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Which learning option is best for your child?

Published On: Aug 22 2013 09:54:47 AM CDT
Updated On: Sep 16 2013 09:49:22 AM CDT
students celebrating last day of school

iStock / monkeybusinessimages

Parents have many options when it comes to what type of learning environment is best for their child. Parents can choose schools based on cost, size, atmosphere, curriculum, online availability and location. Take a look at some of the different learning options that are available for your child.

Public School: Public school is a free option for educating your child, as public schools are funded with tax money. Public schools accept everyone, so children who attend public school may learn with children from diverse racial and economic backgrounds. Being in this environment can help children learn to work with kids from different backgrounds. Public schools also require teachers to meet certain expectations with their performance and their training.

Magnet school: Magnet schools are part of the public school system. These schools are free for parents as they are funded by tax payers. These differ from typical public schools in that they may have higher academic standards or they may specialize in an area of learning -- such as science.

Private School: At a private school, parents have to pay tuition for their child’s education. Private schools can have a religious affiliation or be non-religious. Private schools have more liberties with their education plans than public schools, and they can hire teachers based on their own requirements and not the state’s. Private schools tend to have a smaller teacher-to-student ratio than public schools. Some parents also prefer the atmosphere of a private school to that of a public school.

Charter School: Charter schools are funded by taxpayers but they operate independently from the public-school system. These schools can be traditional or they can be focused in an area, such as art. Charter schools are open to anyone, but there could be a limit on class sizes so students may be admitted on a first-come basis, or through a lottery, depending on the school.

Home School: Home schooling can be a great learning option for children, but it does require work for the parents. Students can benefit from individualized learning plans and work at their own pace. They can also still participate in social activities with other kids through sports and youth organizations. The parents will need to organize their child’s curriculum and obtain learning materials. The only real cost to parents is books and other materials.

Online Public School: Online public schooling offers students the ability to work online with a teacher in a home-school setting. Students work with a teacher online, and may also use textbooks and other learning tools. Children can benefit from individualized learning plans and move at their own pace. This type of learning can also help kids who don’t do well in a traditional school setting.

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