In the great debate of whether sending your child to Public School vs. Private School really matters, my response is Yes, it does!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted my children to go to a private school. I am a product of private education from the cradle right through college. Going to a private Christian elementary school gave me both the academic AND spiritual foundation that has stuck with me even to this day.
When my daughter turned two, my church just launched a new preschool program and I was over the moon. My dream came true and my daughter attended Miller Evangelical Christian Learning Academy. The level of education there was top notch and it paid off when my daughter scored in the 98th percentile of the New York City Gifted and Talented Exam. Proud Mama Moment! (PS – Her best friend at the time also scored in the 98th percentile.)
Because of her score, she was admitted to one of the top gifted programs in the city and it was a PUBLIC SCHOOL.
Good-bye TUITION! So I thought!
It was a bit of a hard transition for her but she made it through Kindergarten and we were off to the first grade. Not too long into first grade, I realized that although the program was top-notch, it was a bit too liberal and freeform for my daughter’s personality. That is when I learned lesson #1 in deciding between a public school vs private school.
Deciding what school your child should attend depends on your child’s personality.
I know my daughter and it was time that I came to accept the fact that although this program was top-notch and FREE, it was not a good fit for her. She needed more structure and a smaller environment. She struggled with not being the center of attention and didn’t know how to fully adjust to a very independent program.
You know your child, so you know what’s best.
I had to come to terms with the fact that just because it works for other kids, doesn’t mean it will work for mine. When I came to grips with this, I made the bold move of moving my daughter from a public school to a private school 6 weeks into the school year. I must admit I got a lot of opposition for this, but since being there, I have seen a change in her classroom behavior, she is way more advanced in schoolwork – she actually can explain the process of photosynthesis in the 1st grade – and she most of all is growing spiritually.
She even made Honor Roll after starting the school year 6 weeks late.
So to answer the age-old question, should I put my child in a public school vs private school? The answer is it all depends on what best meets the needs of your child. Just as carefully as we choose our careers, jobs, church affiliations, etc. Choosing what school to enroll our children in is just as important and can have a lasting effect. Because of this, we need to take the time to make an informed decision.
Here are some tips that I have found worked well for me when deciding where to enroll my daughter.
#1 – Take the time to tour the schools and attend open houses
#2 – Lookup the school’s test scores#3 – Read parent reviews – TONS OF THEM!
#4 – Look them up on social media and FOLLOW THEM!
#5 – Sign up for their school and PTA newsletter
#6 – Ask if your child can sit in on a class (some schools allow this)
#7 – RESEARCH! RESEARCH! RESEARCH!
Yes, I know it looks like a lot, but it is worth it. I began looking into schools for my daughter before she could even walk. I remember printing out the test scores of all the schools in Brooklyn, New York and neatly placing them in a binder well before my daughter was even a year old. Now that I have a son, I plan on doing it all over again. I can already tell that with my son’s laid back personality, having to decide between public school vs private school will be easier – at least for now. Until then, we will just have to deal with the fun of picking a daycare.