Guide to choose the right school for your kids
Choosing the right school for your child is not an easy decision. It requires much thought and research on your part as a parent, as academics are the foundation of your child early developmental years. A child who is provided with access to good education has a greater likelihood of succeeding later on in life. Therefore, one of a parents´ greatest responsibilities is finding an academic based institution that offers a well rounded educational experience for your child.. This is especially the case for those parents living abroad in a foreign country as they often seek to find a comparable academic institution to that of their home country. Below are some tips that will help you to choose the right school for your kids.
1-Academic School Level: It is important to research the academic standing of a potential school. This can be done by asking for students test results in order to determine if the school meets basic standards of education, such as a quality certificate. It is important that the school is transparent with the academic success and results of their current students. Students´ test results will provide you with basic information in regards to the schools ability to ensure their students academic success. Once you have reviewed a schools academic standing, then you are at a greater advantage to make an informed decision as to whether or not this school is right for your child.
2-School Ideology: One important thing to consider is the school has a religious affiliation. Some educational institutions are secular, while some are affiliated with a certain religión. The different ideological, moral and religious school variables must be considered as they are likely to influence the academic and educational experience of your child. Therefore, it is important to be aware of a schools religious affiliation so that you are better able to make the right decision when choosing a school for your child. If you find a school that meets your criteria but is of a different religion than that of what you practice, ask if religion class or religious activities are a requirement or if they are optional.
3- Educational Model: Another important thing to consider is a schools learning method or approach to learning. This refers to the schools preferred approach to learning and the instruction of students. For example, some schools promote independent study while others emphasize a collective learning experience. Additionally, some school models emphasize one area over another such as language development, sports, advancement in technological studies or liberal arts. Whatever the academic model may be, it is important to double check that this method is certificated by the Education Ministry or a similar institution so that a students needs are met and academic milestones are achieved.
Another important consideration is a schools ability to provide adequate support and resources to students who require additional assistance associated with learning disabilities. If your child requires additional assistance such as needing additional time during test taking , a tutor or even an after school study program, then you want to make sure you find a school that will provide your child with access to these programs.
4-Languages: When choosing the right school for your child, one thing to consider is the schools linguistic programs. Does the school offer students an opportunity to learn other language besides that of the host country? And what language or languages are the classes taught in? If your child does not yet speak Spanish fluently, maybe a school that has offers classes in both Spanish and English or your native countries language.
In previous years, private schools were the only academic institutions to offer students an opportunity to study a variety of languages in addition to classes being taught in multiple languages. Currently there are several public and semi-public schools that offer this linguistic advantage to their students. Students who start learning a second or third language in their early academic years will make it easier to be bilingual or even multilingual as adults. In Cataluña, public educational institutions provide students with the opportunity to both learn and study academics in three languages: Catalán, Spanish and English.
5- The number of students per classroom: It is advised that parents are informed of the number of students per classroom. The number of students per classroom is important to consider, as it influences a students academic experience. The greater the number of students, the less likely it is that the student will have the opportunity to have a personalized, one on one time with the profesor. Personalized attention between student and profesor improves the student learning ability and quality. The ideal ratio is one teacher for every 25-30 students.
6- Distance: It is important to consider the school location and proximity to your home. While a the closer a school is to home the better, it is advised that this should not be a final consideration when choosing a school. Living close to the school your children go to may make life easier for you in regards to transportation and even providing your child with access to food in case of dietary preferences and/or restrictions. However, if distance is not an issue for you, then you will have a greater range of options in which to choose a school for your child to attend without restricted to those school closest to you in your neighborhood.
7- Extra-curricular activities: They allow the child to develop other skills and abilities and fix their tastes in entertainment
and sports. Extra-curricular activities must be used for the child and not to extend school hours.
8- Visit the school: An interview with the school principal and a visit to the premises to check on the spot all they offer is the last step to complete our choice.