Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Choosing the Right School for Your Child

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winsomegirl atdesk]

Our Children deserve the best education we can afford to give them.  Parents often make huge sacrifices to provide the best option for their children.  What is the best option?

Knowing your child and their needs will help determine what type of school to look for.   A quiet, withdrawn child might do better in a school with smaller class sizes where teachers can provide more individual attention.  An outgoing, precocious youngster may need a school that provides more discipline and structure.  Budding artists or musicians might require a more specialized school.  An article written by Jamie Gumbrecht of CNN explores the difficulties and frustrations inherent in choosing the right school for your child. 


Local Schools 

Buying a home in  a neighborhood with the best local schools is often a determining factor in choosing a home.  Contact friends or Realtors who know the area.  Ask them which schools have the best reputation and provide the best schooling.  Schools in DeKalb County near Atlanta and Decatur, Georgia, are generally good, and several have received awards for high performance.


Magnet Schools 

Many School Districts also offer  magnet schools that focus on the arts or technology and usually follow a different structural organization.  They are generally not governed by neighborhood boundaries and draw students from throughout the school district.  The Kittredge Magnet School for High Achievers in DeKalb County has an excellent reputation and has received a number of honors.

Private Schools

Private Schools have become more popular as public education declines, and is an option for parents who can afford to pay tuition, as they receive no funding from the State.  The curriculum, teaching and enrollment requirements are determined by the Teachers, the Principal and the Board of Directors.  They differ widely in curriculum,  but may provide a better alternative than the local school in your area.  Talk to friends who have children in the school you are considering or check out websites that give general ratings.  Several excellent private schools are located in DeKalb County – St. Pius X Catholic High School, the Marist School, Paideia School, and Saint Thomas More Catholic Elementary & Middle School.  The only Quaker School in Georgia, The Friends School, is also located in Decatur.



Home Schooling has evolved in recent years and is an option more parents are choosing.  Many organizations and communities now offer support for parents that opt to homeschool their children, including field trips, sports programs, and specialized teachers for math, the arts, and the sciences.  Not an easy option, but one that can be very gratifying.  Check with the County or State for Home Schooling requirements, as they vary.

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