Finding the Right School For Your Child
When you think about the decisions that impact your children’s lives the most, picking the right school for them to thrive in is definitely one of them. Outside of the home, school is where your children will be spending the most time: making friends, making mistakes, learning, and growing. Especially if you’re thinking about moving, school systems are such a heavily considered part of finding the right home for your family. These decisions should be made holistically to bring the best that the world has to offer for every member of your family. We wanted to give you our best tips for finding the right school for your child. If you find our tips to be useful, or if you want to add a tip that we missed, keep the conversation going on social and use the hashtag #SEARCHtheBurbs!
Make a list of your expectations.
Even before you start looking at specific schools. There are the standard high expectations such as supportive teachers, a challenging curriculum, and a safe environment, but there are other personal family factors that will weigh into your decision. Are you religious? Do you need a school that has an after school program that accommodates pick up times with your work schedule? Do you have a location radius for how far you’re willing to commute with your child? Having expectations laid out before you start research will make it easier to rule out the schools that you know are not a fit, and will solidify your choice when you find the school that hits all of your non-negotiables.
Take your child into consideration.
What kind of learner are they? What are their extracurricular interests? Do they have any academic interests that a magnet school or specialized school would foster in a great way? Depending on how old your child is, their involvement with this decision will vary, but give your child the chance to participate in the decision making in the ways that they can. Especially if your child is older.
You also want to take your child's social life into consideration when picking a school. Do they have an established group of friends already attending or planning to attend the same school? How do they interact socially in big environments vs. smaller settings? The right school will help them foster the interpersonal skill they need to thrive, and different sized schools are comfortable for different types of kids.
Visit your top schools in person!
A website can tell you a lot of the information that you need to know to narrow things down, but truthfully, when you are looking at countless websites of reputable schools, they all start to seem the same. There is not a replacement for seeing how you and your child naturally feel in the environment itself. In any decision, intuition is key.
Talk to other parents.
They are an important part of the school’s community that you might overlook as you’re prioritizing the factors to make your decision, but they have all the insight into what a school looks like from your vantage point. Plus, you can get a head start on making your connections within the school community.
Talk to the principal.
Getting to know the person at the top will tell you everything you need to know about where everyone else in the hierarchy of the school operates from. Any principal should be open and forthcoming about meeting with parents and happy to provide any information you might need to make your decision.
We hope that your school search goes swimmingly! If your school search is in tandem with a home search, just know that the suburbs we feature are all conveniently located to amazing schools. Check out our list of featured suburbs here!