As parents, we all want a quality education for our children, that gives them a thorough understanding of core subjects and an appreciation for learning. Unfortunately, with the increased emphasis on standardized testing in public schools, the focus of education has become merely to ensure that students pass a test. In order to provide your child with the best secondary education, you need to look beyond the basic high school curriculum. Standardized testing serves a purpose, but is it the best method for educating our children and helping them grow into confident, capable adults?
The traditional public school curriculum has been mandated and tested by the state, and often is designed solely to make sure students pass standardized tests. This differs greatly from the private school approach, which tailors the curriculum to each student. The value in treating each child as an individual is that it allows them to explore their interests, and work at their own pace, while keeping them challenged and engaged. When students can explore deeper learning that goes beyond testing requirements, it keeps them interested in their education.
These deeper learning opportunities include field trips, group work, and team building experiences. Many bright students can work at an accelerated pace when they are not stuck in a large classroom with a one-size-fits-all approach. These students will benefit from moving on to college coursework when they are ready, keeping them challenged, and giving them a competitive edge in college admissions.
Giving a child ownership over their own education will help them develop skills such as goal setting, self-motivation, and self-management. Conversely, public schools develop course plans for the masses, and students often do not have the opportunity to push themselves or work at an accelerated pace. There is very little room, or opportunity, for adapting teaching to an individual student’s needs.
When looking at options outside of the traditional public school format, take a close look at schools with an innovative curriculum or specialization that matches your child’s needs. Does a school offer students the opportunity to work at an accelerated pace, or does it lump all students into the same learning styles? A school that specializes in specific topics, such as STEM or a “whole student” teaching method, can offer your child a very different experience than a public school. These types of programs better meet their unique interests and needs while ensuring they receive a high-quality education designed to get them where they want to go after school.
While public schools have many benefits, they are often prevented by bureaucracy and mandated testing from offering a customized education to individual students. If you are looking for an alternative that allows your child to celebrate their love of learning, I encourage you to contact us today at GatewayAmerica@mac.com to learn more about enrolling your child at Gateway America.