Schools vary significantly in regard to their homework policies. Some high schools boast that their students do 3 to 4 hours of homework each night, and their school day lasts longer than most. Other schools do not emphasize homework and claim that students can complete their learning at school. Although these examples are the extremes, either case might be appropriate for your child, depending on your child’s interests and your goals.
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Standardized test scores provide a consistent way to compare children, classrooms or schools to others within a school, district, city or state. These exams are one measure of what students have learned in their core academic subjects at a given period of time and can be extremely helpful to parents when they are deciding among a group of schools. However, standardized test scores can also be misleading.
All people have different preferences by which they learn material. Understanding your child’s learning styles will help you determine what type of school is most appropriate for your child. The three commonly accepted learning styles used by educators are Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic.
Visual Learner: Your child prefers to learn by seeing things written or in pictures. Visual learners are stimulated when their surroundings are orderly and visually stimulating and may be turned off by clutter.
The New York City progress report provides a number of measures of teacher quality, including the percent of teachers with a doctorate, the percent of teachers teaching in their area of certification and the number of teachers with more than three years of teaching experience. In fact, we have included these measures on our school profiles and comparison charts to allow parents to compare various measures of teacher quality. Unfortunately, these data are not always good measures of teacher quality.
To remain competitive, schools are spending an increasing amount of their budgets on technology. Even elementary school students are becoming familiar with computers and the internet. In fact, some schools provide each student with a laptop which they bring to school each day.
Some parents donate a great deal of time to their children’s school, while others are either too busy or disinterested in this type of effort. You will have to decide the extent to which you would like to become involved in your school’s operations as well as the role that you would like to play. Typically, parents who volunteer at schools participate in one of three ways:
Is your school right for your family? You cannot answer this question within the first week or month of school; however, over time you will get a sense whether your child and you are happy with the education she or he is receiving.
Your answers to the following questions will help you determine whether the school is a good fit for your child and your family. At the end of the first semester, ask these questions to determine whether this is the right school for you, or if it is time to search for a new school.
Many parents worry about the entrance exams that their 4 year olds are required to take to enroll in private and selective public elementary schools. Fortunately, the best ways to prepare your child for these standardized exams are fun. The following activities help children improve their intellectual skills as well as prepare them for the test itself.