Are you contemplating enrolling your child in a value-adding secondary school that will bring out the very best in your child? Here are some pitfalls to avoid when choosing a school.

1. Determining a Good School by its Structure.

The saying that all that glitters is not gold certainly does hold true in this case. Good schools are not determined by beautiful structures. A thorough home work must go beyond inspecting physical structures. Your child is wonderfully made to have more than just a brain. Parents who want the best for their children should consider a school that does not only focus on classroom or intellectually building activities but also on extra-curricular activities like athletics, dancing, music, swimming, etc

2. Determining a School by the Cost of Their Tuition Fee

Just because its a very expensive school doesn't necessarily mean that its the best in town. The same can be said of the "cheapest" schools. A less expensive school with effective teaching curriculum, sound Mathematics and English teachers may just be right.

3. Choosing a Friend's Child's School

While choosing a school that your friend's child attends may not be completely out of place, your child's needs may not be the same as that of your friend's child. For this singular reason, it is important to find out why your friend chose the school for his or her child before deciding. This would certainly inform you on whether the school would meet your child's learning needs. Learning needs and styles differ from child to child. Some children do better in an environment that fosters creativity while some prefer a more structured environment. Your child may learn best by seeing how things work or just reading about it. Is your child mathematical or musical? These learning needs and styles are factors worth considering when choosing a school because you really want a school that is structured to meet your child's learning needs and style.

4. Asking the Wrong Questions

Asking the right questions about a school goes a long way in informing your decision as regards which school you want your child to attend. One of the questions you really want to ask is if the school has sound English and Mathematics teachers. This question is necessary because English Language and Mathematics are two foundational subjects upon which most other subjects are built. So, you don't want your child to have academic challenges in these two subjects. The school managements and parents who already have their children in the school may be reliable sources of these information. You also want to know if the school has regular training programmes for their teachers. Good schools understand that the world is developing at a faster pace than we used to know and therefore the need to keep up to date is not an option.

5. Relying on Past Record of a School
A school may have had its day when you attended as a child. This does not necessarily mean its the best right now for your child. Knowledge has increased and technology has disrupted so many old systems including the educational system. So, if the school you attended in the past has not upped its game, then it may not be well prepared enough to handle your child's needs. Keeping up to date with technology, latest textbooks, curriculum and teaching practices are things you really want to watch out for.

6. Ignoring the Effect of Distant School on Your Child's Academics

Boarding schools are great as long as you are sure your child is adequately prepared for it. Psychologists and child specialists recommend age 12 and above to be the most suitable age for studying in a boarding school. Preparing your child for boarding school should begin from a very early age at home. It involves teaching the child to adapt to strict routines, learn to share, make new friends, solving little problems and reassuring the child of your unconditional love.
Moreso, a distant day school may not be a very good idea as this may have a retrogressing effect on your child's academics. Doing home work and revising for tests may become a difficult task due to fatigue from distant journey from school on a regular basis. Some children even have private teachers waiting at home for them after this stressful journey. Distant schools may not be a very good option for parent who are considering the services of a private teacher.

7. Allowing Your Child Pressure You into choosing a School

Don't forget that your child is still who he or she is. A child. Most times children would naturally want to be in the same school with their friend. So, they would consistently suggest their friend's school to their parents. There's no crime in listening to your child but their sense of judgement may not be developed enough to decide on issues like choosing the right school. You would do that child a whole lot of good by doing a thorough background check on the school before deciding to enrol him or her there.

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