Parenting involves making a lot of decisions. Among the most important ones, undeniably, is figuring out where to enroll your little one. Do it right, and you’ll set the kid on the right course. Not to scare you, but opting for the wrong school won’t do your child a favor.
Feeling the pressure yet? Luckily, this step-by-step guide is here to help you select the ideal learning institution for your kid.
Start Where You
It sounds a bit counterintuitive, but an effective school search begins in the four corners of your home. Before you make phone calls, check out the elementary curriculum in Gilbert, Arizona, and go on tours, take a moment to sit down and observe your child. You can’t make the best decision for them if you don’t know their strengths, weaknesses, and interests.
Does your kid love storytelling but struggle with numbers? Are they drawn to activities that involve painting, photographs, and computer screens? These subtle signs give you an idea of your kid’s learning needs and style.
Look back on the potty training days. In many ways, you were the child’s first teacher. More than anyone else, you know what kind of learner they are. You’re aware of what works best for them and what doesn’t. Keep all those in mind when laying the groundwork for their academic future.
Research and Make a Shortlist
Now that you’ve zero in on your little one’s needs, it’s time to make a list of the most viable options. How exactly do I do that, you might ask?
Make the Internet your friend. You can pull up a list of schools in your area in a matter of seconds. Rankings, reviews, and exam results are also only a few clicks away.
Remember, however, that looking beyond figures and headlines goes a long way. Turn to the parents around your neighborhood and get some word of mouth. They’ll give you bits of information that published reports don’t cover, such as school culture.
Take note of everything you’ve learned—the names of the institutions, along with the pros and cons of selecting them. After this, you’ll have a long master list of schools to choose from. You might even find yourself overwhelmed by the glut of options.
Worry not, however. If you’ve done the first step right, narrowing the list down should be effortless. Go back to your child’s learning needs and style then glance at the information you have. Which schools offer the most appropriate environment, approach, and curriculum for them? Only those deserve to be shortlisted.
See Schools in Action
Will you buy a property without visiting it at least once? Probably not. The risks are too high. The same goes for when choosing a school for your child.
Contact the institutions you’ve shortlisted to arrange a tour. Ask them as well if you can visit and observe a few classes. You also wouldn’t want to schedule the tour at the beginning or latter part of the school year. These aren’t the best times if you’re goal is to get a sense of how the place operates on regular days.
During the visit, pay attention to everything around you. Do the teachers look passionate about their work? Are the students engaged? Does the school have enough facilities?
Above all these, keep a sense of the place’s overall vibe. If possible, take your child with you and ask how they feel about the school.
Picking the right fit for your kid is far from easy. You’re under a lot of pressure. But if you break the process down into small steps, you’ll feel less overwhelmed and are more likely to make a sound decision.
It also pays to remember to trust your gut and listen to what your child has to say. You see, school search doesn’t only start at home; it ends there, too.