much smaller classes.
2) They Prefer a Small Circle of Friends
Parents often worry, when considering moving their child to a smaller school, that the child will miss their large group of friends. Some children are natural socialites who will find a hundred new friends in two-thousand classmates. But many children are much happier with a very small and selective circle of ‘best friends’ who they stick with through thick and thin.
If your child is more of an introvert with birthday parties attended by five instead of fifty, they are also likely to be happier in a small school. You can be sure they will not miss their ‘hundred friends’ and are more likely to feel comfortable in smaller groups making new select friends.
3) “The Teacher Didn’t Get to Me / My Group”
Has your child ever come home with an incomplete project because the teacher didn’t get to them that day? In overpacked classrooms, many children who need more attention in learning miss out simply because the teacher didn’t have time to talk to them. Your child may have trouble speaking up over classmates or the simple act of waiting their turn left them waiting until the end of class and beyond.
If your child is having trouble completing their work or understanding the lessons due to over-stretched teachers, a small school is exactly what they need to get back on top of their grades and enjoy their projects again.
4) They Learn Better with 1 on 1 Instruction
The large public school policy is that the teacher lectures and everyone learns by following along. But not all children learn well this way. You know your child and should be aware if they learn better as part of a group, doing an activity, or with 1 on 1 instruction from a compassionate teacher. If your child is someone who learns brilliantly with personal help but slowly in a group, a small school can give them the best head-start on life possible.
5) Their Grades Slip in Larger Classes
Finally, you may notice as your child gets older that in larger classes, they tend to perform less well. Maybe they are distracted by socialization, don’t keep up well independently, or the teacher just doesn’t have time to help them with difficult concepts. But large classes can be a detriment to many children and the larger the class, the more your child’s grades may slip.
If you have noticed that classes with more children tend to cause your child’s performance to drop, then a small school is a great way to make sure this problem is never an issue again.
Here at the Tenney School, we believe in small personalized classes with enough teacher-time for every student. If your child is not a natural at managing crowds or learning on their own, a small school could be the best change you make in their young life. For more information about the Tenney School in Houston or other benefits of a small school for learning children, contact us today!