Choosing a school for your child is perhaps the most difficult decision you’ll make as a parent. One of the first things you’ll have to consider is whether he or she will attend a private or public school. As there are plenty of misconceptions surrounding the former, here are seven things that you should know about private schools when making your decision:
Not all private schools are the same
Don’t let anecdotes from your friends scare you away from private schools. They’re all separate entities and run by completely different people. Someone’s bad experience in a Catholic school on the East Coast, for example, is not at all an indicator of your child’s future experience in a private school in Texas.
This is why it’s important to research each private school individually and know what they offer. Eventually, you’ll find one that best fits your child.
Private schools answer to their own boards
Private schools don’t have to answer to state and federal governments when it comes to education standards. While the intentions behind these reforms are often admirable, a curriculum is often best left to the school providing it, as opposed to politicians in the capital.
This doesn’t mean private school students have it easy. In fact, they’re often upheld to stricter standards designed by the school board itself.
Private schools can either be religious or non-sectarian
Some private schools are religious. Some aren’t. You don’t have to subject your child to learning a foreign religion just because you want him or her to attend a private school. There are plenty of non-sectarian ones to choose from that use the extra period for other subjects.
Private schools cater to the needs of the students
Public schools do the best they can with respect to their resources, staff, and number of students. The result is good, but not optimal for students with special needs.
Private schools are more equipped to deal with special cases, whether a student is gifted and talented or needs more direct attention from the teacher. Students and teachers can meet one-on-one for a more personalized education.
Private schools offer extracurricular activities
Extracurricular activities play a key role in a child’s education. They focus on certain areas — teamwork, leadership, friendship, etc. — which aren’t directly addressed by school’s curriculum.
You don’t have to sacrifice these benefits just because you want to send your child to a private school. Like public schools, they offer a variety of clubs and organizations to make for a more well-rounded educational experience.
Private schools prepare students for college
College preparation is something missing from many public schools. To prepare for admissions tests and specific courses, those students will have to seek outside help.
When it comes to private schools, however, college preparation is often built into the curriculum. In addition to learning the normal strategies for standardized tests, students will take courses that will prepare them for the first-year of college, which is in many ways the most difficult.
Private school teachers are there because they want to be
All teachers in private schools were hand-selected based on their qualifications, experiences, and personalities. They must reflect and act out the qualities of the school to set a good example for students.
In addition, private school teachers are at their posts because they applied for them specifically. They’re passionate about their careers and want to help students to the best of their abilities. Many are drawn to private schools because of their personal and flexible nature — they can connect with students and teach the way they know best.
For more information about the Tenney School or private schools in general, contact us today.