Your child’s first school and learning experience play a major role in molding their character and personality traits. The way they behave, talk, learn, and socialize is directly influenced by the learning environment they are introduced to.
As a parent, it is your sole responsibility to ensure that your child has the best first school experience. However, many parents are intimidated by the thought of finding the ‘perfect school for their child. Whether it’s a private or public school, your child’s first encounter with other kids and elders takes place here, which is why you need to conduct some research and consider proper planning. Consider these six aspects when choosing your child’s first school.
1. Your Child’s Needs and Learning Pattern
The most important aspect is your child’s needs, which should be suitable for the type of school they are enrolled in. Is your child able to socialize with other kids? Do they need a structured surrounding? Does your child get cranky when they are not pampered? Do they need a creative environment? Questions like these will help you determine your child’s needs and learning pattern. Along with this, make note of how your kid prefers to learn – by listening, painting, reading, writing, etc. Look for a school that checks these boxes and resonates with your kid’s needs.
2. Learning Approach and Curriculum
Secondly, research the schools in your vicinity and outline each learning center’s curriculum and learning approach. If it resonates well with your child’s learning pattern, you’ll find that they will opt to stay in school for longer hours without throwing tantrums. Next, outline the subjects and curriculum design of each school. Find answers to questions like – What are the core subjects taught in this school? Are there any extracurricular activities taught here? Are there any enrichment opportunities? Do they offer special learning needs? Is transitional kindergarten an option? A list of similar questions will help you determine an appropriate curriculum and learning approach for your child.
3. Morals, Values, and Behavioral Teaching
As mentioned earlier, your child’s first school plays a major role in determining their character and personality traits, which is why you should consider the moral values and behavioral teaching lessons of the school you are interested in. Upon shortlisting a school, consider whether this learning center has policies on character development, discipline, morals, absence, and prevention of misbehavior. Some schools also introduce dress codes to ingrain a sense of equality among young kids. Lastly, your kid’s learning center should enable them to be a leader and distinguish between right and wrong.
4. Location of the School
Naturally, you’d want your kid to stay within your vicinity. However, at times, it is possible that a good learning center may be miles away from your house. As a parent, it all depends on your instincts and needs. Are you okay with your kid having a mediocre education but being at a walkable distance from your home? Or do you want them to experience the best learning approach even if the school is located far away? If your locality has a school with an appropriate teaching pattern and curriculum, you are in luck. If not, you need to choose between distance and quality of education.
Another important aspect is safety. How safe is the school? Are the teachers and staff trained to follow safety measures and drills? Does the school have a trained medical department and room? How does the school handle mistreatment and bullying? Is there additional staff to watch over kids? What measures are taken to make the school building safe? Do they have an emergency plan? Make a list of similar questions and try to find answers to determine the safety level of your chosen school.
6. Facilities, Services, and Teachers
Lastly, the school’s services, facilities, and amenities are also important. Does the school have a dedicated library? What kind of equipment do they have to teach the kids? Is the playground big and safe? Does the school have an after-school care? Apart from these questions that help you determine the facilities in the school, consider the teachers, staff, and principal too. Every teacher’s attitude, teaching capability, nature, availability, and strengths are key to your child’s growth and development. Also, make sure that the teachers are ready to go the extra length to help your kid.
Make a list of these factors and shortlist a few learning centers within or outside your locality. Visit each school and make notes. Meet the teachers and principal personally to cement your decision. Also, talk to other parents who are thinking of enrolling their kids soon. If possible, talk to parents of graduated kids. Lastly, make sure that the school is reputed and respected in your community. These tips might seem a bit over the top, but they are necessary to ensure your kid’s safety, learning pattern, character development, and socializing skills. So, take enough time and resonate with these questions before you make a decision.