Birds of a Feather: Tips for Choosing the Best School for Your Child

Goose Blog Love

As I sit here writing this, I have just come from a lovely local blogger gathering. While all of my friends have been extremely supportive of my new blogging endeavors, none of my friends in my various circles blog. None of them are on Twitter. They don't always want to discuss social media trends, don't use @ before people's names or call people by their blog name.

In the short time that I have been blogging, Motherly Law has become a big part of my life; a big part of my family's lives. It's inspiring, comfortable, educational and affirming to meet and chat with other bloggers. We come from different backgrounds, different walks of life and different professions. We are different ages, some married, some single, some with kids, some without, some work outside the home, some work from home. We blog about varied subjects and have varied purposes and goals. The one sure thing we have in common is that we blog. We can talk about our passions, our aspirations. We can discuss tweets, SEO, hashtags, analytics, and blog platforms. We can network and build real relationships with like-minded people outside of the blogosphere. We can belong.

Finding Your Child's Flock

As they say, birds of a feather will flock together. And it's important to find other birds of a feather to learn with, socialize with, etc. This is the case beginning in pre-K/Kindergarten, certainly by middle high, and a must for high school. Kids need the support and acceptance of their peers. The right school can mean all the difference to a child's educational experiences.

The "right" school is different for everyone. Does your child like to sit quietly, working independent of others? Does your child prefer to be moving and learn well with hands-on projects? Is it important that your child learn a second language? Is your child artistic or play an instrument? Fortunately, there are many educational options available.

Tips for Finding the Best Fitting School for Your Child

Here are a few tips on how to choose the best school for your child:

10 Things to Look for in a School

  1. High expectations
  2. Busy students
  3. Great teachers
  4. Great principal
  5. Vibrant parent-teacher organization
  6. Children are neither invisible nor scared to be at school
  7. Gut reaction that this is the school for your child
  8. Rigorous curriculum
  9. Families like yours are welcome, and their concerns are acknowledged
  10. You are satisfied with the school's results on standardized tests and school report cards

Source: Minnesota Department of Education, Office of Choice and Innovation

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recommends:

  1. Begin the process of choosing a school as early as possible.
  2. Find out as soon as possible about the deadlines for applying to the schools you are considering. Note that some schools require applications much earlier than others.
  3. Consider your child and your family.
  4. Gather information about schools.
  5. Visit and observe schools.
  6. Apply to the school(s) you choose.

For more in depth information on each of these steps see Websites below.

Websites

The ED site has a wealth of information on choosing a school and also lists additional resources that are helpful as well: http://www2.ed.gov/parents/schools/find/choose/index.html

This website also has a lot of information to consider in looking for the best school for your child: http://www.greatschools.org/school-choice/

The Scoop

It's vital to your child's success as a student that he or she finds somewhere to fit in at school. So, do your homework and find the best fit. How did you decide where to send your child t school? If you homeschool, what made you decide to pursue that avenue? I'll be back with a bit of Motherly Advice on Friday. Over and out…

Anna

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