Thinking about school options for your kids? Here’s a close look at three of the main ones for consideration.
When we have children, we want the absolute best for them. Not only do we want them to enjoy life on a day to day basis, but we also want to ensure that we open as many doors for them in the future as possible too.
There are various things that we need to do to ensure that our little ones are happy now and have as many opportunities in the future as possible, but there’s one area that we can focus on that will help to guarantee this: their education. There are so many benefits that come hand in hand with education. It really is so much more than just teaching kids how to read, write, and count, though these are essential skills that we need to get by in the world in and of themselves.
Alongside this, education serves to broaden their young minds, introducing them to ideas and concepts that they have never even considered before. We teach them to be critical, asking questions and never immediately accepting something for what it may initially appear to be. We encourage them to be creative, developing their skills in the arts as well as more practical subjects. The list of what is to be gained from education goes on and on.
With these in mind, you may be starting to question how we can provide our little ones with the best education possible. The current legal system dictates that children should experience thirteen years of compulsory education. This is what is required to get them to a point where they can start looking at careers and provide them with the necessary competence to choose the direction that their life should take. But while the period of education is non-negotiable, the means of educating our children are a little more flexible.
Generally speaking, there are three main options to choose from: public schooling, private schooling, or homeschooling. What suits one child may not necessarily be ideal for the next. Only you know your kids well enough to be able to make the right decision for them, but you should be aware of what options lie out there. So, here’s a more in-depth look at public schooling, private schooling, and homeschooling to make the decision as easy as possible.
Public schools are educational institutions that are funded by the state. It is the most attended form of school, as it is free and you won’t have to contribute towards tuition fees or other forms of fees. The school is likely to request an annual contribution in order to help with resources, and this sum is generally set by the principal in consultation with the school community and bearing the budget requirements in mind. While this will help the institution your children may be attending, it is by no means compulsory. Like any establishment, however, you will be expected to contribute towards the costs of your children’s uniform, textbooks, school meals, excursions and disposable equipment, alongside repayments for any lost library books. It’s easy to plan the cost of your child’s education, however, as estimates are issued at the beginning of each semester for each subject studied. Remember that many families are eligible for education assistance from the Department of Human Services.
Class sizes are roughly fifteen students for every teacher, which allows for each child to be sufficiently supervised and to receive adequate individual attention and monitoring. Most institutions have high-quality teachers sourced from universities who have been trained especially in meeting the needs of the age group that they will be teaching. One particular thing to bear in mind when choosing a public school is that you need to apply to one in your catchment area. Generally speaking, you will not be accepted by schools further afield, as each institution has to ensure that it provides quality education to those in its own catchment zone and if they start accepting other students, class numbers will rise, and performance will be affected. If you have a child with special learning needs, this may also be the preferable option, as the state provides funding for aides and extra specialist resources.
A private school is an educational system that is largely funded by the parents of the attending children. It will cost more than sending your children to a public school because you have to pay fees in order for them to attend, which can vary from $2500 a year to $20,000 a year depending on the institution. The curriculum is likely to be relatively similar to that of public schools and the content taught for the four main subjects (English, history, maths, and science) is standardized, so children in private schools will be taught the same as public school students. However, what many parents find attractive when it comes to private schools is the increased quality of resources. As private schools have more money available at their disposal, they update teaching equipment, as well as software and technology that is used in teaching more regularly. They are also likely to have more subjects on offer, more excursions, and a wider choice of extra-curricular activities on offer. You can also choose whether your child attends a mixed gender school, a private girls school, or a private boys school too.
The clue to homeschooling lies in the name: you quite literally teach your child yourself at home. While this may seem like an attractive option, as you know exactly what your child is learning and can control their environment more closely, it’s likely that they’ll miss out on the important social aspect of education that takes place in classrooms with students from all sorts of other backgrounds. It’s also generally better to entrust teaching to individuals who are specialized in each given field.
These are the main three options available to you and your children when it comes to schooling. While each has its merits, each will also have its relative fallbacks. So remember that this is by no means an easy decision to make. Take your time and feel free to browse and attend open days to get a proper feel for each institution before making a final choice!
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