How can I know which school is the best for my child?

Children spent fourteen years (or more) of their lives going to class, that is why it is important to choose correctly the school that better fits the needs of our children.

And then is when this question pops up, which is the best school for my child?

What should I have in mind? Bilingüal? Religious? Public or private? Montessori method? Near home? Choosing a school for our children can be a hard decision to make.

The key could be choosing the best school for your children, but what really matters is choosing the school that better fits the needs of your children. On top of that, each school inculcates certain values depending on the educational system. That’s why the first thing we should ask ourselves as parents is what we want for their education and that way we will be able to make the right decision for their intellectual and social development.

Our kids are going to spend many years of their lives at school, years that they will remember for the rest of their lives. It is usual to change school between the years of 3 to 17. That is why it is very important to know our standards to set priorities. Then...

What should we value? 

The academic level of the school. If the school has a quality certificate, you should be able to see it and have access to it, besides you should also be able to see the grades of every school in each community.

The school’s Ideology. You should have in mind the different ideologies, moral and religious of the school so it lines with the values your children will receive at home.

Educational programme. The educational system, the psych pedagogic orientation, reinforcement classes… Besides, If it includes other interesting points in education like if the encourage developing musical or artistic skills.

Alternative learning methods. It is necessary to check that the National Ministry of Education or the corresponding institution certifies the objectives to accomplish in each stage of their intellectual development.

Is it a foreign school? They won’t just learn another language, but they also will learn different values, that is why this is relevant.

How many children per class. If there are too many children in the class, the teachers, may pay less attention to the learning process of the whole group of students. This problem has increased after the economic crisis in public schools.

Distance from home. If the school is closer to your house it is a very important thing to consider, since it will make easier the transport from your house to the school and from the school to your house.

After school activities. These classes are fun and they encourage them to learn additional skills besides other skills they learn at class.

Visiting the school. It is very important to know the quality of the school facilities and get to know the teachers personally.

Communication with the parents: It is very important that parents and professionals go together, that is why it is crucial the process the school sets to communicate the development of your child.

Common mistakes

Hearing what your friends and family say: Many times we let the opinions of our closest social circle guide us. It’s usual seeing parents, siblings, neighbors and friends trying to convince that the school their children go is the best choice. And although it might be a good option for them, it doesn’t mean it will be a good one for your children.

Believing rankings: Almost every year different lists are published listing the best schools in the country. And although these studies value many indicators they’re not always the most appropriate for the education of your children.

Only having in mind academic aspects: Each time it is becoming more and more important that a child develops their emotional intelligence. Working and learning is important but a complete education should include empathy and emotional intelligence.

Only looking at the present needs: Even though is really hard to prevent what will happen in the next 15 years, we should try to choose a school where the kid can develop long-term.

Letting prejudices guide you: Many times we let ourselves be guided by other opinions, because of what we’ve heard or because it is a private or public school...Before jumping to conclusions about a school, we recommend that you visit or look for information about the school. Don’t jump to conclusions just because a school is private or public, or because people you know that school is better or worse.

Ultimately, it’s all about asking ourselves what we want to teach to our kids, to choose the best school that better fits your child and family. So, to choose between all the different options, we need to set priorities. And never hesitate: always talk to the headmaster of the school about all the questions you may have.