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Back to School — Deciding Where Your Child Will Go

choosing a school for your child

As you and your family navigate through the homebuying process, you may be looking at choosing a new school for your little ones. Here’s a breakdown of what lies ahead to consider when searching for a school.

Types of Schools

Public Schools

  • Neighborhood Public Schools
    Based upon which district you live in.

  • Charter Schools
    Independent from the regular public school system so it has more flexibility in operations and course work but is not considered private.

  • Magnet Schools
    Magnet schools are built to attract students from diverse ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds by focusing on a specific area, such as science or the arts.

Private School

  • Religious Private Schools
    Privately funded (in the form of tuition) and religious instruction is added to course work.

  • Secular Private Schools
    Privately funded (in the form of tuition) and course work doesn't always follow state and federal guidelines.

Schooling at Home

  • Depending on the state there are different rules and regulations for home-schooling, so make sure you do some research if you’re interested in choosing home schooling for your child.

Picking a School

Think first about your child’s specific needs

No one knows your child better than you.

  • Does your child prefer tight schedules or a more relaxed pace?
  • Should your child have programs available to give them extra help with reading, or an English-acquisition program?
  • Location is also an important factor: if your child’s bus ride is eating up their afternoon they may not have as much time for homework or for a game of catch with friends.

Do your research

  • Read reviews — there are lots of websites available that provide real feedback from real parents about their experiences with a school.
  • Check out the courses offered. What courses are offered in addition to the standard courses, such as arts, electives, or languages? Does the school offer more challenging course like AP, IB or Honors?
  • Explore their extracurriculars: P.E., fine arts, clubs, sports.
  • Check out the school’s approach to testing, homework, class size, and any extra help your child may need. What is the school's safety protocol?

Pay a visit

Before you sign your child up, make sure you pay a visit to your top choices. Pay extra attention to what you see around you during your visit.

  • Do the students & staff seem happy, engaged, and full of school spirit?
  • When meeting the principal, are they interacting with the students or are they holed-up in their office?
  • Make sure you also check out the facilities and if they are well-suited for your child.
  • If you are not planning to have your child brown-bag it for lunch, you should invest a few minutes looking at the school cafeteria situation (ketchup is not a vegetable, by the way).

A Few Last Words

Start early! Choosing a school takes time and consideration. Application processing for your child may take some time, depending on the school. Decide early what you prioritize when it comes to your child’s education.

Want more advice about all things home — including homebuying or selling advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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