How to Make the Right School Choice for Your Child

Let me tell you a secret, I have taught for 10 years and I had no idea about the school choice until my daughter was being enrolled in kindergarten.

As a parent we want what is best for our children so let me tell you I was surprised to know how vicious it is to get into kindergarten. It is literally like getting into college. There have even been documentaries about this!

So why now, this early in the year? Well because if you haven’t already, you have to look at the deadlines for enrolling your child for school in the fall. Many charter and magnet schools have lotteries so they have strict application deadlines. Or maybe you want to go to a particular school. You may have to move to that zone in order to be guaranteed a spot.

So what is the right school for your child?

That is a choice only the parent can make. Look at the options and make the decision that would be the best fit for your family.

  • Unschooling
  • Homeschooling
  • Online School (usually public funded and free for parents)
  • Public School
  • Private School
  • Charter School
  • Magnet School

When I choose a school, I look at many factors including:

  • Curriculum- what curriculum do they teach?
  • Electives- what activities do they offer?
  • Population- what are the demographics of the school? Is it diverse?
  • Class sizes- small? Large?
  • School Culture
  • Administration- how are the principal and vice principal? Approachable?  Friendly? You may have to talk to them so you want to know how they will act.
  • Schedule- does my child have time to be a child? Recess? Nap time if you have a kinder?

Many schools offer open houses in the spring so that you can tour the school and meet with the faculty. I like to get a vibe of the school before making my decision. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you go on a tour. You and your child should be comfortable at the school.

Whatever choice you choose, know that is not permanent. Maybe you tried homeschooling and you didn’t like it. Maybe you go to one public school then try a charter. Do what is best for your child.

Download the free printable 10 factors in choosing a school.

Regardless of whatever school you choose, remember you are your child’s first teacher.

I know that regardless of what school I chose, I will still have to review skills with my children and may even have to reteach them. They will be in a class of many, and at home they will have the personalized attention they need.

Tell me a comment on what school environment you chose for your child and why.