Important Factors to Consider When Choosing Between a Public and Private School (page 3)

By — Member Contribution
Updated on Mar 15, 2011

School Size/Class Size

Although neighborhood schools can be huge, a district school a few blocks away may be far smaller and may be the place to enroll your child. Also, school size at the elementary level can be more important than school size at the high school level. For example, smaller elementary schools allow a child to be introduced to school and what is expected within a smaller, more easily monitored environment. However, a larger high school may have more money for athletics, music and other programs that a smaller or private school just can not afford or that you might have to pay extra for.

It has been found that smaller class size is an important consideration. Probably in general, this is true, however consider the following.  My daughter’s first private school kindergarten class had 8 students. Even with such a small group, she and two of her classmates had to repeat kindergarten for their learning issues. My son’s private school kindergarten had 25 children, about the average size for many public schools, but it was all day, something that is still not universally done, and he achieved far more than many of his friends who only went half a day, either in private or public school. I think the key consideration here is what environment will encourage your child’s learning the best, and you will only know when you observe.

Computer in the Home

When my first child entered school, there were no computers in homes. Those were huge things that had their own special rooms in offices in big companies. Today nearly everyone has a computer, but more importantly, computers are everywhere. And that is the key. If your family can not afford a computer, go to where they are- libraries. Take a class if you have to so you can help your little one get use to the keyboard, the printed stuff that is on the screen and have the librarian show you how to help your child. 

If you do have a computer in your house or even if you don’t, learn how it can help your child with reading, math and all the other things he/she will be learning in school. Make sure your child plays games that encourage learning and show your child how to find things he or she wants to learn.

The Biggest Reason Children Succeed in School

Hopefully, by the time you have gotten to the end of this article, you will have noticed the one over-riding principle for promoting success in your child’s education – YOU! The biggest factor in a child’s education and life success is parental involvement. That means making sure all of the physical needs of sleep, hunger, and affection are satisfied.   It means knowing each child’s school and teacher, and providing plenty of time to be involved. It means spending enough time with your child so you know him or her so well that you can choose for them when they are little and help them choose when they are bigger. Did you really need statistics to tell you all of that?

Carol Murphy, MA, CCC-SLP, BCET
Speech-Language Pathologist and Educational Consultant
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