For many families, private schools are an opportunity for a higher quality education. However, the best school for your child’s needs might not be near your house.
Before you choose a school, you need to decide how far your family can commute. It’s a personal decision that depends on your work obligations, willingness or ability to drive, and ability to carpool or get help from other drivers.
The Benefits of Private Schools
Every private school is different, but some have a lot more to offer than the local public schools. They often have smaller class sizes, more rigorous academics, and specialized programs. You can ask about an individual school’s standardized test results to see if their students are doing better than the average public school students. Many of these schools have extra opportunities in STEM, the arts, or foreign language immersion.
Private schools also tend to have a strong sense of community and connection. Since families must “opt in” to these schools, the parents and students tend to be more involved in the education process. If you’re like most private school parents, you’re probably willing to commute a little farther for a great school community.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Private Schools Near You
There are many things to consider as you choose a private school. Many families choose a school based on the following factors:
- Academic rigor. Each school has its own curriculum, teaching philosophy, and opportunities for accelerated learning or additional help.
- Extracurricular activities. Sports, clubs, arts programs, and community service opportunities can help your child develop their interests and character.
- Religious community. Many private schools, like Northshore Christian Academy (NCA), have a religious affiliation. Some add scripture, religious teachings, prayer, or chapel time to the school day. Before you enroll your child, you will probably want to know if the school reinforces or goes against your family’s beliefs.
- Location. Your child will be commuting daily to the school unless it’s online or a boarding school. The commute needs to be doable for your family, whether you drive your child yourself, carpool, or get a nanny or grandparent to help with transportation.
How Far Is Too Far to Commute to a Private School?
If you’re like most of the parents we talk to, you’re willing to go above and beyond for your child’s education. That said, a long commute is a major drawback for most families. Commuting can increase stress for the whole family and reduce family or working time.
As a private school parent, you will likely need to arrange transportation both to and from school in the morning and afternoon. If you drive your child to a school 30 minutes away and then go back home during the school day, you will spend over an hour in the car in the morning and another hour in the evening.
You may be able to reduce your commuting time by carpooling, getting a nanny or regular babysitter to help, or choosing a school near your workplace. At NCA, many parents team up with other nearby families to reduce the commuting burden. If you trade off on driving with one other parent, you will only have to drive to the school every other day.
A private school might be the best choice for your child’s education, but you need to decide how far you are willing to commute. For some families, it makes sense to choose a school that is close to home. On the other hand, if you can find other parents, babysitters, or nannies to help with the drive, you can probably send your child to a school that is farther away.
The right private school will give your child a strong foundation for academic and personal success. It’s worth it to look into your commuting options before you decide a school is too far away.
Commuting to Northshore Christian Academy
At NCA, many families carpool to get their children to school. Some of our students commute from quite a ways away, so you can probably find other families who live near you.
Our school also offers K-8 after-school classes, which can make your child’s pickup time a little more flexible. Our Lion’s Club classes are offered until 4:45 PM Monday-Thursday and until 4:00 PM on Fridays. Your child can take classes in STEM, fine arts, cultural exploration, sports, and culinary arts. In spring 2023, we offered enrichment classes in robotics, coding, beginning piano, choir, photography, video production, clay art, entrepreneurship, flag football, archery, kickboxing, soccer, and more.
Reach out to us today if you have questions about commuting to NCA. You can also schedule a tour to learn more about our campus.