1. Find the Fit for Your Child
All children have different social needs, interests and may learn better in certain environments. It's important to select a school based on your child's specific needs. This may be a school that's different than their brother or sister. It may also be a different type of school than the one you went to growing up. The key is to really understand your child before making a decision.
2. Make a Visit
For any schools you're interested in, you should ask to make a visit on a regular school day so you can observe a class or two and really learn the culture of the campus. Is this the type of classroom you'd want to spend your day in?
This will give you an opportunity to meet with teachers, the head of the school and to see what classrooms with children of other ages or grade levels are like. While you're there-- be sure to make use of Tip #3.
3. Ask Questions
Schools should be open and comfortable with communication about different opportunities for family involvement, how they communicate to parents throughout the school year and willing to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
In addition to specific questions about the curriculum and activities, be sure to ask how the school invests in their faculty and staff. Your child's teachers should be trained, supported and monitored throughout the year so that they can provide the same guidance to their students.
4. Talk to Parents
Other parents whose children are attending or have attended the school are a great source for advice. Schools understandably, want to give their best foot forward during any conversation or visit but speaking to other parents may give you more insight into the quality of the classrooms and how responsive staff will be once your child is enrolled.
Want to share a school review to help other parents in Kigali? Check out our School's Guide and leave your review.
5. Research Without Going Overboard
It's easy to get overloaded by all the diligent research you've done on schools and all of the questions you've asked. Overcome the paralysis of analysis when it comes to making a decision. Ultimately the right answer is to trust your instincts and select the school that you and your child both feel comfortable with!
Have more great tips for choosing the right school? Leave them for other parents in the comments below!