By Noosha Taghdiri
Private schools. We have all heard of them. We may associate them with money or religion. They are described as schools supported by a private organization rather than the government. Typically, these schools have smaller class sizes, school uniforms, and more often than not, more personalized attention to each student. Before enrolling, parents need to consider whether this type of education is right for their child and family. Like any major decision, it is wise for parents to consider the pros and cons before enrolling their child to such a place.
In every locality, private school have their own approach to education. Parents should decide which type of approach is best for their child. Along with this, specific schools have specific grades. Students may benefit from consistently attending the same school from Kindergarten through 12th grade, or switching to a private high school after a public middle school. Below are some options:
- Montessori – Self directed education based on self-directed activities, hands-on learning, and collaborative play;
- Religious Focus – Contribution to curriculum by understanding of religion and their influence on individuals, communities, etc.; and
- Gender Specific – More confidence and academic gains among peers.
Smaller Class Sizes
Most, if not all private schools, incorporate smaller classroom sizes along with a smaller student population. This results in more personalized attention for each student, more opportunities to participate, and greater inclusion.
Majority of private schools require students to wear uniforms or follow a strict dress code. This can be a big debate among parents and children. While controversial, school uniforms provide a safer environment for students because they do not need to worry about peer pressure and they can focus on their studies.
This is the most popular con when it comes to private schools. The average cost in the U.S. for elementary school is $10,999 per year and the average cost for high school is $19,023 per year. While there are payment options to help, this can be a big burden for families to face. Some may have to dip into their children’s college funds or apply for financial aid. Though this is the step some families take to have a higher education for their children, each family should ask themselves if it is worth it for them.
Because of the limited amount of private schools, they are not located on every corner. Commuting to and from school is a big part of the decision. Students in rural areas can travel up to an hour to go to school. Families may not have that time in the early hours of the morning. If the parents’ job site is in one direction while the school is in another direction, that can be a big sacrifice to make.
At the end of the day, each family is different and has to consider what is best for their child. Some families sacrifice tremendously to help their children receive a better education. Others may stop when they hear the cost. Parents should take time to think about how their children would fit in that certain environment, consult with the school, and decide.