If you are in the middle of deciding which independent school is right for your child and family, then you undoubtedly have a lot going through your mind. Questions about teacher-to-student ratio and college matriculation statistics are probably of the greatest concern, followed closely by questions of cost, transportation, and other logistics.
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The process of choosing and evaluating the different independent school options for your child will undoubtedly vary from school to school. But no matter the schools you are deciding between, most schools require an admission interview. Sometimes this will take place during an already scheduled campus tour; sometimes it will be a standalone event. Whatever the format, one thing is certain: The admissions interview is an important moment and parents may feel anxious about it.
Parents decide to enroll their children into nursery programs for many reasons. Sometimes it’s so that the child can begin building social skills and become accustomed to being around other children so that the transition to preschool and kindergarten is easier; sometimes it’s to begin laying a solid academic foundation; sometimes it’s because busy schedules mean that both parents are working, and there is no other option. Often, it’s all of the above!
Choosing a school for your child is, undoubtedly, one of the most stressful parts of being a parent. You want to find a school that will challenge your child academically, help them grow socially and emotionally, and, ultimately, set them up for a fulfilling life.
But it’s also important for parents to realize that finding a school is stressful for the child as well. Your child, especially if they are older, is worrying about all of the same things that you are—their future, their academics—but also different things. Will they make new friends? Will they stay in touch with old friends? Will they be accepted for who they are? Will they make you proud?
Wouldn’t it be great if all children felt valued and accepted, and learned to value and accept others despite their differences? If they learned to listen to one’s own voice and listen to the voices of others? If they were taught to identify, accept, and regulate one’s own impulses and emotions, and to exercise self-control?
What if they were mindful of the impact of one’s behavior on others, learned empathy, understood and practiced love, and were taught to make a choice to do good?