School selection isn’t a choice that affects your child for only one academic year. If you pick the wrong school, your kids could end up with teachers who could emotionally scar and damage them for life. Don’t think that’s possible? If you believe that’s an exaggeration, then consider the number of people who still remember what their second or third-grade teachers said to them or about them. That’s just one reason why choosing the right school matters. If you’re checking out international options, here are excellent suggestions to help you out.
Consider the Location
How far is the school from your home or workplace? It’s tempting to just go with any of the international schools in Tokyo. But if you don’t carefully factor this into your everyday routine, once in-person classes resume, your kids might have a hard time getting to class on time every day. Also, if the school is too far, inquire about a school bus. Will you let your child use that service sometimes? Will that mean that they’ll need to wake up at an ungodly hour five days a week? Pick a school in the best possible location before you proceed with the selection and application process.
Know the Curriculum
What kind of curriculum does the school implement? How do your kids perform under that curriculum? Are they familiar with it? If you are transferring your kids to a new school, then it’s a good idea to pick a curriculum that they’re familiar with to ease the transition. On the other hand, if you want to improve the level and qualify of their education, then choosing an international school with a curriculum that’s globally recognized is a huge step for their education. It can help them get into the high school or university they want. The training they’ll receive can open doors in their professional and personal lives later on.
Check the Sizes
How big are the classes? That matters, too. If there are too many kids in one class, then the teachers might be overwhelmed and overworked. They might have little to no time to devote to each student in class. That means your kids might miss out on much needed or helpful one-on-one sessions because their teachers have too much on their hands. The right school, though, keeps the student to teacher ratio in mind, ensuring that the classes remain small to medium-sized. That way, the teachers have time to personally reach out to every child in class. These schools also often employ assistant teachers who help the primary instructors with the schoolwork, freeing up their time and allowing them to spend more hours with the primary school students.
Look at the Extracurriculars
What extracurricular activities are your kids passionate about? Be sure to pick a school that offers them plenty of opportunities to learn more about their interests. Do they love writing or are they athletic and want to participate in sports? What about the performing arts or visual arts? Knowing what extracurriculars appeal to your kids or that are strongly aligned with their skills and talents will help you decide which school is right for them. If your kids have yet to discover anything that captures their attention for the long term, sparking an abiding and lifelong devotion or interest, then this is a good time to introduce them to a lot of extracurricular activities. Talk to them about their options. What can they look forward to? What will they need to do, though, in order to gain the results and outcomes they want?
Take a Tour
Go for a visit. If you aren’t comfortable paying a personal visit to the school just yet, no worries. Plenty of them now offer online tours. Schedule one in advance and provide them with the reason why you’re considering the school or on which areas you’ll want them to focus. That bit of information will help them pick the right tour guide for you, allowing you to make the most out of the session. Prepare your questions in advance, so you can cover a lot of ground.
Talk to Your Kids
You already know—or at the very least, you have an idea—of the kind of education that your kids need. But that doesn’t mean you should decide on your own. It’s a smart move to involve your children in the process. What school is best for them in terms of addressing their academic or extracurricular needs? Which ones appeal to them? Making them a part of the selection process makes the experience more meaningful for them and drives home the point that they have a say in their own future. That helps cultivate a sense of independence.
The right school should leave you feeling positive and agreeable after you follow these tips. If all these check out, then you have a winner on your hands.