Choosing a Private School
Google, Bing, and Yahoo will find anything you are looking for provided that you ask them correctly. The problem with these search engines is that if you aren't careful, you will end up with far too many results. And 99% of those results will not relevant to you and your needs. For example, when I search for "private schools" on Google, I get 1.5 billion search results. Nobody has time to look through all those schools. With that in mind, here are a few search tips to help you search more efficiently.
Save interesting sites.
Before we start searching for schools, take a few minutes to set up a Google or Word doc. Save interesting school websites for easy reference tomorrow, next week, or a month for now. Doing this will save you valuable time and keep your search process organized.
When you enter
Editor's note: In the following conversation, the parent is fictitious but her questions and my answers are real.
Parent: I am thinking about sending my teenage daughter to a private school for grades 9-12. How do I find the best school for her?
Rob K: Let me answer your question with another question. I know that I sound like an attorney by doing this, but I need to understand why you are thinking about sending your daughter to private school. Once you have told me your reasons, I will explain how to accomplish your goal.
Parent: My daughter's current school is OK. It's a public school which sends a large percentage of its graduates on to further education. So, that's OK. She's been with some of her classmates since kindergarten. Now I feel that she should be with other students who really want to learn. I also want her to be in smaller classes. She's one of 25 students right now. The other thing which concerns me is that the high school curriculum seems a bit thin, and is mostly focused on SATs and AP examination preparation.
Rob K: Now, you are giving me something to work with. Small class sizes are one of the main reasons most parents decide to send their children to private school. Most schools have 12-15 students per class. Your child will not just be a number in a small class. She will know everybody and everybody will know her. She will not be able to
A long summer break has been a fixture of the schedule in most private schools seemingly forever. Three months or more offers plenty of time for a wide range of activities for every age group. Here are some of the options available.
Many private schools rent out their facilities to outside organizations which run sports camps. The last time I checked, there seemed to me to be a camp available for almost any sport you could imagine. And they were offered at various age levels too.
Tech summer sessions
Ages ago we called these computer camps. Nowadays they are called tech camps. They will teach your daughter robotics, code, game development, design and much more. IDTech and Emagination Tech camps are just two of the commercial companies offering tech courses on college campuses here in the United States and abroad.
This video offers a peak at an IDTech summer tech camp.
Your local community college probably has tech camps too. Wake Tech in my area has fifteen tech camp options including such popular offerings as drones, video game design and more. Our sister site, Community College Review has a powerful search tool which will help you find a community college near you.
Day and overnight camps for children with special needs
Your child attends a school for children with special needs. What will you do with him for three months while his school is closed? Not too worry. There are summer camps
Choosing the right private school for your child is a lengthy process. I want you to achieve the success which you deserve without making these common mistakes other parents have made.
1. Choosing a school which is not a good fit
You know your child better than anybody. Never forget that as you begin the process of choosing a school for your child. As you look at school websites, don't be distracted by those beautiful, professionally-produced presentations. Schools will show you what they want you to see. That's not a bad thing; however, those websites may not necessarily address your specific needs and requirements. Many times during the process of researching schools you will receive false positives. It's hard not to be impressed by beautiful photos of a campus and its buildings, particularly if it is an older school with impressive grounds and architecture. But don't the cosmetics take your attention away from what is truly important, namely, the curriculum, the sports programs, and the extracurricular activities. Always be asking yourself "How does School X blend these three important components so that my child will benefit from attending this school?" As Geri Coleman Tucker wisely observes in 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Picking a School, "Sure, you want to pick a school that is clean and attractive, with all the newest technology. But remember that looks aren’t everything. Some schools might not have the latest and greatest equipment. But they have engaged and well-trained teachers who can
When you plan your children's summer, you are giving yourself two gifts. The first is engaged, active, happy children. The second gift is the comfort of knowing that you are expanding their knowledge in an informal, supervised learning situation.
When I was growing up, my parents decamped every summer from Montreal to the shores of Lac Saint Louis about 30 miles west of the city. They rented a cottage across the road from the lake. We took swimming and sailing lessons at the Woodlands Yacht Club, helped with the large garden which provided vegetables and flowers during the short Canadian summer. It was idyllic and safe. The routine was pleasant and predictable. My parents were not rich. In the 1950s a lower-middle-class family of seven could make summers like the ones I have described above happen for a very low cost. Fast forward to the 21st century, that's essentially what the summer camps and summer schools which have sprung up over the past forty years do, namely, to provide an activity-filled day in a safe, well-supervised environment.
The most important caveat when it comes to selecting a summer program is to make certain that you understand all aspects of what is involved. Know everything about the quality of the activities, the supervision, snacks and meals, and all the other details. Assume nothing. Most schools and churches which run summer camps will be happy to answer your questions.
Now let's look at some of the options available to you at various