If you are a parent of a toddler, school will be on your mind and your choice of learning institution has an impact on your child’s education. This is not something you want to get wrong, and with that in mind, here are some common mistakes that parents make when choosing a school for their children.
- Focus on location – The fact that a school is within walking distance should not be a deciding factor; of course, it solves one problem, but all schools differ in many respects and some are better than others. If the best British international school in Thailand is within driving range, then you can be sure that your child gets the best all-round education. Regarding travelling time, the Ministry of Education recommends no longer than a 40-minute journey and much less if possible.
- Failure to research – A school’s website might look very professional, but you need to book a tour of the school, when you can take a look at the resources and observe a few classes. After the tour, the school principal would be happy to answer any questions you might have. The Internet hosts a wealth of information and Google can help you find parent forums, where you can get to know other parents.
- Not understanding the difference between active & passive learning – Another word for passive learning is rote (memorising) learning; some schools still teach the traditional way with students sitting behind desks and this style of education is lacking in many respects. Active learning, on the other hand, engages the students and learning by doing is recognised as the best way to learn. All international schools use project-based learning, which promotes creativity and is much preferred to a passive learning system. Click here for reasons to send your child to an international school.
- Not putting the child’s interests first – In the event you want your son to attend one school and he prefers another school, this is something to discuss with your offspring. The pace of learning is quick and an unhappy child is sure to drop behind, which creates extra pressure; a happy child is a good student and their opinion should be valued. It might be that your son has a negative attitude for no good reason, so you should sit down and discuss what it is about the school that they aren’t happy with.
- Failing to think of the future – If you focus on early learning, your child will have to relocate in a few years; this can be avoided by choosing a K-12 school that accepts students of all ages. While we can’t predict the future, it is pretty safe to say that your child faces 12 years of formal education and if you choose a K-12 school, they can study at a single institution and will never have to feel anxious about a new school.
Take the time to evaluate all schools within driving radius of your home; there are many international schools in Bangkok and if you start by browsing school websites, you can start to create a shortlist.