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Private Schools Pros and Cons

Private schools and public schools have advantages and disadvantages. When comparing public school vs. private school weigh the pros and cons of both. This article also reviews the pros and cons of private boarding schools.

As with all major decisions regarding your children, get them involved in the conversation. Moving or placing your child in a new school is a big deal and they should be allowed to have some say in which school they attend. Not the final say, but giving your child some input will make a big difference in what you decide as well as how they ultimately deal with your decision.

Pros and Cons - Public School vs Private School

  • Private School Pros
    • Private schools focus on specific topics.
    • Smaller class sizes.
    • Private schools have better books and supplies.
    • More access to up-to-date computers.
    • Curriculum is more challenging.
    • Most private schools are religious based schools.
  • Private School Cons
    • Cost.
    • Teachers are not required to have a teaching degree, just knowledge of the subject they will be teaching.
    • Less diverse choices in subjects.
    • No special education classes available.
    • Students must pass an entrance exam to be admitted.
    • Most private schools are religious based schools.
  • Pubic School Pros
    • More choice in curriculum.
    • Builds community relationships for both parent and student.
    • Access to sports programs.
    • Access to arts and music programs.
    • Teachers are certified educational instructors.
    • Low cost.
  • Public School Cons
    • Larger class sizes.
    • Exposure to unacceptable lifestyles at public schools.
    • Classes are taught at a mid-learning level, which may cause advanced learners to become bored.
    • Limited access to learning materials.
    • More school days-off from school.
    • Outdated textbooks.

Pros and Cons - Private Boarding School

  • Private Boarding School Pros
    • Children build lifetime friendships.
    • Children can reinvent themselves; they might have non-productive preconceived opinions of themselves that they made in a traditional school setting.
    • A big plus when applying at more popular universities.
    • Specialized curriculum. 
    • Children become more independent thinkers, must make many decisions on their own.
  • Private Boarding School Cons
    • Missed opportunities for parents to educate their children on values, both family and public.
    • Homesick kids.
    • Missing your children. 
    • Worrying after receiving a frantic phone call from an unhappy child.  
    • Children become more independent thinkers, must make many decision on their own.
Before sending your child to any school public or private, you should do your homework. Find out the strengths and weaknesses of each school. Find out what is most important to your child, be it sports or political science. Both will be beneficial in your child's future, but if you choose a school that focuses on something that does not interest your child you will just be throwing their school years away. Stay involved with their education, friends and activities. Sending your child to a private school will not place them in a social bubble. Private schools have many of the same problems that public schools do; and boarding schools have a whole different set of problems. Such as, no one to make sure the homework is getting done, and teachers not knowing your child well enough to see that they are having trouble.

Final Thought

Sending a child to private school should be based on what you and your child expect from their educational provider. Children dealing with anger or drug issues will not be helped by being sent to a private school; in fact it may make matters worse. For example, the majority of children attending private schools come from affluent homes, which means they have more access to money; and more money means "better" drugs. So, do your homework; search for the school that is right for your child.