Why pick a Private School?
- Individual Attention
Most parents want their children to have as much personal attention as possible. After all, you spent enormous amounts of time nurturing them when they were infants. If you can make it happen, you want them receiving as much individual attention as possible in the preschool and primary years.
If you send your child to a private school, they will be in a small class in most schools. Independent schools have class sizes in a range of 10-15 students while public schools larger class sizes which are typically in the 20-25 student range. With those kinds of low student to teacher ratios a teacher can give each student the individual attention she deserves. Manatee Learning Academy’s classes are capped at 15 students in a class for optimal learning. Teacher’s aides are also utilized to make sure every student is progressing forward.
The other factor to consider is that discipline is not usually a problem in private schools.
There are two reasons why: most students are in private school because they want to learn and, secondly, the codes of conduct by which most private schools operate, are enforced. In other words if a student misbehaves or breaks the rules, there will be consequences.
Private schools expect parents to be actively involved in their child's education. The concept of a three way partnership is an important part of the way most private schools work. Naturally the degree of participation and involvement will probably be greater if you have a child in preschool or elementary grades than if you are the parent of a child away at boarding school.
What kind of involvement are we talking about? That depends on you and the amount of time which you can devote to helping out. That also depends on your talents and experience. The important thing to do is to observe and see where you can fit in. If the school needs a gifted organizer to run the annual auction, then help out as a committee member for a year or two before offering to take on that major responsibility. If your daughter's teacher asks you to help chaperone a field trip, that's an opportunity to show what a great team player you are. Manatee Learning Academy requires that all parents contribute 20 hours per year of volunteer service and 30 hours per year for a multi-sibling enrollment. Children need to see their parents interest in their school.
- Academic Issues
Most private schools do not have to teach to a test. As a result, they can afford to focus on teaching your child how to think, as opposed to teaching them what to think. That's an important concept to understand. In many public schools poor test scores can mean less money for the school, negative publicity and even the chance that a teacher could be reviewed unfavorably. Manatee Learning Academy does not teach to a test. Student’s performance is evaluated every five weeks to find strengths and weaknesses. Parents are required to conference two times per year or every five weeks for a student on an academic plan.
Private schools don't have those pressures of public accountability. They must meet or usually exceed state curriculum and graduation minimum requirements. But they are accountable only to their clientele. If the school does not achieve the desired results, parents will find a school which does.
Because private school classes are small, your child cannot hide in the back of the class. If they do not understand a math concept, the teacher will probably discover that pretty quickly. He can address that learning issue on the spot, rather than waiting weeks or months to fix it.
Many schools use a teacher guided approach to learning so that students discover that learning is exciting and full of possibilities. Since private schools offer all kinds of educational methods and approaches ranging from very traditional to very progressive, it is up to you to choose a school whose approach and philosophy meshes best with your own aims and objectives.
- A Balanced Program
Ideally you want your child to have a balanced program in school. A balanced program can be defined as equal parts academics, sports and extracurricular activities. Most private schools try to achieve that kind of balanced program. In private school everybody takes part in sports.
Sports programs and facilities vary greatly from school to school. Some of the more established boarding schools have sport programs and facilities which are finer than those at many colleges and universities. Regardless of the scope of a school's sports program, what is really important is that every child is required to participate in some athletic activity.
Extracurricular activities are the third component in a balanced program. Like the compulsory sports students must participate in some extracurricular activity.
As you begin to explore school websites, review the extracurricular activities as carefully as you review the academic curriculum. Make sure that your child's interests and needs are properly met. Manatee Learning Academy offers a variety of extra-curricular activities which include Karate, Capeoira, Art, Chorus, Drums, Piano, Physical Education and Labs. No matter what your child’s interest or skill level is, we guarantee we will allow your child to explore their talents as well as their hidden talents waiting to be discovered.