So it is admission time for the little ones. Have you zeroed down on the school of your choice? Or do you have a pile of admission forms and pamphlets on your desk and are clueless on where to begin?
We all want the best for our kids. With the amount of options we have these days, choosing a formal school can be an overwhelming task. Along with the pressure for kids to start off on schooling, the parents undergo more stress while making sure they choose the best for the kid. While you are in the process of choosing schools, here are few points that might just help make your choice easier and better:
When we talk about admissions, we all want to go for the most prestigious one around. There are number of international schools cropping up in every corner, making it a lucrative business. Talk to people; get feedback online and offline about the schools, ratings, rankings and previous academic performances. Talk to parents who have already sent their kids to those schools, try to gain as much information as possible.
Traffic is a main concern in metropolitan cities. Commuting from one place to another is a huge task, and can get extremely tiring. Try to choose a school well within the travel limits for your child. Choosing a school very far from home just increases the kid’s travel time and they tend to wear out out the child unnecessarily.
Visit the school to ensure they have good infrastructure. Kids need lot of place to move around, and play around. Ensure they have lot of open spaces. It should not be cramped up with lot of children in a small place. Rooms need to be spacious, bright, safe and secure. Pleasant staff, clean, well maintained classrooms and washrooms are a must.
Ask all the questions you have to while you are at your visit to the school. The choice of curriculum (ICSE, IGCSE, CBSE to name a few), staff experience and training, school policies, student-teacher ratio are few things to discuss about. Nowadays schools are opting for a smaller class size, which allows the teacher to concentrate on the needs of every child. This is more important for smaller kids who are just starting with their schooling and need lot of individual attention.
Choose a school which takes a student-centric approach. Each kid learns at a different pace. Opt for one that caters to the kid’s demands. If a child (of say some special needs) requires extra coaching, the school should be able to offer it for you.
All work and no play never made Jack a bright boy. Kids need time off their books. Academics is a must but not the only criterion for a good school. And schools also need to ensure this. Make sure the school focuses on academics, physical education and extracurricular activities equally. A child more interested in arts or sports needs to feel as important and needed as a child who excels in his science and math!
Parent – teacher communication is another very essential factor. Parents feel the need to belong with the school; they need to know how about their kid’s overall progress and development on a regular basis. Some schools rely on PTMs but some do send most feedback as “notes” with the kid. Ensure the school is parent friendly as well!!
Consider long term plans as well. Does the school support education for higher grades as well? Once the kid is adjusted to a school, it is much easier to continue at the same place for higher education. Depending on your requirement, choose the school accordingly.
And lastly, finances. They say ideally, parents need to start investing on the kid’s schooling right from conception! School admission rates have rocketed sky high and finance is an important factor to be considered. Different schools provide different payment and contract plans. It could be quarterly, half yearly, annually. Do keep the finance part in mind while choosing.
Hope these points make your job of choosing schools a bit easier. Opt for whatever suits your child and you the best. The end result should be that the kid should go to school with a smile on his/her face.
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