Choosing a Private School

This section will provide expert advice, valuable tools, and relevant resources to aid in the decision making process. Learn more about what factors to consider when choosing a private school, what to expect at an open house, and how an educational consultant can help.

View the most popular articles in Choosing a Private School:

7 Reasons Why Private School May Be The Right Choice

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7 Reasons Why Private School May Be The Right Choice
Private schools come in a wide variety of educational approaches. We show you how to refine your school search.

We parents who send our children to private school have a lot in common. Most of us want our children to think critically, analyze information, and read widely. For example, Nancy and I wanted to stretch our girls academically. That's why we sent them off to private school. Those poor kids never stood a chance because my late wife read to her daughters almost from birth. She was a voracious reader. She read real books made out of paper, not books on an iPad or Kindle. She had an honors degree in French language and literature and Spanish language and literature. She attended private schools in New York City. Academic excellence was simply a given from her point of view. I was passionate about music and made a career in church music as an organist and choir director. I mention these facts about us because I know you have your upbringing and educational experiences that have shaped you. Those will shape how you plan your child's schooling at every level.

 

Many of us also have public schools that are considered very good or excellent. In our case, we were fortunate to have excellent public schools. But we didn't like the large class sizes and the limited curriculum that they offered. So those

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Mistakes Everybody Makes When Choosing Private Schools

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Mistakes Everybody Makes When Choosing Private Schools
We show you how to avoid some of the common pitfalls parents encounter when searching for private schools.

Because you and I are not professional educational consultants with an intimate knowledge of private schools, we often waste time and make mistakes as we search for a private school for our children. For this article, we will be discussing private K-12 schools that do not focus on special requirements, such as therapeutic schools and schools for students with acute special needs. Read When Should You Consider A Therapeutic School? and When Should You Consider A Special Needs School? for suggestions about choosing those schools.

 

Here are some of the pitfalls you and I tend to encounter as we look at private schools.

 

  1. Only looking at ranks
  2. Thinking you can't afford it
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5 Distinctive Features Of A Waldorf Education

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5 Distinctive Features Of A Waldorf Education
Waldorf schools offer a distinctive approach to K-12 education. We look at some of the features of this 100 year old movement.
Rudolf Steiner c. 1905 Public Domain on Wikipedia.org

Editor's Note: I will disclaim upfront that my eldest daughter went to a Waldorf School in the primary grades. Being creative people, we were impressed with the creative side of the curriculum. Our daughter's two years at a Waldorf school were overall a good experience. ~Rob Kennedy

 

On the fringes of traditional K-12 education are movements like Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia. They offer parents different approaches to early childhood education, and in the case of Waldorf schools, they continue on through high school. Searches on Google and YouTube will yield a lot of information to help you explore the subject of this article, a Waldorf education.

 

The founder

 

Austrian philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) established what we now know as the Waldorf or Steiner schools. He opened his first Waldorf school in Stuttgart, Germany Emilia 1919. A hundred years later, there are over 1,200 Waldorf schools worldwide.

 

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Choosing A School: It's Not That Simple

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Choosing A School: It's Not That Simple
You cannot rank private schools. We explain why.

One of the top questions on this site goes something like this: "I'm moving to (name your city) next summer. Can you recommend the top schools in that area?" My standard reply suggests that the writer engage an educational consultant to assess the writer's specific requirements and make appropriate recommendations. I also send along a link to that state or city, as the case may be, so that the writer can get some idea of the diversity of private schools in that area.

Many people think that I am copping out by not making a recommendation or ranking private schools. My reasons are simple: I am not a professional educational consultant. I am an impartial observer of the private school scene, both at home here in the United States and abroad. I maintain a reference site so that you can find a school online and make further inquiries based on that information. I editorialize on trends and happenings in the world of private K-12 education. That's all I do.

Private Schools Cannot Be Ranked.

Why are there no rankings on this site? I maintain that it is impossible to do. I have given it much thought, but I always come back to my experience forty years ago when we were looking for schools for our two daughters. It came down to one thing: the right fit. One size does not fit all when it comes to educating your child. 

Our eldest daughter was very competitive. She was also very strong, even gifted, academically.

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Choosing A Private School In Troubled Times

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Choosing A Private School In Troubled Times
If you are thinking about private school for your child in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, you should exercise even more due diligence than you usually would. More here.

Life-changing events dot history's pages. Wars, hurricanes, tornados, terrorist attacks - the list goes on and on. Just when we thought that we couldn't imagine anything worse, in early 2020 along came the COVID-19 pandemic. It has brought our economy and our lives to a screeching halt. Will life ever be the same?

 

Now, if you are thinking about private school for your child in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, you should exercise even more due diligence than you usually would. After all, sending your child to private school is a major expense for most families. 

 

Note: The information that follows does not constitute financial or legal advice. Always consult your financial advisor and attorney when making any significant expenditure.

 

How private schools operate

 

Most private schools have one major revenue stream, namely, tuition fees. If that revenue stream is compromised, the school's ability

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Choosing a Private School