Why Private School

A comprehensive look at private schools and why they might be right for your child. Explore the history of private school education, weigh the pros and cons of public vs. private school, and get valuable advice on making the best choice for your child. Learn more about the various types of private schools from military to progressive and review directories from a variety of resources including private school associations and offline publications.
View the most popular articles in Why Private School:
Updated February 22, 2018 |
Which Schools Did Our Presidents Attend? Part 2 - Johnson to Taft
Depending on their family circumstances, our Presidents received a wide range of primary and secondary schooling.

In the nineteenth-century education for several of our presidents was strictly hit or miss for a variety of reasons. On the other hand, a couple of presidents enjoyed what you and I know in the 21st century as Ivy League educations. Fortunately for our young nation, most of these men were leaders who were able to guide our country through so uncharted waters and perilous times.

17 - Andrew Johnson

President from April 15,  1865 to March 4, 1869
Born: December 29, 1808, Raleigh, North Carolina
Died: July 31, 1875, Carter County, Tennessee, Tennessee
Political party: Democratic Party

North Carolina native Andrew Johnson succeeded Abraham Lincoln. He had no formal schooling as his family was very poor. His meager educational background notwithstanding, Johnson apparently was a skilled public speaker.

Book Scrolling has a list of books about our 17th president.

18 - Ulysses S. Grant

President from March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1877

Born: April 27, 1822, Point Pleasant, Ohio
Died: July 23, 1885, Wilton, New York
Political party: Republican Party

Ohio native Hiram Ulysses Grant appears to have had formal schooling from the age of five. He attended a subscription school, i.e., a school which his parents paid for him to attend, as well as two private schools, the Maysville Seminary, and John Rankin's Academy. He matriculated to West Point. Ron Chernow's book

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Updated January 18, 2018 |
What If...Answers To Your Questions About Private School
From time to time we all wonder how things might have turned out if circumstances and situations had been different. We apply that questioning to private schools.

I was musing the other day about how things might have turned out differently if this or that had happened in my life. The same exercise applies to just about any subject. So let's do it with private schools.

What if you can't make up your mind about whether to send your daughter to grade school or to high school?

You won't be alone if you are in a quandary about sending your child to primary grades or to high school. I wrote about this at length in Should You Send Your Child to Private Primary or High School? It is a catch 22 situation. Primary school lays the foundation for solid achievement in high school, while high school lays the foundation for solid achievement in college. If either academic foundation is constructed with less than the best materials, the educational structure built on that foundation will have deficiencies. 

The solution is to find the private school which meets as many of your requirements as possible. I explain how to do this in The Search Process: A 5 Point Checklist 

What if you think you cannot afford to send your child to a private school?

It is discouraging when you discover that a day school can cost $35,000 or more. And that's just for tuition. Add in fees and sundries such as music lessons, and you are probably looking at more than $40,000. Luckily, you have several options available to you. The first and most obvious one is that there

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Updated February 13, 2018 |
Which Schools Did Our Presidents Attend? Part 3 - Wilson to Trump
Depending on their family circumstances, our Presidents received a wide range of primary and secondary schooling.

It was a different world for the Presidents who held office in the 20th-century. They had a succession of wars to deal with, as well as two devastating economic recessions.

28 - Woodrow Wilson

President from March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921. 
Born: December 28, 1856, Staunton, Virginia 
Died: February 3, 1924, Washington, DC
Political party: Democratic Party

Virginia native Woodrow Wilson did not attend school until he was a teenager. He was homeschooled. Scholars seem to think he might have had dyslexia. Wilson compensated for this by learning Graham Shorthand. He did manage to attend college, variously attending Davidson College, Princeton University, and the University of Virginia Law School.

29 - Warren Harding
President from March 4, 1921 to August 2, 1923
Born: November 2, 1865, Blooming Grove, Ohio
Died: August 2, 1923, San Francisco, California
Political Party: Republican Party

Little is known of Ohio native Warren Harding's early education. Scholars seem to think that he was mostly homeschooled. He attended Ohio Central College and earned his degree from that institution.

30 - Calvin Coolidge
President from August 2, 1923 to March 4, 1929
Born: July 4, 1872, Plymouth Notch, Vermont
Died: January 5, 1933, Northampton, Massachusetts
Political Party: Republican Party

Vermont native Calvin Coolidge attended Black River Academy and then St. Johnsbury Academy, local

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Updated February 19, 2018 |
Which Schools Did Our First Presidents Attend? Part 1 - Washington to Lincoln
A fascinating look at where our first Presidents went to school.

Not many schools existed in colonial times in our young nation. The dearth of schools makes you wonder what forces shaped the philosophies and thinking of the men who became our first sixteen presidents. In the 18th and early 19th-centuries, formal education usually took place in a small, intimate setting in the home of a minister. Lessons included what we now call core subjects, i.e., reading, writing, and mathematics. Teachers also taught the Scriptures and classical languages.

In pre-Revolution days, occasionally young men were sent off to England to study in boarding or public schools there. Many of these early presidents matriculated to colleges such as William and Mary, Harvard, Princeton and the University of North Carolina, back in the days when these institutions were just becoming established. Politics, agriculture, law, and the armed services figure prominently in the career paths of these distinguished men in many cases. Other presidents came to the job with very little formal education. What follows are snapshots of these remarkable leaders.

1 - George Washington 

President from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797. No party affiliation.
Born: February 22, 1732, Westmoreland County, Virginia, Virginia
Died: December 14, 1799, Mount Vernon, Virginia

Our first President, George Washington, was homeschooled and self-taught. His formal education consisted of lessons in mathematics, reading, and writing.  Scholars seem to think that George attended classes with Reverend James Marye,

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Updated January 08, 2016 |
A Baker's Dozen of 'Must Have' Sites
Here are my picks for 'must have' web sites when it comes to finding out about private K-12 schools.

As you research private schools you will find yourself coming back to a handful of web sites again and again. Why? Because they are informative, useful and easy to use. Here are my picks for 'must have' web sites when it comes to finding out about private K-12 schools.

The Association of Boarding Schools
http://www.boardingschools.com/

The Association of Boarding Schools site is dynamic and clean. I want to find information quickly with as few clicks as possible. The TABS site is one of those well-designed sites which allows you to do just that. You can drill down to member boarding schools, learn about recruiting fairs, financing, boarding school life and just about anything to do with boarding schools. This site is a 'must have' for parents living outside the United States who are thinking about sending their children to American boarding schools.

Google Maps
maps.google.com 

I included maps.google.com on this list of 'must have' web sites because it allows me to zoom in and look at the street view. That is not important for schools and locations I know. But when I am researching a school in another state, Google Maps allows me to get the lay of the land quickly and efficiently. Also, because it is available as an app, I can plug the address in on my smartphone and get directions to the campuses of the schools which I am visiting.

SSAT
www.ssat.org/

Standardized admissions testing is an important component of your

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Recent Articles
July 13, 2018
Cindy Springsteen writes for the Long Island Examiner. She and I had a go at a couple of the major issues confronting parents of teens.
July 07, 2018
As you’ve been doing your boarding school research, you’ve likely seen ISEE/SSAT score submission requirements for your target schools, and understand how important scores are to the admissions process. Unfortunately, tremendous candidates can get bypassed because they were not able to demonstrate what they knew on test day.
June 26, 2018
Many people thought vouchers would never amount to much. Not only have they amounted to a great deal more than anybody could have thought, but vouchers have encouraged several more education choices to flourish.
Why Private School

About Private Schools

An in depth look at private schools, including history, a comparison to public education, and a glimpse of what's being taught. Learn about the benefits of attending private school, to both students and parents. Explore private schools options when living abroad, and debunk many of the myths regarding private school education.

Kinds of Schools

Private schools are just as varied as public schools. From Catholic to progressive, military to special needs, private schools offer a lot of options. Take a comprehensive look into the many types of private schools, weigh the pros and cons of each, and get helpful tips on choosing one that works best for your child.

School Life

Get a glimpse of private school life. Here you'll find a survival guide for parents, brush up on terms and jargon, and learn why extracurricular activities are so important.

Directories

We offer several directories to aid in your choice of a private school. Included are quick links to national, regional and state associations, a list of offline resources to aid in our decision, and local school directories for several metropolitan areas.