Your Child’s School Matters to a Degree

Your Child’s School Matters to a Degree


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Get your child in a good school, but do not kill yourself over small improvements.

One of the top concerns parents have when looking at a new house is what the schools look like in the area that they are moving to. Very often, parents will put a huge amount of emphasis on the schools in the area where they are moving and it can actually make or break their decision to move to the area. There are times where this makes sense, but there are also times where the difference is not worth it.

You can find ratings for different schools online. There are a bunch of different ways that schools can be scored, from overall academics, to sports programs, to college entrance stats, to basically any other academic standard you can think of. You can actually spend a huge amount of time trying to dig into all of these different scores and ratings and still come out of it with not a lot of clarity on what to do.

Before spending too much time focusing on different ratings, you need to step back and figure out what it really is that’s important to you. What do you really want for your child? Yes, you want everything for them, but what’s the most important? Do you want them to go to a good school in general? Or are you really concerned about their extracurricular and college entrance scores? Knowing your goal will help you narrow down your options.

Not everyone has the luxury to be able to move to an area with the top schools. They may be too far away from where you work, or they may be in areas that are too expensive. Whatever the reason, you shouldn’t despair. Just the fact that you’re concerned about your child’s education and where they’re going to school means that your child has a foot ahead in the education system.

While schools can help your child to get even further ahead, the best way for your child to perform well in their academic pursuits is to have you be involved. When parents are involved in a child’s education, they are far more likely to succeed. There’s a reason that institutional poverty exists, and it’s not because of the school systems. Parents that spend little to no time with their children in their education are setting their kids up for a tough road ahead.

Assuming you have the ability to move to the area that you want for your child’s education, make sure to research a bit about the area and the schools overall. High ratings are good, but there may be other factors that are not clear in the ratings. For example, there could be such a heavy emphasis on high test levels, but the kids aren’t really enjoying learning and the teacher’s may not really care about the kids actually learning.

Talk with other parents in the area and gather as much information as you possibly can before making a decision. Furthermore, if several of the areas are close in terms of the schools, then most likely your child will succeed in all of them. While a school can often help your child to want to learn and be a better learner, it’s also not the be all, end all of whether or not they’ll succeed. Plenty of successful people have come out of very average public school systems.

Be engaged in your child’s learning, and try to get them into the best school you can without compromising your well-being. Education is important at all ages, but especially for kids as they’re just getting started.


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