How important is a child’s learning environment to his or her success, and how important are his or her natural gifts? School choice offers a nuanced response to the proverbial nature vs. nurture question, recognizing the role of both in a child’s success and happiness.
On one hand, school choice recognizes that children are different by nature; they have varying personalities, strengths, and ways of learning. Children’s natural differences are one reason we need a variety of schools. While a one-size-fits-all education can’t meet the diverse needs of every single child, school choice can allow parents to look for the school best tailored to their child’s unique needs.
School choice also recognizes that the learning environment itself can impact a child’s success and happiness. Maybe, as an adult, you’ve felt the difference between a workplace environment that challenges, supports, and stimulates you, and one that drains you and stunts your growth. Kids spend nearly as much time at school as adults spend at a job, and that environment has a profound impact. Some children are easily inspired by the sheer discovery involved in math, science, and reading. Others find the subjects lackluster on their own and aren’t inspired until their life is touched by the example of a fantastic teacher or the uniqueness of a hands-on learning experience. Every child is different.
Moms and dads are experts on their children’s needs, interests, and uniqueness – and moms and dads are best qualified to determine the learning environments that will inspire their daughters and sons. Parents, it’s not too soon to think about where your child will thrive in the 2020-2021 school year. If your school works well for your child, share that success with others this National School Choice Week (Jan 26-Feb 1).
It might encourage a parent who is struggling to find the right fit for his or her child. If you’re interested in switching schools, start researching your options right away at schoolchoiceweek.com.The more we encourage diverse, innovative learning environments and support families in finding the best fit, the more our children will be inspired to succeed and be happy. Andrew Campanella is president of National School Choice Week and the author of The School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your Child.