7 Times You Should Choose Private School Over Public

By Elizabeth Lang on 2 February 2015 1 comment

Private school can be expensive, but it can also be well worth the cost, depending on your family situation. Some circumstances really do make private schooling more financially practical — and necessary — than you might think. Here are seven times you might choose private school over public school.

1. When Your Child Has a Special Gift

Some children are truly gifted in a particular area, and often, public schools can't foster that child's talents to their full potential. For example, some kids are unbelievable musicians, others have genius IQs, or excel at certain sports. If this is the case with your child, a private school that specializes in a particular area might be a better fit.

2. When Your Child Has a Special Need

Your child may have a special need that isn't accommodated as well in a public school. This may be anything from a learning disability, to behavioral challenges, being a pregnant teenager, or recovering from substance abuse.

3. When Your Child Is Too Young

States dictate the age at which kids can start public school. Some do offer free public preschool, but others don't start public school until kindergarten. It's generally best to start kids in preschool by the time they are three, and especially if you need full-time child-care for your child, an all day private preschool may be your only option.

4. When You Aren't in a Good School District (and You Don't Want to Move)

A major factor in our family's recent decision to move was the school district. Our elementary school district simply wasn't as good as we wanted. If you aren't in a good school district and either can't afford to or don't want to move, private school may be the best option.

5. When Vouchers Will Pay

School vouchers make private schooling possible for a lot of families that might not be otherwise able to pay for it. This chart provides a state by state comparison of school vouchers. If you're in a situation where vouchers (or a school scholarship) will pay for private school, this is a good reason to choose it over public.

6. When Your Family Has Strong Beliefs

If your family has strong beliefs — maybe you are particularly religious, or care exceptionally for the environment, or believe a different style of teaching is better — then you may want your child to be raised around others with similar beliefs. In this case, private school is going to be a better fit.

7. When You Want Your Child to Learn Something Specific

Every family is different, and you may want your child to learn something taught in a private school, even if your beliefs aren't strong or your child isn't the most gifted in that area. As a parent, you have the right to make decisions about what you think is best for your child. So maybe you want your kids to learn more about music, art, or a foreign language than you would get in a public school. If that's the case, consider private schooling — if it's within your means, of course.

Did you go to private school or public school? Which do you (or will you) send your child to and why?

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Olivia

My parents bought a very modest home in a very fine public school system, just so we'd have educational advantages.

We moved with our own young family to a different area because of work and found the school system here is quite below average academically. Homeschooling is an option for some. Others in our town cyber-school, (public school curriculum taught at home).

One of our sons has learning issues and we do have convictions on what our children should be taught, so after trying homeschooling, found private school was the best option for us. The financial aspect needs to be weighed, but there may be scholarship or other work offset arrangements available, depending on the school itself. So if you are considering it, ask.