School Yourself: 3 Essential Questions You Must Ask When Looking At Private Kindergartens

Your child's early education shapes the rest of their life, and you want to be sure that it provides everything it possibly can. While your first thought may be "Where is there a private kindergarten near me?," there are many more questions to ask that will filter out the good from the bad. Keep in mind that out of all the schools in the United States, 25% are private. This smaller pool will limit your choice slightly, but there are many top private schools out there.

What is the student-teacher ratio like?

The biggest benefit of a private school is that they typically have fewer students in a class than a public school. Since you will be paying private school prices, you want to make sure this holds up in the kindergarten you choose. For kindergarten classes, a student-teacher ratio over 22:1 is large. Ask if there are teacher's aids or parent volunteers present in the classroom that could affect the ratio. Some schools also count other staff, like librarians, in their ratios. This can skew the numbers as these staff members do not care for the children all day and cannot provide constant support for a teacher.

Does the private kindergarten near me actually fit our family?

You may find an amazing private kindergarten just a few miles from your home that is the one all of the other parents are gunning for, but you have to make sure it will actually work for your family's schedule. If the school starts at nine in the morning but you have to be at work a half hour before, that could be a deal breaker. Unless you've specifically asked your employer to work around your child's school schedule, don't count on always being able to do so. That could lead to disaster, in either your child being left at parent pick-up without a parent or you losing your job.

Will the school place more emphasis on math or English?

The perfect kindergarten will focus equally on both subjects as they are both essential to your child's overall education. When you visit a classroom to see if you like it, the classroom should be filled with words. There should be books along the walls and you should make sure that the class visits the library regularly. The ideal teacher will make plenty of time for reading instruction and storytelling. The teacher also needs to introduce math concepts early on. Students who struggle in math often think that they are simply not good at it, but every child has the capacity to be proficient in math when they're exposed to it at an early age.

Obviously, there is a lot more to picking a school than the "Is the private kindergarten near me?" question. When you look at potential schools, evaluate everything from the classroom vibe to the teacher and every potential learning opportunity in the building.
 

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