Tips on Choosing the Right Private School for My Kids

Tips on Choosing the Right Private School for My Kids
You've decided to send your children to private school. Congratulations! Toronto boasts some of the best private and independent schools in North America. However, you may be wondering which school is best for your kids. The answer to that question may depend on you and your children! There are numerous kinds of private schools in Toronto, from single-gender boarding schools to experimental schools, from special needs schools to prep schools. Many people choose schools based on what programs they offer, or on recommendations from friends. However, there are two very important tips on choosing the right private school for your kids that are often not considered. These have less to do with what schools have to offer than they do with assessing your own family's philosophy and each of your children's strengths.
  1. Consider your family. What is important to your family's culture? If spirituality is very important in your life, you may want to enroll your child in a religion-based school. Do you value academic achievement? A school that places a priority on this may suit your family best. What do you want your child to learn? Do you prize freedom of expression? A solid work ethic? Perseverance? Most private schools list their core values on their website and literature. By defining what values you prize most, you'll be better able to find schools that suit your family.
  2. Consider your child. Next, think about how your child learns best, and whether or not he or she has any particular requirements or talents. If you have a highly creative child, it may be that he will thrive in a setting where creativity is esteemed. If your child is uncommonly bright, a setting that celebrates academic achievement will give her a chance to shine. If your child has an ear for languages, perhaps a French language school is the right place for him. Or if your child has some learning challenges, several Toronto private schools offer special programs that may suit her needs. Your children may all thrive in the same school, or you may choose to send them to different schools.
The following checklist may help you as you investigate the pros and cons of various private schools:
  • Teachers. What training do teachers have?
  • Facilities. Does the school have spacious, safe facilities for classes and sports activities?
  • Student-Teacher Ratio. Seek a school with smaller class sizes.
  • Curriculum. Make sure the school puts an emphasis on core curriculum such as English, math, and science, as well as offering arts and technology classes.
  • Resources. Are resources available for children who need extra help or extra challenges?
  • Extracurricular activities. Be sure to choose a school that offers an excellent athletics program, a necessity for all kids. Clubs provide good opportunities for children with similar interests to become friends.
  • Travel. How will your child get to and from school?
  • Uniform. Does the school require uniforms?
  • Atmosphere. When you visit the school, is there a welcoming atmosphere? Are students polite and respectful?
A private school can give your child the brightest possible future. Talk to an enrolment officer today to help you find the perfect school!
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