Finding the Right School from Afar: Choosing for Your Child When You’re Moving
When you and your family move to a new home, you’re presented with an opportunity not all parents have: you get to have a say in the school your child will go to. That’s why moving should be seen as an opportunity. If you’re choosing a new school for your child but you don’t live in the area, use these helpful tips from Prominus Real Estate to pick the best one for your family.
The Four Fit Factors
GreatSchools.org identifies four “fit factors” every parent should consider when choosing a school for their child. By combining research of child development with knowledge gained from first-hand experience, the nonprofit created four categories for your child’s educational needs.
- What your child learns – Which subjects does he or she enjoy? Which ones do they struggle with? Do you want your child to have a curriculum only offered by private schools like religious classes?
- How your child learns – Does your child have physical or mental health challenges that will need to be addressed? What motivates them? How should a school teach to best interact with your child? Different schools offer different concentrations and levels of instruction for you to consider.
- Social issues – Does your child thrive in large social settings? Do they tend to get along with children that only have the same interests as them? Picking a public vs. specialized school could cater to either.
- Practical matters – Can your family afford private school tuition? If the school is out of a bus zone, will someone be able to pick your child up and drop them off each day?
Make a Wish List
Once you’ve identified your family’s fit factors, create a wish list regarding your dream school for your child. If you want your child to have a conservative, religious education then finding a private school that leans in that direction should be at the top of your list.
If your child needs special help in their schooling, you’ll need to pick a school that offers such assistance or at least a supplementary program you may utilize. Whatever your child needs is unique; take the challenge of moving and turn it into an opportunity to find a school as unique as they are.
Use Your Resources
Fortunately, parents today have the internet to help them research and find the best school when they’re moving to a new location. District and school websites should give you a thorough rundown of what the institution offers. However, you should also feel free to email or call the schools you are interested in yourself and ask questions.
Another great resource is Parents for Public Schools, a community that educates, engages, and motivates parents to become active in their children’s public schools. Social media can also be a great tool when picking out a school from afar. “Like” or follow the schools you are interested in to get a sense of upcoming events and parent involvement before your family even steps a foot into town.
Location and Affordability
In addition to finding a place that suits your child’s academic needs, you need to find a school that is safe and a house you can afford. You’ll also need to consider how any tuition or other costs will cut into funds already allocated for other purposes — for example, if you regularly send money to family members in a home country or you’re putting aside a certain amount each month into a business startup fund.
Keep in mind that children are particularly vulnerable after a big life change like a move. For some kids, this vulnerability leads to rebelling against their parents and beginning dangerous behaviors. Scout the neighborhood your child’s school is in to see if there is a high crime rate you would best avoid. Websites like NeighborhoodScout and AreaVibes can help you do this before you even make the move.
Picking your child’s school is a huge responsibility, but when you’re moving to a new home you’re faced with the opportunity to pick a great fit for your kid. Reference your child’s needs and how they best thrive and create a wish list for the perfect school. Use the resources available to find something that fits your child’s needs. In the end, your kid will be on the right track educationally and socially so the transition to their new home goes as seamlessly as possible.
Credit to: Tina Martin | https://www.ideaspired.com