Our children will create the world of tomorrow. And tomorrow is a time and place we don’t know. How can we prepare them to take on this challenge with integrity, perseverance, and honor? We give them the education that best fits them. But how do we choose the best school? Here are some of the benefits of receiving a private education:
Education is not one size fits all
Every child is unique, with his or her own talents, strengths, and weaknesses. The way people approach learning and structure understandings is as varied as our DNA. Choosing a school with an educational model flexible enough to meet the demands of such variety requires a search akin to a royal quest, but finding that perfect fit is like pulling a polished diamond from a heap of turned up stones.
A private school may be the gemstone you’re looking for
At the beginning of your quest, it helps to map out your search. Of course, you want your child to meet the highest academic standards possible. You want your family’s core values supported. You want a positive peer network that will stand the test of time. Your child needs a certain amount of a qualified teacher’s focus. Finally, it’s all got to fit your budget.
Considering the alternatives: private education
Public schools are designed to educate all students to a particular degree, described as a set of standards. The curriculum, textbooks, and resources are constructed under assumptions about what the typical child in a given age range understands and what he or she should be learning. Aptitude and achievement tests are designed that help educators get a picture of where each child is in the learning process by comparing them to the responses of a large mass of children in the same age range.
When you’re considering the optimum education service for your child, find out how they will assess your child’s particular strengths and weaknesses. Does the school you’re looking at have a method for meeting your child where he or she is? How will they capture students’ attention and bring them forward?
There is perhaps nothing as frustrating as trying to instill a particular set of values in your child only to have them come home and tell you that their teacher contradicted it. Or to have the value of hard work destroyed by the child’s observation that they can skim through a subject with minimal effort and still receive a good grade.
The setting where your child spends most of his or her waking hours should support your family values. When considering a school, ask what character traits are built into the school’s methods. What kind of thinking do the administration and staff support? What are some examples of how certain values are modeled within the school and in the relationship between the school and home?
Positive peer network
Students in a private school generally come from families that share a common set of values. Therefore, the students are expected to live from those shared values. The student body, as a whole, is moving in the same ethical direction. When families pay for private education, there is generally less tolerance or opportunity for negative behaviors and attitudes that bring students down. Everybody involved is giving their best to lifting the students up. As students socialize with one another, they reflect these attitudes to each other and support their peers positively.
Class size: adequate teacher-student focus
While public schools often have a student-to-teacher ratio of at least twenty to one, educators know that the smaller the class size, the better the students’ needs are met. How can one adult teach, assess, plan, and keep an eye on the behavior of twenty students? And when a student needs help but must wait idly for ten or fifteen minutes to receive it, he or she is wasting time that could have been used productively if the teacher were able to focus on that student’s needs.
What is the class size of the private school you’re looking at? In order to keep the student-to-teacher ratio down, schools will have to hire more staff or accept fewer students. Or both. This is where things may seem tricky, but getting the best education for your child is probably worth the entrance requirement efforts.
On the one hand, your child’s education is priceless. On the other hand, there is a cost involved. In order to hire and maintain the best-qualified staff, a school must be able to attract them. In order to acquire the best curriculum and materials, a school must be able to buy them. These costs are necessarily passed on to the families enrolled. When you identify the school that best fits your child, you will have to make sure it also fits your wallet. If it seems close, or if you are determined that the school is the exact fit and are ready to demonstrate that need to the administration, talk to them about your financial concerns. You may find that financing or other financial help is available.
The Tenney School is a private school in Houston, Texas offering high academic standards for each student. Our educational model is built on the foundation of a one-to-one student ratio, allowing our teachers to focus on each student’s unique needs and learning potential. Please contact us to learn more about private education and to see if we are the best fit for your child’s needs.