If you’re feeling disillusioned with your child’s public school education, you’re not alone. Many unhappy parents are making the switch to private school for their family.
Not sure if you’re ready to take the leap? Here are a few signs that might indicate it’s time to consider a change.
Kids’ moods change easily, so some bad days are to be expected. But if the good days seem few and far between, maybe it has something to do with their course work. Despite having straight A’s, if your child seems indifferent about what he or she is learning in the classroom, the curriculum isn’t stimulating enough. Your child should be excited to learn new information and share it with you. On the flip side, if your child isn’t doing well in school and can’t improve his or her grades, that could mean the teacher isn’t able to give them the attention they need to succeed.
There is a spectrum of success that can go both ways. If your child is breezing through with high marks and stellar grades, his or her teacher should be recommending accelerated learning programs. If your child is struggling, their teacher should be communicating with you on ways to solve the problem or asking for your help to break through. If your child’s teacher has no personalized feedback to offer at parent-teacher conferences (or worse yet, there are no parent-teacher conferences), then your child is being underserved. And it’s not always the teacher’s fault – public schools tend to overcrowd the classroom, making it impossible for one teacher to interact fully with each student.
Education always comes first, but most children are able to learn more effectively through the arts. If your public school district pulls funding from art and music programs, then your child is being deprived the benefits of creative expression. Students who study art are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and researchers found that sustained learning in music and theater correlates with higher achievement in both math and reading. Your child might not have any interest in being the next Mozart or Picasso, but they deserve the chance to explore all potential talents.
It can be as simple as that. Let your child communicate with you; it might just be a schoolyard bully or a fight with a friend that makes them want to switch schools. But if your child is consistently unhappy with their surroundings, you should consider giving them a fresh start. You know your child and what they can do. Find a school that appreciates who they are and who they could be by giving them the proper resources to grow and thrive.
For more information on finding the right place for your family, visit Boston magazine’s Guide to Private Schools.
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