In the realm of parenting, few decisions hold as much importance as those regarding your child’s education. From the moment they walk through the door of their very first classroom, children begin to learn the study habits and work ethic that will shape the rest of their lives. For some parents, a private education over a public one is non-negotiable; here are ten of the reasons why:
- Poorly Performing Public Schools – In some areas of the United States, public schools are performing so poorly that graduates simply aren’t prepared for the rigors of college and thus opt to enter the workforce directly after high school or even to drop out. For some parents, this is a significant motivating factor in the decision to send kids to private school instead.
- Smaller Class Sizes – Hiding at the back of a small, private classroom is markedly more difficult than being lost in the shuffle of a sprawling public school. These smaller class sizes and the availability of more one-on-one instruction are one of the most popular reasons parents opt for a private education.
- Religious Education – Parents who are invested in the idea of a religious education often choose a private school connected to their faith in order to ensure that the same values they hold at home are instilled in their children during study hours. Because religion must be kept out of public schools, devout moms and dads might choose a more private, faith-based education.
- To Improve Academic Performance – In many cases, teacher-to-student ratio in a private school is just what a student who’s struggling to keep up in larger public classes needs. Curriculum and special programs in private schools can be vastly different from their public brethren, helping kids with diverse learning styles learn in a way that’s tailored to their specific needs.
- To Take an Active Role in Education – Most private schools have high expectations regarding parental involvement, which can be quite different from the hands-off policy adopted by public institutions. Parents with the desire and the time to become an active part of their kids’ education may find that a private school is more suited to that involvement.
- Higher Accountability – In a struggling public school, administrators might be more invested in high standardized test scores than keeping kids accountable for their day-to-day coursework. Because many public schools are exempt from government-mandated standardized tests, kids are actively taught rather than simply helped to memorize testing material.
- Sports Programs – Many private schools have strong athletic programs, making them an ideal choice for sports-minded kids. Parents that are invested in developing their child’s athletic potential often choose a private school as a result.
- Emphasis on Arts and Music Programs – State education budgets are being slashed across the country, leaving arts and music programs on the chopping block. In some districts, these programs have already been discontinued, leaving parents of budding artists and musicians to seek private options for their talented offspring.
- University Preparation – Studies have indicated that a privately-educated child is twice as likely to continue to college as those that attend public school, and also more likely to complete a university program after enrolling. Because most private schools place a high importance on preparing kids for college, they might be a better choice for some families.
- Safety Concerns – While it’s certainly not true that all public schools are dangerous, or even that all private ones are safe, there are areas in the country where a public school might have a higher risk of violence, truancy and other concerns. Parents in these areas generally choose to privately educate their child if it’s even remotely financially feasible.
As is true with many far-reaching decisions, there are no one-size-fits-all options. Some families find that private school is more suited to their individual needs, while others may feel that a public education is a better fit. By carefully considering all options, you can make the choice that best benefits the needs of your child as an individual.
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