In Parents on the Move! I refer to Levels of Relocation. It's all about cultural dominancy, and its effect on decision making. For example, if you choose a Level One relocation to another country; this means you will be looking to live in a neighbourhood with others from your own nationality. You will want "own nationality" schools, churches and social clubs. Your family will most likely be a one-passport family. If you are like me, a Level Four, I am not happy in an environment where any culture other than my faith culture dominates how life is lived. Our family collects passports almost as a hobby!
If, as parents, you are getting ready to relocate, you will already be thinking about schools in your new location. My daughter and her husband are preparing to move into a new area of London. They may not be changing cities, but they are looking at nursery schools for the first time.
Selecting a school, even if you have grown up in the area, can be a great challenge. You want to get this decision right, but collecting information that is helpful for making your decision isn't always easy. Education systems change, and London for example; is quite a challenge in that you do not simply opt for "the local school," even if you are having your children attend what in England is called "the State Schools."
At three years of age, a child of any income background may have 15 hours of free education. If you are hoping to have your child attend a school in the London borough where you live (as opposed to choosing a school in the next borough), you may qualify for 30 hours of free nursery school. If you decide a private nursery school is the one for you, then those hours will give you a deduction in cost. Still, the cost can be comparable to the costs of a university term! State schools, (aka public school in USA) are free.
In which ever country you are in at the moment, when you have a choice of schools; making the choice can be a challenge. What do you look for in a classroom? What is really important when you decide to send your child to a school, and what makes one school better for your child over another school? My grandson, when asked, decided that a real "must" was to attend a school that had both a train set and Fireman Sam toys!
Take time to consider what is a "Strength," and what is a "Weakness," when it comes to deciding on a school for your family. My book, "Parents on the Move," will give you lots of information that can help you with Strengths vs Weaknesses. Draw up a short list of not more than six schools (so the whole school search doesn't drive you crazy), and take notes. It is so difficult to actually remember which school had the good library resources, or that nice teacher; after you have seen so many classrooms you are about cross-eyed. Take a moment to download the Strengths and Weaknesses Chart in the Shop page. It's only £1.00 (use any currency credit card) and you can print it off up to six times!
Happy School Visits!
And do take a moment to let me know how you get on....
Warm Spring Regards, Kathleen