Not all parents can afford to send their children to private school, and for those who can, it may not seem worth the money. After all, depending on where you live, the public school system may be just as prestigious and challenging as the area’s best private institutions.
There’s also the reality that when people of means keep their children in public schools, their added involvement and voting power within the school system and local politics can be something the entire community benefits from — and it’s been proven that the children benefit from attending school with those outside their socioeconomic class, too.
Still, there are some reasons a private education may be the right thing for you and your child. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to invest in a private education and you’re not sure how to make the decision, here are five reasons private education is worth the money.
1. Your Faith
Whether you’re considering sending your child to a Jewish high school so she can gain a larger appreciation for her family’s faith or you’re opting for a Quaker grade school where your pacifist values will be actively taught, your faith and world view are completely valid reasons to send your child to a private school.
A public school may be able to provide just as solid an educational foundation when it comes to math and reading, but if what’s important to you exceeds those concerns, a faith-based school might be essential. Especially for families who live in neighborhoods where their faith or religious community is in the minority, a private school that supports and teaches the family’s religion can be a boon for your child’s view of the world and for yours.
2. Kinder Learning Environments
One of the benefits of a private school is that they often have a better teacher to student ratio than their public school counterparts. While having to tend to fewer students definitely allows a teacher and his aides to give each child more individual attention, it also makes for a kinder learning environment, because behavior problems are more easily dealt with, too.
Many teachers in larger public schools lament the fact that much of their day involves trying to maintain order as such efforts can’t help but distract from a learning environment. If your local public school’s atmosphere is one where learning itself is embattled — and your child is suffering because of it — a private school may be the best decision to make.
3. You Child Will Work Hard
Private schools tend to have higher standards than many public schools, and the resulting culture is often one of hard work. For parents of children who struggle to put in the time and energy schooling requires, attending a demanding private school can actually create a welcome change.
Because the other children at the school are used to working hard, putting in extra time, and otherwise following through in regards to the demands of a more difficult education, your child will meet high expectations at every turn, and these expectations can often invigorate a more lackadaisical student. If your child has potential he isn’t living up to because his work ethic is scant, putting him in a more challenging environment might solve it.
4. Better College Prep
It’s true that college isn’t for everyone, and, thankfully, more and more parents are realizing that a career in the trades can make for a meaningful and successful life for their child. While trade school or an apprenticeship may be the best option for a young woman who wants to work with her hands, many adolescents will still want — and need — to go to college.
Especially if your child has her sights set on a prestigious college, it’s likely to be worth the extra expense you’ll have to shoulder so she can attend a private high school known for getting students into Ivy League-quality schools. If college prep is something you know your child needs, a private school education may be necessary.
5. Your Child’s Social Skills Need It
Not all children are social butterflies, and not all of them need to be. Still, some children struggle to adapt socially to a schooling environment, and some even retreat further because of the stress of school. When your child’s social skills need cushion or extra care, a private school that’s smaller or takes a different approach to learning may be in order.
Making a decision about your child’s education doesn’t have to be stressful. If you have the means and one of these five reasons feels valid, a private education is probably going to be worth the money.