Specialty private school programs offer a unique opportunity for children to accelerate their learning and educational development beyond what is typically offered in traditional educational institutions. Compared to public schools, the advantages of private schools are many, from smaller class sizes that allow for more individualized attention from teachers to a more tailored curriculum to extracurricular activities designed to help students explore diverse topics and interests.
Additionally, private school programs help to build and teach important life skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, social interaction, and personal development. This article explores what your child can learn academically, socially, and out-of-the-classroom through specialty private school programs.
What Your Child Can Learn
1. Educational Achievements
i. Building Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Skills
Building foundational literacy and numeracy skills is one of the most important elements of early education. According to the National Early Literacy Panel, children develop literacy early in life and should be given the proper support to grow in various areas.
Most private school programs start with pre-K classes to help prepare children for their academic careers. Foundational literacy and numeracy skills, such as basic math and reading, are taught to build a strong and secure foundation for future learning experiences.
Through a variety of activities, such as reading and writing exercises, hands-on math projects, and small group discussions, your child will be given the tools they need to master these basics and be prepared to tackle more in-depth material in the years to come. In addition, specialty programs often offer extra help and support to students who may be struggling, allowing them to thrive and excel in their studies.
ii. Exploring In-Depth, Specialized Subject Material
As a part of private schooling and specialty programs, students can access a more in-depth learning experience. Private schools often offer courses exploring specialized subject material not offered in traditional classrooms. This can allow for a more personalized approach to learning.
For example, students interested in renewable energy can take classes exploring the science of hydropower, geothermal, wind, and solar energy and the engineering behind the latest renewable energy technologies. With renewable energy becoming increasingly popular, these classes can help students stay updated on the latest advancements in the field and gain valuable knowledge to use in the future.
Furthermore, the schooling environment often provides access to experts, educators, and other professionals who specialize in the subject material that interests your child, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in various topics. For example, suppose a private school focuses on computer engineering. In that case, there may be options for custom built computer courses and interactive learning experiences involving coding, computer assembly, and laptop repair.
By participating in such specialized learning, students gain valuable insight and knowledge that can further their education and help them to become well-rounded in various topics. In addition, the faster-paced courses push students to go beyond the basics and discover more about the subject of study.
iii. Developing Skills in Foreign Languages
Learning a foreign language can be hugely beneficial for students. Specialty private school programs generally have foreign language instruction, whether an elective for the student or a required course. This can open the door to a new world of cultures and customs. Knowing a second language from a professional perspective is beneficial, and it can create social opportunities and an appreciation for a wide range of concepts.
Private schools’ specialty programs accentuate the importance of learning multiple languages by amplifying the cultural significance that comes with it. This helps boost the student’s language proficiency and fluency and promotes literacy and personal growth, developing the student’s confidence and independence in the process.
iv. Enhancing Study Habits
Enhancing study habits is an important part of a student’s education and is something specialty private school programs are well equipped to do. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average public school classroom setting has a student-to-teacher ratio of 16 to 1. Specialty private school programs typically have lower student-to-teacher ratios, allowing teachers to monitor and guide each student and providing them with more one-on-one instruction. The smaller student-to-teacher ratio provides a workshop-style educational process where students can better acquire organizational and study skills to improve their academic performance.
To further support their students, private school faculty often incorporate study skills like note-taking, time management, and organization into their day-to-day curriculum. Students also have the unique opportunity to practice the techniques they learn in other subjects, helping to ensure that they become a part of their day-to-day study routine.
Private schools also prepare students for college and beyond by helping build the resilience and discipline essential for succeeding in an ever-changing and competitive world. While developing strong study habits, students become better prepared to take on the rigors of post-secondary education, no matter the institution.
2. Life skills and Socialization Experiences
i. Learning to Collaborate With Peers
Learning to collaborate with peers is an important skill that children learn at specialty private school programs. Private schools offer students diverse interpersonal environments which foster various life skills and socialization experiences, such as:
- Beneficial cooperation, understanding, and respect.
- Working together, delegating tasks, and sharing resources.
- Social and communication skills.
- Students also learn the value of listening, negotiating, and resolving conflicts positively and effectively.
Overall, collaborative learning encourages students to think beyond their ideas and work together to come up with creative solutions.
ii. Developing Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking
Developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills are essential for success in any field. Specialty private school programs provide the perfect space for children to acquire and practice these skills. Through interactive problem-solving activities, classroom discussions, and analytical thinking exercises, children can learn to think critically and discover creative solutions for different scenarios.
Additionally, private schools offer various programs and services such as resource centers, technology, and individualized instruction to help children enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. This can help them develop strong problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills that can benefit them throughout life.
iii. Adapting to Different Social Environments and Dynamics
The world is filled with diverse people, cultures, and environments. Private schools allow your child to become comfortable in many social environments, directing them to a tolerant and appreciative frame of mind at an early age.
Adapting to different social environments and dynamics can involve a range of topics, such as understanding different cultural practices, attitudes, customs, and expectations. Private school programs are ideal for teaching kids how to move through different situations while showing them how their background and identity can shape their involvement in certain activities, subjects, and relationships.
Social skills are invaluable in day-to-day living, future schooling, and professional life. Private schools are an excellent stepping stone in developing these socialization skills by introducing age-appropriate activities and events that promote group settings, cooperative dynamics, and problem-solving.
iv. Acquiring Responsibility
Taking responsibility is integral to the learning experience provided through specialty private school programs. Private schooling can provide students with an outlet to develop skills as independent learners and life skills such as budgeting and time management. Children develop these skills in the classroom with academics and outside the classroom through extracurricular activities, projects, and group experiences. Through these experiences, children can understand the importance of responsibility in all aspects of life.
3. Out-of-the Classroom Learning
i. Promoting Physical Health and Wellness
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, students who regularly participate in physical exercise and activity have a greater chance of staying healthy and performing better in school. Private schools are ideal for children to stay physically active since promoting physical health and wellness is a key component of specialty private school programs.
Many private schools offer dedicated classes and activities focusing on physical exercise and health, such as;
- Gym classes and fitness clubs
- Strength and conditioning
- Physical education
- Athletics teams, and various other recreational activities.
Additionally, many schools have a garden center or community garden project, providing students with the opportunity to learn about nutrition, plant science, and how food is grown. These activities are a great way to increase a student’s physical fitness and promote healthy dietary habits.
ii. Exploring Natural Sciences and the Outdoors
Exploring natural sciences and the outdoors is essential to private school programs. Students can observe and study the world outside their doors and apply the knowledge they have learned in the classroom.
They may work on experiments in the school garden and use garden supplies such as compost, water, and garden tools to cultivate and tend to flowers, vegetables, and other crops. Experiments in science, such as building terrariums and hydroponics, can give students further insight into the inner workings of nature and can introduce them to the wonders and possibilities of the natural environment. By conducting these activities, students can better understand the environment and ways to care for it.
iii. Fostering Creativity Through the Arts
Arts programs are a staple of specialty private school programs and are a key part of fostering creativity. According to a study by Americans for the Arts, students involved in the arts are four times more likely to have an award for academic achievement and writing a poem or essay and three times more likely to receive an award for school attendance. They’re also four times more likely to participate in a math or science fair and three times more likely to be an elected class leader within their schools.
Private school programs often offer students the opportunity to learn from professional instructors in a supportive classroom setting. Art classes typically feature the following:
- Photography and digital media
- Drawing in various mediums
- Creative exploration
- Art theory and history
- Music and theater
These art programs allow students to explore their creativity and hone their artistic talents. Woodworking is also a popular choice for artistic expression, in which students gain valuable skills and knowledge in designing and building furniture out of wood.
Private schools’ emphasis on artistic expression helps students to lay the foundation for future success in the arts and beyond by providing a comprehensive educational experience.
iv. Developing Global Citizenship
Private school programs focusing on specialty subject matter provide an excellent opportunity for global citizenship development. Through curricular and extracurricular activities, students can benefit by better understanding different cultures, world histories, and societies. They learn about the different ways people live, work, and celebrate. Specialty programs allow students to see the world and the myriad of people inhabiting the planet.
Furthermore, through extracurricular activities such as international trips, students can gain first-hand experience in how people interact with their surrounding environment and interact with each other in different cultures. The international trips provide an excellent opportunity for students to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and better understand various international cultures. Ultimately, this global education can provide students with the essential knowledge and understanding required for a successful future.
4. Opportunities to Explore New Interests
Attending a specialty private school program can be a great way for your child to explore new interests in a supportive environment. Whether they’re curious about robotics, drama, or canoeing, private schools often house ample opportunities to pursue such interests. Private schools also often provide access to community resources, such as museums, galleries, and performance venues, to help students enrich their newfound interests.
Moreover, private schools may offer course credit for extracurricular activities, allowing your child to explore a field of interest more meaningfully and engagingly. In sum, private school programs provide a great opportunity for your child to explore and develop new interests that they may not get at a regular school.
In conclusion, private schools offer an excellent opportunity for your child to excel inside and outside the classroom. Specialty private school programs allow them to build foundational literacy and numeracy skills, explore in-depth, specialized subject material, develop their foreign language ability and hone their life skills.
Moreover, they also offer extracurricular activities that promote physical health and wellness and foster creativity through the arts and exploration of natural sciences and the outdoors. Investing in private schooling for a child provides them with a safe learning environment, with the added benefit of collaborative activities and increased confidence, allowing them to reach their full potential in their academic journey.