As parents we always want the best for our children. This can be very much focussed around school as this is a big part of their lives. However, most of us cannot afford the private schools with the best reputations so we may think that there is nothing that we can do. However, there are many things that we can do that should still help them which will be affordable.
Choose the Best Schools in the Area
There are now useful resources that you can use to help you to pick the best schools in your area. We do normally have to pick a school within our catchment area for secondary, but with primary schools there are less restrictions. Take a look at the website of the schools in the area and that will help you to start getting an idea of what they are like. You can compare results by looking at the Ofsted league tables, although they do not give the full picture. Ofsted reports are also useful to give some guidance. Phoning the school will give you an idea of how friendly they are and then visiting is very important. There will be open days or opportunities for families to get personal tours around schools and these can be very useful. Try to talk to students as well as teachers. Also walk or drive past the school at the start and/or end of the day to get an idea of what it is like then.
Tutor them Yourself
Many parents will get a tutor for their children so that they can do better. This tends to be to prepare them for tests such as SATs, entrance exams, GCSE’s or A-Levels but sometime sit is just for general learning as well. These can be extremely expensive, but it is something that you can do yourself as a parent. There are lots of resources online, videos, websites etc that you can use for free. There are paid ones as well and books which could be worth considering and they will still be cheaper than paying a tutor. You will need to try to find ways of engaging your child though and some parents do struggle with this.
Buy Second Hand Equipment
It can be useful to consider buying second hand items to save money. Within education this is possible with quite a few things. Firstly, school uniform, which can be really expensive, can be bought second hand at times. It may be the case that it is sold through the school, perhaps through the PTA. You may be able to find it in second hand shops or online through local for sale pages. It can also be useful to look for second hand books to help with study as well. It may be that you can get these from parents of children in older years or buy them online. School may also sell books and equipment at cost price which could be useful.
It is easy to think that your child will not get a good education because you cannot afford the best for them. However, it is worth recognising that there are children who go through the comprehensive school system and still get really good grades. It is also possible for you to tutor them to get them into a grammar school which will mean that they will be taught at a higher level which should help them get better grades, although, it can be daunting for those that are less capable to be put into this type of environment. Rewarding effort all of the time can encourage them to work hard and get the best results.