Whether you're looking to get your preschooler into the top local Pre-K program in your area, or you're focusing on helping your high schooler get into a great college prep school, applying for private school admission can be daunting. However, you can make it happen. The key to getting your child into the private schools that you want for them is to avoid these common mistakes that many families make.
Not Applying on Time
Deadlines are going to be important for your child throughout their school career, and they're no less important during the application process. Making sure that you get your application materials in on time is probably the easiest part of the process, yet parents still manage to miss deadlines.
In order to have everything done on time, you probably need to start researching the schools you plan to apply for months ahead of time (e.g. high school juniors often research for colleges and make visits before senior year). This will give you plenty of time to assemble everything you need, fill out all of the paperwork, make time for interviews and visits, and so on. Don't wait to get started.
Putting All of Your Eggs in One Basket
Even if there is a favorite school that you or your child is set on, you want to have some back-up options just in case. Look into other schools in the area that offer some or all of the same advantages that your preferred school does. Don't rule out charter and magnet schools (those that promote diversity), as well as other private schools.
On the other hand, you don't want to have too many options, either. Applying to too many schools at once can be exhausting, and you won't end up giving any of them the best impression that you want to give. Narrow down the list to a few top choices and focus on those. Chances are your child will be accepted to at least one of them.
Trying Too Hard To Impress
Every parent believes that their child is the best, and that's natural. However, when you oversell your child, you may end up doing the opposite of what you're trying to do. Keep the parent statement on your application brief and factual – if it's too long it may not get read at all, and if it reads as if you're bragging or embellishing, it won't be taken seriously.
You should also take care to avoid gratuitous name-dropping. Schools want to see letters of reference from people who have real, personal knowledge of your child – not someone who's only seen pictures of your child but who has a relationship with the school that you want to take advantage of.
In the long run, being diligent and honest will lead to better results than anything else that you could do to get your child accepted into the school they want. Focus on what's best for your child and try not to worry about the rest.
Over the last 15 years, my favorite part about being an elementary teacher was seeing children light up when reading a favorite book. I always enjoy teaching children to read, comprehend, and fall in love with classic or modern stories. Because I feel that reading is so important, I always put a big emphasis on the annual book fair at our school. It's basically a holiday in my classroom, and we celebrate it with excitement and anticipation! I have taught my students how to treat books nicely and read the first couple of pages to see if they like the book. I started this website to share education ideas for elementary students, including my book fair celebration tips. Read my website to learn more about the wonderful world of teaching.