Top 3 Reasons to Send Your Child to Private School

We all want to give our children the best start in life. We want to give them opportunities, a leg up, and an easier way forward than we had. Depending on your circumstances and where you live, a private school might be an excellent way to do this. There are many advantages of attending private schools, which we'll get into below, but it can be worth starting your child off with private schooling at a young age. Parents are thinking about their children's academic growth and future from an increasingly younger age and by the time the child is in high school, where the pressure starts with colleges and beyond, you want them to have a good foundation. A private school can help them feel grounded and prepared for the challenges that lay ahead. 

The Basics of Private School 

About a quarter of all schools in the United States are private. Essentially, a private school is one that does not receive financial aid from the government; in other words, an organization or individuals fund and run the school. 

They're often parochial in nature -- indeed, the first thing that pops into many people's minds when they think of "private school" is the traditional image of Catholic school uniforms. However, not all private schools are parochial -- many are run by a religious organization. 

It is also worth noting that charter schools are not private schools -- they do receive tax money and though independently operated from the public school system, are still public schools, albeit ones founded by parents, teachers, community organizations, or companies. 

Unlike public school, which is free to attend, most private schools do charge tuition to enter -- it's one of the ways they get funding to continue on. Scholarships may be available, depending on the school. 

What are the Advantages of Private Schools? 

Private schools are usually smaller in size than public schools, and as such, are more selective. Students often have to pass some kind of academic testing before being allowed in, which also means that the rate of learning is more homogenized than in a public school. Smaller classroom sizes also afford teachers more one-on-one time or more personalized time with each student and can encourage them. Indeed, over 20% of public school teachers cite student apathy as an issue, compared to just 4% of private school teachers. 

There's often also a higher academic standard set for students at private schools, and the school itself might be very competitive, pushing students to do their best. This can grant them an edge when they apply for college -- their test scores may be higher, and colleges may recognize that school as one with particular academic excellence, making admissions counselors more favorable to applications from students at that school. The national average SAT score for a private school student is around 1235, compared with the national average which is 1060. 

And, it's also worth mentioning that these schools have high rates of kids going on to postsecondary school -- almost 95% versus just under 50% of public school graduates. Students may also make lifelong connections with friends or alumni that serve them well later in life. 

Why Start Early? 

Research has shown that children start learning and absorbing young. Giving them a strong academic foundation early on in life can make a big difference in how they push themselves, how they value and challenge themselves, and in their own self-worth. Children who are bored in school at a young age might carry that with them throughout the rest of their academic life. Keeping them engaged and curious can help cultivate a lifelong learner. 

Private institutions can often provide more specialized resources, attention, and courses for young minds and set them on a strong academic path. 

It's never too early to start thinking about your child's future. One way you can start is by considering what you want their academic path to look like -- and considering private school is certainly an excellent option.