How to Choose a School for Your Child: 5 Questions to Ask2020 | Article by Shepherds Hill Academy
Not Sure About School Choice?
Sometimes, parents are unsure of how to help their child best, and this scenario is particularly the case when it comes to choosing a school program for a child’s education. Children spend the majority of their waking hours attending school and doing school-related tasks, and one of the most important decisions that parents can make is which school their child attends.
Parents must decide between different types of educational options when trying to find a school program, including virtual school and in-person school programs. To help choose the best type of school program for your child, check out our infographic or explore the questions below. We detail five questions that parents should be thinking about regarding their child’s schooling.
1.What are my child’s academic needs?
Children have a range of academic needs. Children learn at different paces, and while some children may benefit from accelerated programs, other children require academic learning support. When choosing between an in-person or virtual school program for your child, it is important to consider the child’s academic needs. Teachers and educational support specialists can provide some support programs virtually. Other academic programs are best when teachers and specialists deliver them face-to-face.
2.What are my child's behavioral health needs?
A child’s behavioral health is an essential factor when deciding between in-person or virtual school programs. When children face behavioral health challenges, they often require help that is most effective when provided by professionals in-person. Parents of a child with behavioral health needs must research how a school can support their child.
3.What are my family’s needs?
This question is broad, but it is an important question to consider. When choosing a school for their child, parents must consider both the entire family’s needs and the child’s needs. For example, some parents may not be able to meet their work responsibilities if they have to also tend to a child who is at home and attending a virtual school program. Additionally, a child’s behavioral health may cause extreme discord within a family, and the family needs to prioritize behavioral health treatment when considering a child’s school program. Each family has different needs, and parents must consider the entire family’s needs just as seriously as they consider the individual child’s needs.
4.What extracurricular opportunities will my child have?
Extracurricular activities are important for a child’s development. They can have physical benefits through encouraging exercise, and they can also benefit a child’s social development by helping the child form friendships. If you are considering an in-person school option for your child, ask about the extracurricular programs that the school has available. On the other hand, if you are considering a virtual school option, think about how your child can participate in extracurricular activities. Does the virtual school program organize in-person meetups? Alternatively, can you supplement a virtual school program with private extracurricular programs?
5.How will the logistics of the school program work?
Parents should not disregard logistical details when considering school programs for their children. An in-person or virtual school program will only work in the long term if it makes sense in the context of a family’s routines and responsibilities. For example, does the commute for an in-person school program fit with the family’s schedule? Does the child need afterschool care? Who takes care of the child’s lunches and nutrition during a virtual school program? Parents must be mindful of these logistical concerns when choosing a school program for their children. Many of these logistical issues are easy to solve, but they do not solve themselves.
Still Not Sure Which School Choice is Best for Your Child?Take Our Quiz
Therapy Programs for Troubled Teens
We hope the above questions are useful and can help inform your thinking regarding a school program for your child. At Shepherd’s Hill Academy, we provide residential care programs for children and teens who struggle with behavioral health issues, and our programs offer in-person schooling to each resident. To learn more about our program and unique schooling option for your child, take our School Choices Quiz.