When it comes to your child’s education, it can be challenging to know which school is best. With lots of options to choose from, it’s important to identify what’s most important to you and your family, and what areas you’re unwilling to compromise in as you research.
If you’re considering a private school for your child for the first time, it’s important to know the advantages of this important investment. Here are just a few of those advantages and what you can expect from a private-school education.
Smaller Classes, Greater Opportunities
One of the biggest advantages of a private school is the student-to-teacher ratio. With smaller class sizes, private school children tend to have much better opportunities to form relationships with their teachers and experience learning in a more one-on-one way.
Additionally, they tend to have more freedom in choosing their curriculum and a lot more exposure to the arts and new ways of learning. Private schools can help create a more holistic and balanced learning environment for students through more face time with teachers and improved opportunities for academic success.
A private school can also offer different opportunities for learning that children might not be able to get at public school. This foundation can allow students to build on their experiences to achieve greater academic success beyond test scores.
At Sweetwater, for example, our STEAM education program incorporates the arts to bring creativity and collaboration to the classroom. The “A” in STEAM stands for “art”, which is pivotal and turns STEM into a well-rounded curriculum that embraces all subjects of education. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are important, but STEAM brings an element of creative thinking to the table—or desk. Students can explore concepts and apply them beyond the subject in our STEAM lab, making it a truly integrative learning experience.
At Sweetwater, we’re fortunate enough to be able to offer truly unique experiences on our 10-acre campus that promote creative thinking. This includes outdoor classes, swimming, canoeing, paddleboarding and more. We instill a sense of purpose in our students, demonstrating that with creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and support from dedicated faculty and staff members, anything is possible.
Even if your child attends a public high school, enrolling in early education at a private school can have ripple effects that go farther than graduation. Learning research skills, having more one-on-one time with teachers, and the real-world application for creative problem-solving can better prepare them for both college and a career.
Immersive Learning Experiences
An integrative learning environment brings new experiences to students, no matter their age. Rigorous physical education courses, after-school enrichment programs and field trips are just a few examples of how private school education brings learning beyond the classroom.
Learning by doing can be a powerful teacher. These kinds of hands-on experiences are pivotal to a child’s development. Whether it’s field trips to see live performances, planting a garden and learning about the cycle of plant life, or hands-on experiments, immersive experiences show children what abstract concepts look like in the real world.
Many of these experiences are typically included as part of your child’s tuition fees, though some may be added as a separate cost, depending on the program. These kinds of programs can offer a unique learning experience, giving students the freedom to explore what they might not otherwise be able to in a different setting.
Lessons Beyond Academics
Personalized instruction can better prepare students for future academic success with individualized attention. Students can thrive in smaller group settings where they aren’t a number and explore learning at their own pace. At a private school, teaching can go beyond academics.
When evaluating and researching schools, how the school teaches or decides their curriculum can tell you a lot about their values. Emphasizing “soft” skills (rather than solely reading and math) can lay the groundwork for future academic and holistic success, encouraging curiosity and critical thinking skills they can use well into adulthood.
Kindness, empathy and community are crucial parts of a child’s development. Many private schools make these attributes a priority to incorporate into their program, allowing the student body as a whole to develop them in a safe environment, with even more guidance from faculty and teachers than many public schools might be able to provide. At Sweetwater, we encourage students to take academic risks in our kind Zone, knowing that they will always be encouraged and supported by their SEA family and community.
Private School Advantages: Beyond Test Scores
Your child’s education is an important and personal decision as a parent and as a family. Choosing the right private school can come with many advantages, including unique on-campus experiences, closer relationships with teachers and an excellent education that closely aligns with your family’s values and beliefs. It can also encourage a love of discovery and set them up for success later in their educational career and in life.
Beyond a rigorous and interactive curriculum, private schools can offer learning opportunities outside of the classroom with real-world applications that might not be as accessible in many public-school environments. For more information about how a private-school education from Sweetwater could benefit your child, get in touch with us today to schedule a tour.