Picking a school for your child is an important and big decision to make. Parents always want what's best for their children and it's imperative to make the right choice. Here are 5 things to keep in mind when selecting a school for your child!

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Decide What You Want for Your Child. Which characteristics of the school are deal breakers and which characteristics are mandatory? It's important to know exactly what you want to narrow down your options as a whole.

Location, Location, Location. Think about how your child will get to school. If the commute is no problem, then your options are open. However, this isn't always the case with busy parents. Keep in mind if the school is within walking distance, if there is a school bus stop nearby, or if there is potential to join a carpool.

Choose the Style of Learning That is Best For Your Child. While it's important to keep in mind what you want for your child, you also want what's best for them. Traditional classrooms are not always the best fit for every child. There are a variety of schooling styles that tailor to your child's needs from a private school to a charter school to a neighborhood public school.

Learn About Prospective Schools. What academic and nonacademic programs do they offer? How safe is the school? What is their mission? What kind of curriculum will be taught? What is their reputation like? There are a million things to learn about. Knowing your prospective school allows you to understand the school and their ideals. Do their ideals match what your ideals? You can find ratings for area public and private schools on GreatSchools.org

Observe Your Options. Once you have narrowed down your options, visit and observe the schools. Speak to the principal and faculty. Tour the institution. Look into the parental involvement available to you and how the community interacts with the school. You want to walk away feeling confident in your choice.

School hunting can be just time-consuming as house hunting, but finding the right school for your child will always be rewarding. Ask your Realtor about the local schools to help guide you in your search. Remember to keep in mind your needs and your child's needs, while finding the perfect fit.