Shopping For A New School? 7 Things To Do When Shopping For A New School

Posted on Posted in Mom Talk, Parenting, School Matters

New School sessions in Nigeria usually start in September.

And if your child is moving to a New School, you may want to seriously start your search. If your child is moving to Nursery school, the time to prepare them for what school is like, is now.

You can read all about preparing your child for ‘Big School’ in another post here.

Not sure how to go about your search, you can take the following 7 steps in making your decision:

  • Know What You want in a School. It’s important that your expectations for the kind of environment you want your child to learn in are solid. This could be in terms of friendliness of staff, neatness of school, values being taught [apart from academic work]… You know what is important to you and what you’d like to see in your child, so set your expectations and write them down on your ‘school shopping list’.
  • Visit the School. There’s nothing like a first hand experience when you’re trying to determine the place where your child will spend most of his days. This is not a duty to be delegated to the opinion of some friend, or nanny, or driver. A visit can reveal so much about a school. Have you ever visited a beautiful place that just didn’t feel right to you? You just can’t explain, but you aren’t just comfortable with the place. That’s the power of your personal observation. And be sure to visit when the school is in session, where you have the opportunity to see the interaction of the kids with each other, and with the school staff.
  • Meet with the Head of The School. This meeting should reveal to you the ideas and approach of the management to educating your child. You are able to ask questions about their core values, discipline methods…whatever you need clarification on. Sometimes, no matter how friendly other staff may be, as long as the person in charge of the school doesn’t rub off well, you won’t ever be comfortable in that school.
  • Research from others who may have kids there, or who may know something about the school. Sometimes, experience of another parent and how their child is faring there will give you a guide as to how you can expect your child to fare.
  • Proximity to your home or place of work. This is simply a personal matter, whatever works for you. You may also want to consider how heavy traffic is on that route. For instance, I have a school that’s like 5 minutes away from my home, but it will take me about 45 minutes to get there in the mornings. You may want to factor all that in as you decide.

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  • Size of The School. Some people prefer their kids in a big school, where there’s a lot of structure and all that. Some, on the other hand, prefer smaller school, with a more personal touch, where everyone knows everyone else. There are many arguments for and against size, it all depends on your personality, and what you think is best for your child.
  • Remember that it’s not how expensive a school is. As long as you’re sure that your child will thrive and blossom in that environment, and that his creativity and personality will be not be stifled, go for it. Ensure that you’re comfortable with what you find in that school during your visit.

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Don’t forget, you can always change your mind later. If you find that you are not as comfortable as you expect to be in a certain school, especially about some major things that are important to you, you can always move your child to another place – as long as you don’t make it a habit. That is why you should take time to research well before you make that final choice.

Ultimately, the decision is yours.

Start early.

I always love to hear from you. What can you share with me about trying out a new school for your child?

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Oluseye Ashiru

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