How to Pick a School for Your Child

Top 10 Questions to Ask

by the School Fair Foundation

Prevailing thought about picking a school tells parents how to interview a school. But shouldn’t you begin with the child? Rather than asking a school about its curriculum, parents should first think about their child’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to learning.

Children learn differently. The right school for a child is a school that teaches in a way that an individual child learns best. We have children who are kinetic or active learners, and have to move all the time. Children that are contemplative learners, and who learn best in quiet, self-determined environments. And we have children that learn in an environment that combines the two.

There are many styles of schools – Montessori, schools with core curriculum, outdoor learning environments. In order to pick the best school for their child, parents should ask the following:

1. What makes my child excited about learning?

2. Does my child learn best through hands-on activities or thinking through (calculating process) the situation? Is my child an active learner or methodic learner?

3. Does my child learn through verbal clues or written clues or a combination of both?

4. Does my child respond well to authority or work better in a partnership or team environment?

5. Does my child work well with a lot of other students around or is he happier in a quieter, solo setting?

6. Is my child self motivated or does my child need direction?

7. Is my child culturally stimulated?

8. What are my child’s special interests?

9. Does my child need the attention a small classroom allows, or is she able to excel in a larger classroom?

10. What assessments are in place to chart the learning progress of my child? What testing is used and how does the school compare with others?

If parents are armed with information about their child’s learning style, they can select from various schools that teach to that style.

For more information, contact Margo Branscomb, The School Fair, 303/668-4654. The School Fair Foundation is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to providing parents information about schools and educational options so they are empowered to make the best choice for their child.

This post is also available in: Spanish