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.
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Summer Programs 2019
A long summer break offers plenty of time for a wide range of activities for every age group. Here are some of the options available.

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.

Sports camps

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

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Educating Your Gifted Child
Educating a gifted child can be daunting as there is no clear roadmap for your child's education. Some thoughts and suggestions here.

We parents worry a lot, don't we? From the time of your baby's first kick in the womb to her graduation from college, her marriage, and the birth of her own children, we just never stop worrying, do we? Now, of course, I don't mean worrying in a negative sense. I use worry to express that parental awareness or sixth sense which we parents remarkably seem to develop from the time we first hold our child in our arms. Worrying goes with parenting. But let's make it informed worrying. That's why organizations such as The National Association For Gifted Children are so important.  This video discusses the parenting of gifted children.

As you begin to suspect that your child might be gifted, take time to review the information contained on an authoritative website such as the NAGC's. Ruthlessly filter information which you see on television,  hear on talk shows or read in social media.

So what makes a child gifted?  The NAGC lists the following common characteristics of gifted children:

  • Unusual alertness, even in infancy
  • Rapid learner; puts thoughts together quickly
  • Excellent memory
  • Unusually large vocabulary and complex sentence structure for age
  • Advanced comprehension of word nuances, metaphors and abstract ideas
  • Enjoys solving problems, especially with numbers and puzzles
  • Often self-taught reading and writing skills as preschooler
  • Deep, intense feelings and reactions
  • Highly sensitive
  • Thinking is abstract, complex, logical, and insightful
  • Idealism and sense of justice at early age
  • Concern with social and political issues and injustices
  • Longer attention span and intense concentration
  • Preoccupied with own
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Schools For Children Who Sing
If you have a child who sings, you might want to consider a choir school. In the United States, most of these schools are day schools.

What is a choir school? It is a private school serving the choristers of a cathedral, college or large parish church. The choristers can be boys or girls or boys and girls depending on the institution with which the school is affiliated. The United Kingdom enjoys a long history of this genre of private school.  As the Choir Schools Association notes: 

"Choir Schools are amazing places where young choristers enjoy learning and playing. Their work takes them into stunningly beautiful buildings on a daily basis. There is no better educational and musical training start for boys and girls aged seven years and up who love to sing."

Residential and day choir schools have seen a steady decline in their numbers since the 1950s for three reasons. Two devastating world wars in Britain drastically altered the social and economic landscape in that country. Changing values in modern society throughout the world have seen parents choose alternative forms of education for their children. Finally, the tremendous cost of educating children in a choir school has forced many sponsoring institutions to close their schools.

Why send your child to a choir school?

I remember a parishioner years ago asking me to support her son's application to Saint Thomas' Choir School. He was an only child and, frankly, she was the quintessential velcro mother. I was pleasantly surprised that they were keen on the residential choir school at Saint Thomas Church in New York City. It was a good solution to her circumstance of being

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Mistakes Parents Make When Choosing A Private School
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.

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

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Single-Sex Education: An Overview
Sending your child to a single-sex school is one of several options you have when it comes to private schools.
When you think of single-sex education as a choice or an option when you are thinking about sending your child to private school, the subject becomes a little easier to understand in the 21st century. Historically private schools have offered single-sex education for decades. Indeed many of our older K-12 schools were founded with the purpose of educating boys or girls separately. That's the way things were done back in the 18th and 19th centuries. Colleges and universities were also set up as single-sex institutions. For example, Harvard University was an all-male university until 1977 when its sister college, Radcliffe, merged with it.
 
Characteristics of single-sex schools
 
How do we define a single-sex school? By definition, a single-sex school is a school which educates boys or girls exclusively. As a general rule classes will not be co-educational. On occasion, neighboring boys and girls schools which have an established relationship will host co-educational classes. 
 
What grades do single-sex schools offer? Typically single-sex schools are high schools offering grades 9 through 12 and a Post Graduate year where available. A handful of single-sex schools offer the middle school grades 6 through 9. Even fewer schools offer PK-12. You will also notice that middle school grades go up to grade 9 and high school begins with grade 9 as well. Actually, grade 10 is probably the most common entry point for private high schools. That’s one reason for the overlap of the grades. 

In the following video the students of Marlborough School, Los Angeles, describe why they like their school so much and show us some of the activities.

There are several
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A long summer break offers plenty of time for a wide range of activities for every age group. Here are some of the options available.
Educating a gifted child can be daunting as there is no clear roadmap for your child's education. Some thoughts and suggestions here.
Choosing a Private School

Getting Started

In this section we offer a look into some of the most important factors of choosing a private school. Investigate single-sex education and read what students have to say, learn more about what is important when choosing a private school, and get valuable advice on transitioning to a new school.

Finding Schools

Learn more about how to find and evaluate private schools. Find out why price should not be your only consideration. Get valuable advice on how to save time and money when choosing a school. Learn more about ranking schools and why it may not work.

Evaluating Schools

Here you will find resources and tools to aid in your search and evaluation of private schools. Explore the ranking system and read what schools have to say about it. Learn more about the most important questions to ask and how an education consultant can get answers. Use our checklists to help compare school administration, curriculum and more.