SC Blog

The Top Four Reasons to Pursue Independent School Education

Kristine Theodoratos
Education is something to be celebrated. It is a wonderful privilege and an excellent foundation to build upon. 
  1. The early years of learning are critical: Early childhood development entails physical, cognitive, motor and socio emotional development between the ages of 0-8. As detailed by the World Health Organization, these early years are quintessential as they are marked by the largest period of brain growth and change capacity, and impact health and wellbeing throughout life. This important window of learning should encourage consideration of educational options that speak to philosophy, mission, and value match between home and school.
  2. Individualized attention: With a small student-teacher ratio, learning is optimized. Students have more adult hands to help navigate the waters of instruction and friendships. Learning is an emotional endeavor that involves active risk taking. Raising your hand to answer a question, asking a friend to play, or learning to read requires vulnerability and a can-do attitude. Having teachers both notice and praise effort, persistence, and hard work sets the stage for ideals that promote life-long learning.
  3. A balanced learning experience: While reading, writing, and arithmetic represent the foundation of traditional learning, the opportunity to participate in physical education, fine arts instruction, and second language acquisition are critical to the flexibility of thought required of the next generation of learners. Schools are responsible for educating students to be flexible in thought and approach, as well as work cooperatively and collaboratively in an effort to work successfully within jobs and careers. This necessitates exposure to learning beyond the “3 Rs.”
  4. Parent-school partnership: As students grow, they spend more time in the active care of someone other than their parent or guardian.   As such, a laudable consideration becomes "who will I trust with the care and feeding of my child’s mind and heart." The independent school community recognizes the education of a child is both a deep privilege and great responsibility. The idiom, “many hands make light work," comes to mind as an independent school works tirelessly to form partnerships within its community and beyond. A school’s mission and philosophy details its educational intention. Based upon this comprehensive information, parents have the tools to determine the best value match between home and school; it’s this profound choice that is the hallmark of an independent school education. The school will speak to the education and behaviors within it- while parents attend to the values and behaviors outside. It’s the thoughtful alignment of the ideology of both home and school that will determine the efficacy of the partnership.  It is important to recognize that students don’t come to school by themselves; they have a story much larger than their classroom experience. The best way to reach a child is to understand that story while the school becomes both an important setting and a source of main characters.  Whether serving hot lunch, volunteering at the Halloween carnival, participating in the school’s gala, or chaperoning a study tour, the school becomes a welcome venue of family participation.
Education is an investment of time and resources with limits to both.  When contemplating your child’s future and deciding upon which road to travel, isn’t it best to consider that path as soon as possible?  Students don’t become learners in 9th grade, they learn how to explore, organize, discover, wonder, problem solve, and think critically at a young age. The time is now for an independent school education; it’s the best investment you will ever make.
 Kristine Theodoratos
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Lower School: 11052 Independence Avenue
Middle and Upper School: 20801 Rinaldi Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311  | 818.882.8121
Sierra Canyon School is a private, independent, non-sectarian, co-educational, college preparatory school for students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 located in Chatsworth, California. The highly cosmopolitan campus community is reflective of the Greater Los Angeles area and the world at large. Students are empowered to realize their greatest creative, ethical, intellectual and physical promise through small class sizes, a diverse student-teacher culture and a family-like environment.