Private school enrolment in the U.S. accounts for about 10% of all students with an enrolment of 5,751,000 students. Catholic schools account for the largest private school enrolment at 38.8%. If you’re considering a religious school for your child, you may wonder if it’s the right choice. Beyond the religious aspect, these schools offer many pros and cons to consider.
Understanding the differences between religious and public schools helps you decide if it’s a good fit for your child. Check out our guide to deciding if a religious school is best for your family.
Many parents look into religious schools for quality instruction and smaller class sizes, even if they aren’t overly religious. But religion is an integral part of the curriculum and the daily routine at most religious schools.
If you choose a Catholic education for your child, you can expect them to learn about Catholic principles. They might attend mass during school. Schools based on other religions will teach their guiding principles during the school day.
If you’re considering a school outside of your religion or if you’re not a religious person, make sure you’re okay with your kids doing those lessons and activities.
If your family is strong in faith, a religious school may be the perfect fit. Public schools can’t teach religion, so your child won’t get that exposure to the ideals you value.
Going to a religious school incorporates those ideals throughout the day to reinforce your faith.
Smaller Class Sizes
A common complaint about public schools is the large class size. Funding cuts often force schools to increase the number of kids in a class. Schools have to cut teaching positions, which means more students end up in the remaining classes. Private schools generally have smaller class sizes.
This allows teachers to spend more time teaching rather than disciplining and controlling behaviors. Kids get more personalized instruction and teachers can often do more creative learning activities.
Religious School Extracurricular Opportunities
Many religious schools offer various extracurricular opportunities. But some have limited options when it comes to sports and other traditional activities. The smaller size makes it difficult for some parochial schools to support all sports teams.
In some private schools, the teams that do exist may be less competitive because of the limited pool of athletes. At others, the school can attract top athletes, making them more competitive than other schools.
In some areas, private school students can play on public school teams and participate in other public school extracurricular activities if their schools don’t offer them. This allows your child to still participate while getting the religious education you prefer.
A deciding factor for some families is the cost. Private school costs an average of $7,770 per year for elementary and $13,030 for high school per year. Tax money covers the cost of public school.
Families typically pay a small fee, but otherwise, it’s free.
Looking at your budget helps you decide if a religious school is an option financially. Keep in mind that many private schools offer scholarships based on financial need. You may also have the option to have a payment plan instead of paying the full amount upfront.
Make Your Choice
Deciding between a public and religious school can be challenging. Both offer certain advantages and disadvantages. Considering your child’s needs and your preferences helps make the decision.
For more great parenting tips, check out the other blogs on Cyber Parent.