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Making decisions about your child’s education

Fast Facts on Why Your Child’s Education Matters

1-17-feature_education_web1You have options when it comes to your child’s education, and making the best choice for each
child doesn’t come easy. Public school? A private institution? A Christian school, or home schooling? What about tutoring centers and test prep? With choices like these, it’s best to know the benefits
of each.

Changes in Texas legislature may make it easier for you to make these choices, with the help of school choice initiatives. As a parent, you have new options, so arm yourself with facts! To determine what’s
best for each child, parents must educate themselves on the facts surrounding education options.

What is School Choice?

In School Choice, public funds are diverted to private schools so that lower income families can have
the same choices as economically advantaged families have. This can give families more options, but there are still questions as to whether the lack of oversight and regulations make this a quantifiable option. Follow your local legislature regarding school choice at EdChoice.com.

Back-to-School Spending:

  • In the U.S., parents spend $8.2 billion on back to school clothing each year and $1.6 billion on books!
  • The average U.S. public school spent $10,700 per child per year in 2012.
  • Texas spends $9,242 per student in 2011, and ranks 40th nationwide, according to the Dallas Morning News.
  • There are 4.9 million children enrolled in Texas schools.
  • There are an estimated 100,000 home schooling families in Texas, according to the Texas Homeschool Coalition Association.

Did you know?

Average U.S. Earnings, 2012:

1. $82,720—bachelor’s degree

2. $41,248—high school diploma

3. $26,679—Ninth grade education or lower

Why Choose Private School for Your Child?

  • Teacher/Student Ratio—smaller classroom sizes mean more one-on-one attention for your child
  • Innovation—private schools’ curriculums focus on learning styles and student interaction
  • The Christian option—if you’d like religious education for your child, a private school is the way to go!

When to Make a Change

If your child is facing bullying in their current school environment, you may feel helpless. Leaving a hostile environment is often the safest option for your child. Improving their learning environment buy giving them a safe space to learn is critical to both their education and their self-esteem.

Start by talking to counselors and administrators at their current school, and explain the situation. Are they open to addressing the problem? If not, don’t wait. Begin talking with other schools about your options. Find out if the new school has a written policy on bullying, and make sure teachers know your concerns so that they can assist in preventing similar problems in the new environment.

Also, talk to your child. How are they handling conflict? Remind them that it’s okay to be themselves, and that you support them in their ability to stand up against bullying. Impress upon your child that violence is never the right answer, and that harming themselves or anyone else because of their own pain isn’t a solution. Teach them that the move to a new school can be an opportunity for them to stand up for others who are being bullied, as well. This empathy for others can help create quiet leadership in your child. Remember: a safe learning environment isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity.

Help! Finding Tutoring and Test Prep Assistance

As public after-school tutoring programs decline because of lack of public funding, private companies have stepped in to fill the gap. Private educational tutoring is expected to be a 13.9 billion dollar worldwide industry by 2018, according to Forbes. In addition, test prep companies that prepare students for the rigors of the ACT and SAT are growing exponentially, with weekend workshops and after-school study groups at the core.

Do these tutoring sessions and workshops work? Both kids and parents alike give a resounding YES. With a focus on math basics, critical reading skills, and tricks-of-the-test tips, enthusiastic tutors and leaders can give the one-on-one attention your child deserves. Private tutoring and test prep companies are often extremely affordable, and allow your student the immersion in a specific area of study that they desperately need.

Reference: U.S. Census at Census.gov, unless otherwise noted.

Author: Living Magazine

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