Are you trying to figure out where the best place to send your child is for school? With over 49 million students in the United States alone, this can be a hard decision to make sure that your child is getting the best education possible.
Not only that, but you want their learning environment to be unique and beneficial to their overall learning.
That is where learning what the best learning environment is and tips for finding it is so important.
Continue reading to learn everything you need to know to ensure the educational success of your child!
What Creates the Best Learning Environment?
Every child is different, so it can be difficult to answer this question exactly. However, there are key attributes for what makes a great learning environment for children more generically.
The Right Design
One of the most important aspects of a strong learning environment is having the right design. However, this is often an overlooked aspect of learning environments.
But what does this even mean?
A great learning environment should support what we need as humans – especially when we are children.
We need natural light, break spots for when we’re overwhelmed or on overdrive, and enough room to move around and get our blood flowing. Setting up classrooms to support that (as well as then making time to actually take breaks and move around) is vital to learning.
Every institution and school needs to have a particular learning model or pedagogy for how they teach and go about designing curriculum.
This means that some institutions may prioritize group and project-based learning while others may have a Montessori model. Some may do a mix of everything.
Either way, there needs to be a clear pedagogy for the learning environment to be successful.
Diversity and Inclusion
Another very important need when it comes to a school environment and educational setting is to incorporate diversity and inclusion into it. The world is a melting pot, and the same needs to go for schools and school settings. This is what allows students to develop into their full selves, learn to work with everyone, and develop empathy and compassion for anyone despite their abilities, looks, and more.
What Are the Different Types of Educational Settings?
One of the first things that you have to know when you are looking into the best educational setting for your children is the differences between all of the options that you have.
From charter schools to private schools and everything in between, there are so many different options to choose from. We will dive into a bit more about each one and what they entail below.
Homeschooling is an option that you may feel fits your child best. If your child doesn’t like to interact with others or likes to be in a home setting/familiar with their surroundings, this is a great option!
It is always a great idea to introduce your child to clubs and extracurriculars at schools around the area if this is something you choose to do so that they can get the proper socialization for their age.
A private school runs entirely differently than public or charter schools.
A private school is not going to receive funding from governmental entities or taxes. Instead, the funding comes from tuition or donations.
Often, private schools are harder to get into and have an admissions process that can be difficult. It is often best to try to prepare for this by sending your child to a tutor for test prep!
Once in, your child will receive instructions that can be similar to those in public or charter schools but also different. Private schools have the ability to be flexible with how they design their curriculum and how they approach instruction as well.
With smaller class sizes, instruction can look very different at a private school.
While typically, these offer a better education, they are not for everyone and can also be quite costly.
A public school is one that is governed by local, state, or federal authorities. That means that they set the rules and laws of the district. Every public school in the same county or area is going to act in the same way because they are working in accordance with the governing bodies that rule them.
Public schools also have public funding, which means that tax dollars are funding the schools. This is why public schools can vary drastically from one county to the next because it depends on so many factors of how much funding that school will get.
This also relates to how many supplies students get, the quality of their education, and more. The governmental body (whether local, state, or federal) is who is also in charge of determining what students will learn in each class. The educational approaches across public schools will largely be the same.
If you want your child to go to a public school, you will likely need to live in a specific area, as most schools are decided based on zoning.
A charter school is a bit different than what you may be familiar with if you are familiar with public schools.
A charter school is publicly funded but operates independently of governmental rules and regulations. That means that they can follow their own guidelines and regulations as a school that they set up amongst themselves.
Much like a public school, a charter school has public funding. However, they also can get other means of funding through grants or donations by others. This typically means that there are more opportunities at charter schools based on how much money is allocated to them, although that is not always the case.
To send your child to a charter school, you are going to most likely need to get your name into a lottery system as there are limited seats in the school. This type of school doesn’t go by zoning either.
Within the school, the charter networks have more flexibility with what they can teach and how their curriculum works. Of course, there is still going to be standardized testing, but how the curriculum is taught can differ from the public school system.
Benefits of Having a Great School Environment
Choosing where your child goes to school is not easy – but that’s because you want them to thrive and learn as much as they possibly can! In reality, choosing where your child goes to school can affect the rest of their life.
Because of that, let’s take a look at what the benefits of having a great school environment are!
Better Learning Opportunities from Higher Engagement
One of the biggest benefits of sending your child somewhere where they have a great school environment is that they are going to learn and engage more with the content.
When they love what they are learning, as well as the environment in which they are learning every single day, they are more likely to engage. And with higher engagement comes more motivation and participation. In turn, they will learn more as well.
Fostering engagement in the classroom is one of the most important things you can do – so prioritizing this in the environment is a crucial aspect of your child’s learning success.
Higher Retention Rate
One of the better things about having a great school environment is that teacher retention is typically higher. The teachers are happier, which therefore means the kids are most likely going to be happier!
Having this positive work environment can drastically improve the way that teachers teach and in turn, how students are learning and spending time in the classroom. Not only that, but the children at the school will have their teachers there as their support system for years rather than just one year, such as schools with low retention rates have.
If you want to make sure that your child is set, definitely look at how long the teachers have been there so that you can get a better idea of how they feel about the school as well.
More Social Skills
Having a great environment in school can help your children with their social skills. Having a great environment helps kids learn how to interact and fosters positive behavior. With more positive behaviors in the classroom, there is more time for learning and engaging with the right social skills rather than being distracted or dealing with behavior issues throughout classes.
In a good environment, students will learn valuable skills such as empathy, compassion, listening, sharing, collaborating, and more.
Better Mental Health and Emotional Well-being
Being in a negative environment or an environment that a child doesn’t like is not beneficial to their mental health or emotional well-being. This is especially true with the younger that they are.
It can actually be quite the opposite and detrimental to their well-being as well as their learning.
But why is that?
When a child is in a negative environment, their stress systems activate. They aren’t able to pay attention to what they should be paying attention to (school) and instead are busy trying to calm themselves and stay peaceful with how things are around them.
This takes away their precious learning time and engagement in the classroom environment. And once that happens, it can put them behind. It is very hard for a child to catch up after being behind, so this can put them at a big disadvantage.
Not only is it detrimental to their academic success, but being in a negative environment can also lead to a lack of social skills and support.
Students may feel that they can’t be themselves, aren’t comfortable on a daily basis, and won’t gain the necessary skills to be successful down the road.
With all that said, one of the biggest benefits of putting your child in the best environment that you can find is that it is setting them up for success down the road.
Going to school to learn every year is one thing, but it is truly setting the foundation for them to continue their learning. With that, they will learn what it means to be a person, be a part of a bigger community, and work alongside others. This knowledge is essential when it comes to getting older and gaining independence.
Putting your child in a positive environment that they can thrive in is a must for their ability to continue to grow as they get older.
Tips for Choosing the Right School for Your Child
There are so many ways that you could go about finding the right school for your child. But that can be overwhelming (not to mention time-consuming as well!).
That is why we have laid out tips for choosing the right school for your child. We highly recommend heeding these tips when you are looking for the right school for your child.
Here are a few of our favorite tips!
Understand Entrance Requirements to the Right School
Depending on the type of school that you choose to send your child to, there may be entrance requirements that they need to meet and you need to be aware of.
You can often find this on the websites or just call to ask what the requirements are. This is typically one of the easier things to figure out when looking for the right school for your child.
Once you do figure out what the requirements for entrance are, then you are going to want to prepare them to make their chances of getting in higher! You can hire a tutor or put them in a test prep course or class to help them succeed to the best of their abilities.
Although this is just one step in the entire process of getting your child in the right school, it is an important one.
Be sure not to overlook this step, as how your child does on this test could make or break their acceptance to the school.
Let Them Weigh Into What They Want
Finding the right school for your child doesn’t always mean choosing for them. It is very important to give them a voice so they can help choose where they go to school. This could mean the difference between them thinking about school as a chore versus them thriving in the environment!
If they are old enough, you will want to ask them what they love doing. What do they love most about school? What is their favorite time of the day?
Some students love sitting in a regular classroom, while others love looser learning environments with more exploration options. Asking them this can help you determine what schooling option is right for them.
But whatever you do, be sure that you listen to what they want and need in school! Some students may do best with homeschooling, while others will want a public school. It is truly up to what the child needs in their schooling – and every child is unique.
Make sure to listen with open ears so that you are able to help them thrive in their learning environment! They are the best person to listen to when it comes to what they want!
Consider the Location of the School
The location of the school that you want to send your child to is extremely important. You may love a school but it could be an hour away. Or, you may not like a school but love that it is only a 5-minute walk from your house.
This is part of the criteria that you have to weigh when you are making the decision about where to send your child.
Just keep in mind that you are most likely going to be the one dropping them off at school and picking them up every single day. Not only do you want to pay attention to the mileage between home and school, but you should also pay attention to traffic patterns and what the typical commute time would be during the times of the day you would be bringing them to and from school.
Just remember – you want to hear from your child about their opinion and what they feel about the school as well.
Learn About the Extracurriculars and Curriculum of the School
One of the most important things that you need to consider when choosing where your child should go to school is the curriculum that the school teaches and the extracurriculars that they offer.
While your child may not understand the curriculum and what this means depending on their age, they should be able to weigh in with what types of things they like to learn about.
For instance, they may love math and science, so choosing a STEM-heavy curriculum program may be the right move for them. Or, maybe they love being creative. You may want to look into a school that has more creative options, such as writing courses, art courses, film courses, and more.
But what you definitely do not want to forget to ask is about what they want outside of the classroom.
Are they into soccer? Do they love art classes or pottery classes? Do they enjoy acting or improv classes?
Knowing the answers to these questions can help you determine what schools and programs are right for your child. You will want to make sure that you prioritize these options for them so that they thrive in the school environment that you place them in.
Take a Tour
Lastly, before you officially decide on a school for your child, you will definitely want to take a tour of the entire campus.
Although things can look good on paper, especially when it comes to school and what you want your child to experience, getting the real feel of it doesn’t come until you visit the campus.
This way, you get a feel for what your child would be experiencing every single day as well as how they respond to the environment itself when you do get there.
After you tour it, you can ask your child how they felt about it and if they think they would want to go there. Obviously, this conversation would look different depending on the age of your child, but including them in the process is very important!
Why SSVMM World School Is the Right Choice for the Best Learning Environment for Your Child’s Success
The right learning environment can make or break your child’s success in the classroom, which in turn can change how they act outside of the classroom.
When you choose a school for your child, you want to make sure that you follow the tips laid out above to ensure that you are putting them in a great learning environment where they can thrive. You also want to make sure you are asking them for their opinions so they can explain to you what makes them thrive and feel good!
We here at the SSVMM World School – A Cambridge International School, pride ourselves on delivering one of the best educational opportunities out there. We have various curriculum options for your children based on age to give them the best educational opportunities.
If you have any questions or want to schedule a tour, you can contact us to get started. We are here for you and your children and want the best for them just as you do!
We can’t wait to hear from you!