What is the best school for me

Find the right school in 3 steps

We want our little ones to have a flawless dream school - no wonder that as soon as the word "school choice" is heard, many parents' heart rates soar. Now it's time to row back, take a deep breath and reflect. What does my child really need? Which type of school suits our family best? The perfect school for your child has to do one thing above all: support the individual characteristics of your child.

The following tips will help you to take a relaxed approach to choosing a school, to find out step by step what demands you place on a school and ultimately to find the right school for your child:

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Step 1: A stress-free start - find the right school

No panic

Of course, it is always good to think about your school choice early on (see tip 3), but it works better with a lot of serenity. The negative mood can affect your child, so that in the worst case, they associate bad things with school right from the start.

Live in the here and now and don't ask too much

Discard the idea that school choice will affect your child's entire future. Higher degrees can always be made up for if necessary. Rather, try to find a school that suits your child's current situation. A school in the current one Strengths are encouraged and weaknesses are absorbed.

This also applies to the choice of a secondary school: even if you want your child to have the best possible qualification, do not send them to a school whose level of performance overwhelms your child. Pressure to perform can lead to learning blocks and frustration. The right school for your child is characterized, among other things, by the fact that Your child likes going to school and is motivated.

Start choosing a school in good time

The sooner you take care of yourself, the more relaxed you will be in the end. The registration phase for primary schools begins approximately one year before school enrollment. At secondary schools, you usually register six months before school starts.

Some schools with a good reputation even have waiting lists that parents should put their children on very early if they want to get a place here.

2. Inventory - what do we expect from "the right school"?

Before going to different schools, you should fundamentally think about what to expect from a school. Go inside and determine together with your child what your family values.

Pay attention to your child's needs

Schools are very different from one another. The most important thing is that your child feels that they are in good hands and that their strengths (and weaknesses) are encouraged. You should also keep in mind which schools your child's friends attend.

When choosing the right school, you might be interested in these additional offers:

  • How good is that digital equipment (Computer rooms, teaching concepts, etc.)?
  • How good are theygym fitted?
  • Are additional offers like a Choir or AGs offered?
  • Do you wish for a specific one Focus on sport or business?
  • Language talent? Are you raising your child bilingually, is it already attending a bilingual daycare center or does it show special potential in language learning at an early age? Then an international school could be the right one for your child. (International kindergartens and schools cooperate often with each other: If you register your child in a bilingual daycare center, it increases the chance that your offspring will later also be accepted at a corresponding school.)

Half-day or all-day school?

Can you support your child in the afternoons? Would you rather spend the time with your child doing other things than doing homework?

Then an all-day school might be the right school for your offspring. However, the quality of the afternoon program is often criticized and varies greatly between schools.

The whole day works best when the afternoon program is linked to the lessons. If the students have experiences in the afternoon that deepen the learning material from the morning (more on this at Zeit Online). Make sure that an all-day school in question has a sensible concept that optimally supports the children.

Therefore, it helps to consider the following factors:

  • Is the afternoon program well organized?
  • Is it carried out by qualified personnel and has it already proven itself over a long period of time?
  • How is the school equipped?
  • Is there enough space for a varied afternoon program?
  • Does the lunch meet your needs and is there a canteen or dining room?

Alternatively, institutions for public and free youth work also offer afternoon care with help with homework and lunch.

Parents want their children to be well looked after after school | © 2xSamara.com / Fotolia.com

Choose the right type of school

Alternative educational concept:Would you like a church orientation or do you value special educational concepts such as those offered by Montessori or Waldorf schools?

Here in the ELTERN! Magazine you will find a lot of information about alternative school forms:

Change to a secondary school: Correctly assess the learning status! A teacher recommendation issued by the class teacher indicates the direction. It is always possible to pursue a lower educational path (i.e. instead of a high school, Realschule). In a personal conversation with the teacher you can talk about strengths and weaknesses of your child and thus find the right type of school together. If you are still unsure and do not want to decide on a career so early, all degrees are open to your child at a comprehensive school.

Include the way to school

This point should not be underestimated! Long journeys are wasted time and demotivate, not just in winter. Especially when both parents are working, family time together during the week is reduced to a minimum. Every half an hour that is available to you is therefore worth its weight in gold. Choosing a school in your area also increases the chance of that tooFriends from the neighborhood attend this school. Therefore, the length of the way to school should be taken into account when looking for the right school.

Network research

School websites are often not very up-to-date and informative. A well-structured page therefore usually suggests that the organization on site is also top-notch.

Parents and children can rate schools on websites such as schulradar.de or schulbenotung.de. When looking for the right school, however, such sites should be treated with caution, as the opinions expressed there are very subjective.

3rd step: flying visit - tips for going to school

To look behind the scenes

Have you basically been able to decide on a type of school and some schools in your area? Great! Then now comes the on-site visit, during which you can compare your expectations with reality.

It is best to take notes in the form of a checklist. Our checklist suggests which questions to ask teachers to find out if the school is right for your child. In addition, you can then review your school attendance more easily and compare your impression of the different schools better.

A great way to get to know the schools better is thatOpen-door day. Even if every school certainly shows its best side here, you can talk to teachers and the school management personally and something like that own impression win. Pay attention to the behavior of your child: Does it feel good? Does it run around carefree? How do the teachers approach your child? At the same time, you can now make your own impression of the quality of the equipment.

Tip: Try to get to know the teaching staff. If they are not committed and do not motivate children enough to learn, the trappings are not of much use either. Unfortunately.

Form your own opinion

The right school should suit your child - and whether that is the case is the best way for you and your family to judge. Other parents who already have children at the desired school are good sources of information. Nevertheless, you should also form your own broader picture on site.

Schoolyard espionage

In a survey by the University of Münster, 84 percent of parents said that the atmosphere at school is important to them. Maybe you can watch what is going on in the schoolyard during a break? You will find out a lot about the climate.

You can also openly ask the teachers what means are available so that students can actively contribute and help shape their school individually, for example student meetings or certain working groups.

Dealing with diversity

Feel free to ask directly: Are there courses for weaker and stronger students (individual support), how are cultural differences dealt with? There is often still a lack of good support for a heterogeneous student body. A sophisticated concept is therefore a quality feature.