When it comes to choosing a school for your child to attend, there will undoubtedly be plenty of questions to ask. Questions to ask yourself, your child, and the school themselves.
The answers to these questions included in this article will help make the decision regarding your child’s school simpler. They’ll help you figure out if a particular school is a good fit and if your child will thrive in the environment that the school provides.
Keep reading to learn more about the five questions you should ask your child’s school before enrolling them.
1. What will my child’s experience in a new community be like?
The transition into daily school life can be exciting—as it’s full of friends, new routines, and independence—but it can be scary too. There’s plenty that your child will feel they’re leaving behind from the days they spent at home with you or at daycare with familiar faces.
As a parent, you want to be able to feel confident with the place where your child spends most of their time. You want your child to be supported through every step of this big transition, and you can gain that knowledge by asking their potential new school how they’ll deal with your child’s transition specifically. Get curious about what activities are available to create strong bonds, if there is support available for children who aren’t sure of themselves, and if faculty is trained to spot children having a harder time with adjustment.
A transition period with a firm foundation will help your child to be resilient and enjoy their school experience.
2. What are teachers’ standards for interacting with my child?
Teachers clearly play a critical role in a child’s educational career. In order to make sure that the teachers’ standards are up to par, ask about the teaching style of the educators at the school—whether that’s a lecture-style or a collaborative approach to learning. If the school’s educational style matches your values, then it’s more likely to be a better long-term fit.
Find out how teachers will challenge and support your child, whether teachers are open to meeting before or after school hours if a child needs help, and if teachers are trained in emotional situations where children may need someone to lean on. Knowing that the teachers truly care about your child helps to facilitate a supportive environment for your child—which will help them thrive socially and academically.
It’s also a good idea to find out how teachers will interact with parents, how issues are communicated if they come up, and how teachers foster a working relationship between school and home.
3. What is the curriculum like?
A heavy emphasis should be placed on the curriculum, as this is what shapes a huge part of your child’s learning experience at school. The curriculum of their school prepares them for the rest of their lives.
Find out what the coursework for the school looks like and what types of activities your child will engage in on a day-to-day basis. Ask if there are extracurriculars available outside of the classroom—things like clubs, sports, or arts—that can go hand in hand with what your child is learning in the classroom.
4. How will the school nurture my child’s unique needs?
Of course, it’s important that your child get a quality education from the school that you choose for them. But what’s also important is personal development—the caliber of person that your child is becoming at school. Does the school offer opportunities for your child to nurture their leadership skills and other strengths that they may have?
What sorts of electives and extracurriculars help to foster such an outlook in children? There are plenty of qualities that a child can use throughout their whole life that school lays the groundwork for, and it’s necessary to find out how much weight is placed on those activities in the school that you’re considering.
5. What sets this school apart from the rest?
Many schools have unique focuses, and it’s important to gauge if these focuses blend well with your child’s interests before enrolling them in that particular school. If the school doesn’t have a theme, ask them about their pedagogy, values, and theme for curriculum. Ask the school what they’re most proud of, and that should give you a good idea of what they stand for and whether or not their views match your own.
Your Child’s School
No two students’ needs are the same, and the same can be said for parents. It’s important to consider a handful of options when choosing the school for your child, and these five questions can help you narrow down the playing field to find the most compatible school for your child and family as a whole.