Private vs. Public School: Which Is Best For My Child?

Private vs. Public School

The decision on where to school your children is an extremely important one. At the end of the day, you can only control so much about your children’s education, but the school environment can certainly set the stage for what’s to come. 

That’s a decision you have a measure of control over. There’s a lot to consider in the process as well because there are pros and cons to both public and private schools. 

The school itself, the teachers employed there, and the philosophy behind the school are all things to take into consideration. We’re going to address the private vs public school debate today, giving you some insight on things to consider. 

Hopefully, the information below can make the process a little easier for you as you make a decision. 

Benefits of Private Schooling

There’s an obvious prestige associated with private schools. When we think of “private,” we tend to conjure up ideas of exclusivity, excellence, and distinction. 

There is something to be said about those things, even if they’re only myths. The impression that private schools give when listed on resumes and applications is significant. So, the first benefit of private schooling is the fact that there is a positive impression that goes along with them. 

This is particularly true for college and job applications. The next benefit to speak of is the fact that private schools are allowed to tailor their own curriculums in different ways. 

They’re not tied to the county or state restrictions in the same way that public schools are, so there are opportunities for your child to learn in the value set that you agree with. 

Religious private schools are a perfect example of this. If your family has deep Catholic values, your child can be educated in an environment that supports those values if you want them to. On the other hand, you might seek out a private school that emphasizes alternative values and free-thinking more than a public school would. 

Your personal values and beliefs will help to determine the right elementary school, public or private. 

Benefits in the Classroom

Another factor associated with most private schools is the fact that they have smaller classroom sizes. Your child will be granted more attention by the staff when there are fewer children to work with and teach. 

What’s more, is that particular private schools might set higher educational standards for the teachers they higher. In other words, it could be harder to get a job at a private school than it would be at a public school. 

This is a difficult thing to quantify, though, because the quality of education that a teacher is capable of providing doesn’t always have much to do with their credentials. Some individuals with sub-par resumes might be the greatest educators in the world. 

Further, the curriculum of public schools tends to be a little more challenging than those of public schools. Your child might be on an advanced track and get a lot more out of school than they would at a public school.

That fact tends to be reinforced by the fact that private schools have funds to offer their students more extracurricular resources, alternative methods of teaching, and other costly things that might improve the academic experience. 

Benefits of Public Schooling

On the other side of things, we have public schools. 

Public schools are typically very cheap, if not free. There might be some costs associated with supplies, sports teams, or other extracurriculars, but those are nothing compared to private schools. 

This fact opens children of public schools to all of the benefits of learning in a diverse environment. Private schools include some diversity, but there’s exclusivity in terms of income that is inherent in the reality of private schools. 

As it’s evident that income doesn’t impact a person’s level of intelligence, the public school learning environment can be just as intellectual and challenging as that of a private school. In some ways, the learning environment might be enriched by the fact that there’s a better chance of diverse opinions in the classroom. 

Learning with people of different backgrounds gives your child the opportunity to experience different walks of life and generate a strong sense of empathy and compassion. They can make friends with individuals of all kinds, learn from those friends, and take that understanding into the world and make it a better place to be. 

A Variety of Resources and Activities

One downfall of private schooling is that it doesn’t offer the same breadth of options for extracurricular activities and resources. 

Private schools tend to be small with a narrow focus on particular values. This is great if your values align with those of the school. The result, though, is that a child with divergent interests might not be able to find a place that stimulates them. 

Public schools tend to have a breadth of opportunities as diverse as the children who go there. This opens your child up to the ability to explore their interests, trying new things, and moving in directions that you might not have moved as you were being raised. 

Another thing to note is that public schools often have more competitive teams and groups. There tend to be more children who attend public schools, so the ability to get onto particular teams is a little more difficult than it would be at a less-attended private school. 

This is stimulating as it requires the individual to work a little harder to hone their skills and stand out to make teams. When they’re on the team, the network or league of opposing teams might prove to be more competitive as well. 

Want to Learn More about Private vs Public School Options?

The private vs public debate is one that is different for every family. There are numerous personal and educational factors to consider, and there’s not always a clear answer. 

The more information you have on the schools in your area, though, the more likely you are to choose the best schooling and education options. We’re here to help you with more information on educational subjects, lifestyle ideas, and more. 

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