I sent my son to a public school for grades one to eight before getting fed up with the system. He just wasn’t learning at a pace that was satisfactory to me, and his standardized test scores reflected that fact. Many of his teachers seemed to care about the students and did the best with what they had, but with class sizes averaging 30 or more pupils, it was hard for them to provide individual attention where necessary. Since there’s still time to turn my son’s academic career around so he can get into a good college, I’ve started researching private high schools in the area.
Private high schools offer many advantages that their public school counterparts simply cannot match. Foremost among these is a low teacher to student ratio that is guaranteed to give my child the extra help he needs, all in a timely manner. In elementary school, we often didn’t know there were any problems with my son’s grades until report cards were sent home in the spring. By then it was far too late to address the situation, leaving my son to spend many frustrating summers wondering what went wrong during. In private high schools where teachers have only 15 or 20 students to worry about, this kind of frustration can be avoided.
Another advantage that private high schools offer is the opportunity for students to learn in a college preparatory setting. Most private high schools hold their students to very rigorous academic standards that often exceed state and national requirements. By emphasizing the importance of developing good study habits and grades early on, students emerge with a deeper appreciation of education in general, and are better prepared to deal with the demands of college life. Furthermore, if I choose a boarding school for my son, he’ll get an even more authentic pre-college experience by learning to live with peers away from home. I’ve read that experiences like this effectively reduce instances of students going wild at college because they’re already used to being away from their parents. I’m on board for anything that can help my son succeed later!
A third advantage of private high schools comes from networking. This is especially true if your child is lucky enough to attend an elite institution, where the name cachet and a recommendation from the principal can open doors to the Ivy League later on. Plus, the chance to develop long-lasting relationships with classmates that can carry over into the business world is an invaluable opportunity in itself.
The cost of attending private high schools is definitely an obstacle for many families, but scholarships and financial aid are usually available. I want to give my son every advantage possible when it comes to his education, so I’m very willing to make sacrifices in this regard. I hope we can get the application and enrollment process completed by August!