What Type Of Education Is Best For Your Child? Gifted Schools, Public School Or Homeschool?
Choosing which school to send your children to is a big decision. Choices vary from schools for gifted children, to public schools, to homeschooling.
Considering Schools For Gifted Children
If your child shows an early aptitude for certain subjects, schools for the gifted might be the best option. These advanced institutions will have programs that are tailored to intelligent children, which might include special projects, advanced placement classes, art, music and more. Look for an educational institution that doesn't think that gifted schools should automatically equal more homework. Students should be challenged with different types of work instead of just overloaded with extra homework. Another advantage of schools for gifted children is that they typically have smaller classes than their public counterparts, which means that the kids who go there will receive more personalized attention. This attention is a major reason many children succeed and this factor can be a deciding one for many families.
Considering Public School
Experiences with a public education can vary wildly. Some are excellent education institutions, while others leave a lot to be desired. If you're considering a public educational institution over gifted schools, ask about the level of parent involvement. Teachers can only do so much and a school's success or failure oftentimes depends greatly on the parents. It's not uncommon to find a public school that has had to stop sponsoring extracurricular activities or special classes, like art or music, because of budget constraints. Because these educational institutions get their funding from tax dollars, many are fighting against tax caps that can severely limit the funds the school has to work with.
Homeschooling is the last choice for many families. Families that decide to homeschool might do so for religious reasons, but that's not the only reason why. One major advantage to homeschooling is that kids aren't limited to learning between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Parents and children are able to explore museums, do math lessons at the grocery store and more. However, different states have very different regulations when it comes to homeschooling. Some states require students to pass a test every few years and others have a set curriculum that must be followed. Some states don't require parents to do anything special before deciding to homeschool. Before you decide to homeschool your child, check to see what the regulations are like in your state.
Choosing the right educational atmosphere for your child doesn't have to be an all or nothing situation. Many parents choose to send their children to schools for the gifted or public school and then turn everyday activities at home into an educational experience. Before you make your final decision, consider touring a few different education institutions.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The Chicago Area Independent Gifted School Network is a network of gifted schools in Illinois. Interested parents can browse information about schools for the gifted in one easy-to-navigate site. To learn more about these schools for gifted children, visit their website.