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:
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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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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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A Look At An Athletic Academy
 
Editor's note: I recently asked Bobby Bossman, Director of SPIRE Academy, to explain and outline the kind of athletic programs and training which the Institute offers. It is one of dozens of athletic institutes around the country which give young women and men the chance to see whether they have the right stuff to take it a step further. ~Rob
 
1. How does a specialty institute such as Spire Institute handle the balance of academics and athletic training?
 
By having flexibility with each student's time and the ability to create custom daily schedules, our staff can plan the most appropriate training day unique to each student-athlete.  Some athletes may require more or less time in academic training based on progress.  We have the ability to accommodate accordingly by infusing more academic time when needed and allowing those who are ahead academically extra periods of athletic training.  This is versus the traditional high school setting that blocks students into a 7:30am-3:30pm structured school day before athletic activities even begin.  
 
SPIRE also has the ability to condense the academic portion of the day by removing some filler blocks such as study halls and P.E. classes to allow athletes opportunities to train in the mornings as well when their bodies are physically the freshest.
 
How do you advise your young athletes regarding their academics?
 
All of our student-athletes are advised to complete all require core courses as per the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).  NCAA schools require college-bound student-athlete to build a foundation of high school
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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 websites again and again. Why? Because they are informative, useful and easy to use. Here are my picks for 'must have' websites 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' websites 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 child's admissions profile.

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Why Would I Want to....
Many parents tend to dismiss the idea of sending their children to private school without exploring it in depth. We explore this and several more related subjects.
Which path should I choose?

Many parents tend to dismiss the idea of sending their children to private school without exploring it in depth. Similarly many teachers flirt with the idea of teaching in a private school without delving into the matter deeply. Supporting your alma mater financially is another concept many alumni figure is somebody else's job. Of course, it isn't.

 

Send my child to private school?

 

You would want to send your child to private school for several reasons. The public schools in your area may not offer all the academic programs you want your child to have as she prepares for college a couple of years from now. The local public schools may have had to cut extracurricular activities because of financial constraints. You want your child to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities. Sports programs may have been cut as well. Many school districts are struggling with their budgets and that impacts academics, extracurricular activities and athletic programs across the board. Those kinds of fiscal pressures make the extras problemmatic at best. Who wouldn't want their child to be in academic surroundings where anything is possible as this short video suggests. Making the decision to send your child to private school requires some serious analysis and discussion of your aims and objectives. When we were having that discussion, we had two concerns: 1) stretching out children academically as well as providing a range of extracurricular activities and sports and 2) providing adequate supervision after school and

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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.