I wrote Part 1 of What Do I Do When...? a few years ago. It contained eight questions and my answers. Here are another ten questions. If you think of any other questions which you would like answered, all you have to do is to message them to me on Facebook @privateschoolreview I will give them my best shot.
So, here goes Part 2 of What Do I Do When....?
What do I do when....
I can't decide whether to send my child to private school for the early years or for the high school years? Which is more important?
There are two schools of thought on this subject. Some parents feel that the early years give their children that solid educational foundation and love of learning which is so desirable. Other parents feel that an intense three or four years of high school college preparation is what their children need. And others send their children right through from prekindergarten through to twelfth grade.
I want my child to have a religious education?
Our faith means so much to us. We have raised our children to be observant and to practice our religion. I hear you and in this situation, your best option will probably be a private religious school. The biggest obstacle which you will face has to do with the available options in your area. Private schools exist in just about any faith you can think of. They also exist in various levels of orthodoxy within those faiths. Most religious schools will be day schools. On the other hand, there are a hundred or so faith-based boarding schools. Private School Review and Boarding School Review both offer robust search engines to help you compile lists of schools to research in depth.
Eileen Wirth discusses the mission of Jesuit High Schools
I want my child to get into a really good school?
The answer to this question asks another question. What do you mean by a really good school? Do you mean a school which is very competitive? Or are you thinking of a school which is a really good fit for your child? It is possible to have both. You must understand that the very competitive schools really are tough to get into. You literally have to check all the boxes and then some. Frankly, I would focus on identifying schools which a good fit for your requirements and those of your child. Get the fit right and you will have a happy child. That is the most important outcome as far as I am concerned.
My child doesn't test well?
I would opine that you have two options. Option one is to give your child plenty of practice in taking the standardized admissions tests most private schools use, namely the SSAT and the ISEE. Option two is to consider sending her to a school which doesn't do a lot of testing if any. Check out a progressive school or two. I think you will be happy you did.
We live overseas. How do admissions to American private schools work?
You will have several challenges to face. None of them are particularly difficult in and of themselves. The deadlines involved are critical. Read my article 5 Admissions Tips for International Students for a detailed look at what is required.
I can't choose between day school or a boarding school for my child?
If you live in an area which has several private school options and you have the time to be a full-time parent, then day school is a serious option which you ought to be considering. The two main advantages are that the cost is less than boarding school and that you can exercise your parenting skills on a daily basis. When you send your child to boarding school, you are buying the whole package: academics, athletics, social life, extracurricular activities and 24/7 supervision all rolled into one. However, parenting on a daily basis will be done by the school and its community.
I want my son to go to a boys' school and he is resisting?
As long as he has bought into the idea of going away to boarding school, I would suggest including a boys' school on your short list of schools to visit. I have a hunch that he will be pleasantly surprised when he visits a boys' school. Just be very careful to make sure that all of this is his idea. I have often stated that we parents have to be proficient at manipulating in order to get the long-range results we need and want for our children. This is one of those cases where that is very true.
In this video five young men discuss their experiences attending all boys' schools.
My child has a learning disability. Are there schools which can help him?
There indeed are. Teaching children with special needs is something private schools do very well. Many schools have remediation of learning differences as their only focus. Other schools offer the personalized, specialized one on one teaching which most special needs students require. Because this kind of instruction requires much one on one time, these schools can cost more than regular private schools.
I just found out my wife has been posted to her company's Paris office? Our children are in Grades 6 and 8.
Most major foreign cities like Paris have a lot of Americans, Canadians and other expatriates. As a result, you will find so-called American schools or international schools. Your children will almost feel as though you never left home. Whether you choose to expose your children to an international school with children from all over the world as well as a few local children or decide that sticking with an American school is best is a decision you will have to make based on what you feel is best for your children. Don't worry about your children's education overseas. You will have plenty of options.
I think my daughter would do really well in the structured environment of a military school?
Military schools offer a structured, highly disciplined approach to high school. The combination of military training and solid academics is something many parents and their children appreciate. You do not have many options There are approximately 40 military schools in the United States.
This video describes life at Fishbourne Military Academy.
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