All parents have to make the choice between public and private schools at some stage. Both types of schools have their advantages. Private schools with their small class sizes are better able to provide individual attention to students, creating an atmosphere that is both supportive and challenging. Beginning with preschools, private schools offer the benefits of an all around education that gives children a solid foundation for a lifetime.
Smaller class sizes mean individual attention
Private schools have smaller enrollments than public schools in general. They make up about 24% of all schools in the U.S., and enroll 10% of the total number of K-12 students. Smaller enrollments also translate into smaller class sizes. Over one third, or 36%, of private schools reported student-teacher ratios of 10:1 or lower, on average.
Smaller class sizes mean that teachers have a chance to get to know students individually and to help them develop their interests and skills. Smaller enrollments also mean that private schools have more resources to offer students, with everything from art and music classes to athletics and summer camps.
The preschool advantage
Private preschools are well placed to give children the basis of a good education. Early childhood researchers have found that these are the learning years, when young children are developing their ability to question, reason and learn.
In particular, they have the ability for language acquisition. Children as young as four or five years old can easily learn second and third languages. Many preschools and kindergartens take advantage of these abilities to introduce children to world languages like French and Spanish.
As the emphasis on the benefits of preschools grows, more and more children are being enrolled in preschools. Almost one third or 30% of the 3- and 4-year-olds in the U.S. attend private preschools.
Finding a good preschool
Preschool curriculums use the natural curiosity and learning abilities of children to introduce them to academic and other skills. They cover science and discovery, arts and music, athletics and foreign languages.
A well rounded preschool curriculum gives children the tools for learning that they will rely upon all their lives. Private schools also teach children about wellness and healthy living, inspiring them to eat healthy foods and to exercise. Summer camps reinforce academic skills and learning and introduce kids to new ideas and activities.
Private schools have a number of advantages when it some to giving students individual attention and encouragement. With a range of arts and athletics program, they offer a well rounded curriculum.