The ever so important dilemma that every young parent finds themselves in how to choose a good rather great school for their kid or kids. A school that would potentially hone their child’s talents and understands their passion. Even though every child is unique and an individual like no other there are a few broad areas as parents you can look at which may help make this decision easier for you. Think of these factors as a framework of sorts which may prove fruitful next time when you start scouting for an ideal school for your youngling.
1 Don’t shy away from talking to other young parents – This trick is probably the oldest in the book. Scout your neighbourhood for parents whose child has already started going to school and talk to them about which school they chose for their kid and why? They usually have a lot of answers to your typical starter questions and this can prove to be a good starting point for school search for your kid. You also need to be clear as to what your child’s attitude is like, whether your child wants to be ushered into a more academic oriented school or if you would like a school with an equal amount of sports and other activities. Secondary research and a thorough web search are also required. Check out the school websites and skim through their online prospectus and then shortlist a few schools which feature in your A-list.
2 Proximity and Affordability – You would want your child to spend more time in school learning and socialising rather than tiring themselves out during the commute to and fro especially in a hot country like India where travelling long distances to attend school may mean that the child may have to wake up too early to get dressed for school or may have to spend too much time in the hot bus during the summer months. Try finding a school not too far from home.
Another important thing is affordability. A child’s schooling should not burn a hole in your pocket. The child should not feel that their schooling is a burden on parents. As parents, you must ensure that the school fee is within your budget and you have enough money left for your family to enjoy several other things together instead of just the schooling fee of your kid.
3 Teacher to student ratio – This is a particularly important factor. Every child is a unique learner and learns at their own pace and asks doubts accordingly. In a class which has too many students, your child may get neglected and their academics may suffer. It is best to figure out this ratio and if possible find a school where the teacher-student ration ranges from 15 to max 30 students per teacher. This way your child will remain invested and engaged in the classroom.
4 Academic as well as extracurricular activities –Gone are the days when academia was the be all and end all. Your kid does not have to become an engineer or a doctor only in order to make it in life. They can choose many different paths these days but in order for them to realise their path, you as a parent need to expose them to what career paths are available to them. A school which lays equal importance to both academia, as well as extracurricular activities, may be an important and futuristic choice in offering your child several choices for their future. A school which has performed well both academically as well as in extracurricular fields will prove to be a balanced choice for your kid.
5 Pay a visit to selected schools with your kids, meet teachers and check out the infrastructure – Do go to the schools you have shortlisted and talk to the principal and teachers if possible and also check out the infrastructure of the school. Make an appointment and take your kid(s) along as well. After all, they are the ones who have to go there. Study their reaction and what they have to say about each school and take their point of view also into consideration no matter how young they are. Their expressions and energy will always let you know how they feel about a certain place.