There are several characteristics that all good teachers have. Here is a list of 5 important qualities of a good teacher.

Did you know that the average teacher will affect over 3,000 students during their careers?

It’s the hope of every parent that their children will attend a school with excellent teachers. But consider the following facts:

  • Only 38% of students feel school helps them with everyday life
  • Only 31% of students think their teachers make learning exciting
  • Only 48% of students feel their teacher cares about them as individuals

With numbers like these, is it any wonder parents are so concerned about who’s educating their children?

In this post, we’ll examine the qualities of a good teacher that make them both effective and likable. Read on to learn more!

What Makes a Good Teacher?

What are the best teacher qualities to look for?

Is it a good sense of humor? Strict classroom control? A long list of teaching credentials?

Actually, it’s none of the above. Here are 5 qualities of a great teacher.

1. Are They Adaptable & Flexible?

American education has come a long way since the traditional one-room schoolhouse.

Smartboards and laptops have replaced chalkboards and pencils. Students can log in to their smartphones for interactive games or pop quizzes. Projects get assigned, completed, and graded entirely in the digital world.

Today’s best teachers are able to adapt to their education styles to our rapidly changing world. They stay up to date on the latest developments and resources and update their curriculum accordingly. 

Being adaptable also means adapting to the needs of each student. Good teachers understand that each child has a unique personality, background, and learning style.

Rather than taking a “one size fits all” approach, teachers know when and how to make adjustments to their lesson plan or classroom methods. They also create an environment of acceptance that encourages creativity and freedom of expression.

2. Excellent Communication & Observation Skills

It goes without saying that the qualities of a good teacher include the ability to impart knowledge. They should not only be well-versed in their subject but also have the enthusiasm and desire to explain it well.

Equally important, though, is their ability to listen to their students.

Communication doesn’t end when the teacher stops talking. Effective listening skills help the teacher understand her students on an individual level. Then, she can tailor the lesson plan to best meet the learning style and needs of that student.

Good teachers also know how to pick up on things the student doesn’t say. Careful observation allows them to identify underlying barriers to learning, such as shyness or anxiety. Or perhaps the student had a bad experience in the past with a certain subject, such as math, and struggles to learn new concepts.

Identifying these unspoken issues gives teachers the opportunity to instill self-confidence in the child during the learning process.

3. Attentive & Empathetic 

Closely tied with observation skills are the teacher qualities of empathy and attentiveness.

While respecting professional boundaries, good teachers seek to understand the reasons behind their students’ actions. They take time to sit back and consider what may be happening in the student’s life that affects their progress or behavior.

The goal of a great teacher is to not only teach their students to survive but to thrive. Students will blossom when they feel that their teacher truly cares about them and their future success.

This is where being attentive and adaptable intersect, as the teacher determines how to best reach each student. Some may learn better from lectures, while others need hands-on experience. The ability to create a blended learning environment is among the qualities of a great teacher.

4. Knows How to Engage Students

A teacher with all the knowledge in the world won’t be effective unless they can keep their students interested and engaged.

Good teachers have a strong classroom presence and know how to hold their students’ attention. That might do this with humor, creative projects, or interactive games.

They understand that a positive classroom environment is one where the students enjoy (or even love) what they’re learning.

Types of engagement will depend on the grade level and subject matter. A first-grade teacher might engage her students by getting down on the floor and playing with them at their level. High school teachers might make science more engaging by tying in a real-world application to each topic.

5. Cultivates & Displays Patience

Last up on our list of qualities of a good teacher is perhaps the most important one—patience.

The best teachers understand that students learn at different paces. What comes easily to one student may not be so easy for another, and a good teacher never tries to rush the learning process.

They know it takes patience to successfully manage classroom behavior. Teachers also need patience to deal with fellow faculty members, especially if they have differing viewpoints.

A patient disposition allows teachers to communicate well with parents about their child’s progress or any behavioral issues. They’re willing to listen as parents express concerns and do their best to understand where they’re coming from.

Where Will You Find These Qualities of a Good Teacher?

Your child’s education is an investment in their future. Under the care of a good teacher, they’re sure to blossom and thrive.

As you consider different schools for your child, refer back to this list of qualities of a good teacher.

The best teachers are adaptable, flexible, and excellent communicators. They’re empathetic and attentive to the needs of their students, and they know how to keep them engaged in the classroom. Patience is also a virtue of great teachers.

At Notre Dame Academy, we employ only the best teachers who are passionate about education and the students they work with. Does that sound like an ideal environment for your child?

Click here to set up a campus tour or learn more about our admissions process.

How Classroom Environment Affects Student Learning

Your child’s classroom environment can affect their ability to learn. Learn how your child’s school environment impacts them.

Your child will learn by being involved in the type of environment that you place them in.

It’s not often that parents think about the importance of the classroom environment on learning, however now more than ever we contemplate this topic.

If you want your child to progress, then you should provide them with the right environment for learning. In this article, we will cover how the environment of the school affects student learning. 

Keep reading to find out why a private school might be a better option for you.

The Influence of the Classroom Environment on Student Learning

Most people would agree that a healthy classroom learning environment can be a catalyst for higher academic performance.  

Yes there are many types of classroom environment, however a calm, uplifting and positive classroom will surely be better than a loud and cluttered one.

Any study of the modern school environment will show a strong correlation between classroom environmental changes and academic success. Not to mention that an appropriately developed school environment will encourage teachers to be great at what they do, instead of having a negative impact on the children.

Let’s take a look at some factors that support advanced learning:

  1. Order and safety
  2. Teacher collaboration and relationship
  3. Academic outcome expectations
  4. Professional development
  5. Leadership exploration

Students who go to a safe school where they form positive relationships with teachers and peers can have a learning advantage over those students who attend a school without such these relationships. Private schools are sometimes preferred for these reasons alone.

Nonetheless, this is a very abstract way to look at the problem. So let’s take a look at some specific environmental considerations.

How Does Lighting, Color, and Other Factors Affect Learning?

Color has an effect on learning. Red and yellow can make people hungry, hence why McDonald’s uses it. Blue, violet, green are tranquil and help calm the mind. 

In most early-education schools, the primary colors are seen in prominence around the children. It is believed that they are appealing in the classroom. But they are not just appealing, children are very sensitive to these colors, and they can be overused in some situations.

Most classrooms are painted white. However, selecting a different color and the right lighting can benefit learning tremendously. Natural light is particularly important. It plays a part in the production of essential vitamins and increased cognitive capacity. 

Some of the country’s educational systems are aware of these facts, and use them to an advantage. In South Korea academic performance is an important denominator for success. Here they have specific lighting for recess, reading, and test-taking. All of which affect the mood and productivity in some way.

This is not to say that one should take all examples from South Korea, where some kids spend 8-10 hours in school with very little time for play and other important things. But one can certainly become inspired by their attention to details in the classroom.

How Does Design and Size of a Classroom Affect Learning?

For students to achieve higher scores and graduation rates they must be part of a school that has a tight-knit community. 

Small is to be defined as being 150 students or less. It has been shown that when the school population started to exceed 180 students, the positive benefits of community feelings start to recede. 

Unfortunately, since the majority of schools accommodate much larger amounts of students, the next best thing is to break up classrooms into smaller sizes or spread them out across multiple buildings. 

This is similar to a college campus. When students can identify the learning environment with a sense of belonging—the performance and dedication of their study will drastically improve. No matter the age—a student in a smaller classroom will feel at ease in the comfort of a personalized relationship with educators and peers. 

Rows of desks, one-directional seating are outdated at best, and should only be seen in pictures of industrial factories from the 1950s. Teachers and architects are realizing these changes, and are striving to create new and better learning environments for the children of tomorrow.

A mix of indoor and outdoor, quiet and reflective, messy, and experimental—these are all applicable and should be encouraged. 

The Perfect Classroom Environment for Your Children

Do you see the importance of the classroom environment, and how big of a role it plays in the success of your children in and outside of the school? If so, you might be wondering, how do I find a place that already accommodates all of these necessities of modern education?

Well, you’re the right place to do just that. Here at the Notre Dame Academy in the Carmel Valley, a private Catholic school that strives, and continues to adhere to all of the requirements of a student of the future. We provide a fully-applicable and exciting educational environment that helps students become the best they can. We welcome all students, aged 3-11. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the school or discovering the admission requirements, feel free to click on any of the navigational links above.

Are you a San Diego Parent? Are you considering a private education for your child?

There are over 34,000 private schools in the United States, and San Diego is home to hundreds.

The city of gorgeous beaches, breathtaking parks, and world-class museums is also an excellent place to raise a family.

There is no question that smaller private schools can offer your child a unique, enriching experience.

What should you be looking for in private elementary schools in San Diego?

Let’s take a look.

1. The Private School Advantage

It is important to remember that private schools are not ranked. Each institution will have something unique to offer your child in terms of academics, athletics, and social life.

Private elementary schools in San Diego are known for providing a more challenging education academically. They may also have additional arts and community service requirements.

The elementary years are critical because they lay the foundation for learning through the rest of a child’s life. Enriching activities such as reading, puzzles, and music can develop children’s natural curiosity and intelligence. Too much screen time can discourage creativity.

Smaller class sizes enable children teachers to provide students with the support and enrichment they need at all times. They can give students constructive help in weaker areas and give them challenging work to develop their strengths.

Private schools can also help children who might otherwise “fall through the cracks” to develop interests in activities they might otherwise overlook. Caring, responsible teachers are attentive to children during playtime as well as academic time. Both are important to children’s academic development as they mature into adolescents and adults.

2. Faith-Based Possibilities

78% of private-school students nationwide attend religious schools. 

During the grade school years, children are learning how to get along with others and forming their sense of right and wrong. 

The faculty you will find in a San Diego Catholic School will lead by example. They model faith, talent, and integrity for their students. Catholic school teachers instill a sense of morality in students, as well as compassion for those less fortunate.

Students learn to form healthy relationships and friendships with others. They are taught leadership skills and how to build up communities.

Students will have religion and morality as part of their coursework. They will have a solid foundation on which to base their educational philosophy in the future.

3. Safety

At a time when school safety is a growing concern, private elementary schools are desirable because of their high standards for discipline and respect. Small class sizes and a strong sense of community discourage any potentially dangerous behavior. 

Many private schools have security guards and a parking-pass requirement to ensure student safety at all times. When visiting private schools, you can ask about safety and how students are protected throughout the school day. Many parents also feel more secure knowing that class sizes are smaller and children will always be noticed if something seems wrong.

4. Parent Involvement

Parents in public schools can get involved in schools as the opportunities arise. PTA events and parent-teacher meetings allow them a peek into the window of their child’s school day.

Yet private schools allow parents to become even more involved in the educational experiences of children. Fundraisers, trips, and committees allow parents to get more involved than ever in their children’s educations. Parent-teacher breakfasts allow parents to discuss their visions, hopes, and concerns about the education at their child’s school.

If you are looking to get more involved in the daily life and community at your child’s school, you should be considering a quality private education.

5. Unique Opportunities

Your child may be looking for a superior sports program, or an art and music program where they will be gaining unique and individualized instruction. 

Extracurricular programs at private schools do more than just introduce students to subjects and teach them some basics. Teachers can take the time to support students in their interests and challenges so that they will gain the most out of their experiences.

Your child may have the opportunity to create art for a gallery or perform in a recital. They may get a chance to play with a team that is playing money for charity.

Extracurricular activities in public schools are taught from a moral perspective that you are comfortable with. You may, for example, want your child to learn about compassion, respect, and discipline while learning a sport. And you may want your child to learn these values from a faith-based perspective.

A quality private elementary school allows you to know that your child will not be gaining basic skills. Instead, they will be developing a philosophy and commitment to their interests that will involve their heart, mind, and soul. 

6. Hands-On Skills 

Perhaps your child was not interested in learning about fractions until they took a cooking class. Or maybe they are learning about physics properties through building a dog house.

Public schools have larger classrooms and much teaching is done through a lecture or online activity. 

Private school teachers, however, have the time and resources to enhance students’ educations through unique hands-on projects.

Private Elementary Schools in San Diego

Private elementary schools in San Diego can provide children with the academic rigor, hands-on opportunities, and strong community they need to thrive. Parents across the country choose faith-based private schools for a variety of reasons and most are happy with their choice.

For more information on Catholic education in San Diego, contact us today.

Community service is worth over $180 billion in the United States.

From serving to cleaning, volunteerism is a fantastic activity for students to take part in. Some schools even require students to do school service projects for credit.

At Notre Dame Academy, we encourage our students to get involved with the San Diego community.

Keep reading to learn about what our institution has to offer your child as a student and as a person.

The Importance of Community Service

Volunteering within your community impacts the people and businesses within your community more than most people realize.

Volunteering is the donation of time which, in turn, is a donation of money. Volunteers in the United States have contributed billions of hours of work at an average of $24 an hour per market value. This financial impact is significant for affected communities.

Community service projects have also been shown to bring communities together. Complicated projects often require specialization and comradery to complete successfully.

Relationships that are formed through these various service projects are fortified by the volunteer experience and have the potential to be long-lasting.

Projects may also require collaboration whether this be between business, cities, or other entities. Teamwork between different organizations and establishments are good for building business, resources, and healthy community relationships.

Some community service projects have the possibility of rebuilding a community or providing vital public services to communities in need. Volunteers who work for public transport or medical facilities are filling roles for crucial organizations that would otherwise be empty.

Some communities rely on volunteers to provide necessary services like transportation organization and medical care.

Community service provides otherwise unfulfilled services for the community. This help is irreplaceable, especially for communities that cannot afford the services otherwise.

How Community Service Impacts Students

Community service does help the community that is being served, but it is also helping the people who are serving.

Volunteering helps people make connections. By working with others who are volunteering with you, you may come across a new friend.

These connections go beyond friendships that are cultivated by hard work and mutual love for the community.

Businesses and other organizations that are affected by volunteering or who are having employees volunteer may also come together as an effect of the volunteering. Business deals and other economic improvements could come about between owners and workers for these affected places.

As you work with others, you will learn the value and importance of teamwork. You have to be able to work with others while volunteering, especially if you’re volunteering in a place that requires tight organization. 

Every time you volunteer, it may be with a new set of people. Because of this constant new exposure, you will learn how to be social with people you haven’t met before. This is – of course – useful for job searching and life in general later on.

The connections made on-site will also be important to maintain over time. Learning how to keep up with others and keep a friendly relationship through a mimicked working environment is a great skill to have for the future.

Volunteering also boosts your overall health. Researchers have found that giving your time to others is beneficial to you in the long run.

Volunteering combats thoughts of depression, anxiety, stress, and anger. Making meaningful connections with others and seeing smiling faces would lift anyone’s mood. Keeping in contact with these people and making it a regular habit to volunteer in the community is important for preventing self-isolation in mentally troubling times.

Being a volunteer can help your son or daughter find their sense of purpose. They may end up volunteering at an animal shelter and discover that they want to be a veterinarian or they may volunteer at a nursing home and find that they want to be a nurse.

Your son or daughter will have the opportunity to discover different roles and careers for their future all while getting to see what that future may look like.

As they volunteer more and more over time, the student may build their self-confidence. Doing good for the community and being thanked for that hard work is a great self-esteem booster and will encourage them to do more good deeds in the future.

Volunteering has also been found to encourage more physical activity daily as volunteers have been found to walk more. Walking more has been found to increase life span and decrease the likelihood of developing chronic illnesses.

Your son or daughter will change for the better with volunteering. All people are positively affected by the great feeling that comes with helping your neighbors.

Our School Service Projects

At Notre Dame Academy, we encourage our students to volunteer in all sorts of ways.

Fifth through eighth-grade students are motivated to serve as Altar Servers at Saint Therese of Carmel Parish. These students are scheduled to serve during various weekend masses and even at school masses.

Our middle school students have a service hour requirement for every year of attendance. Our sixth-graders are to complete 10 hours of community service, our seventh-graders are to complete 15 hours of community service, and our eighth-graders are to complete 20 hours of community service.

Students who are officers of the Student Council are to complete 40 hours of community service.

We require that our students complete these services opportunities for a nonprofit (unless otherwise approved), but these do not have to be completed at Notre Dame Academy. Hours can be completed at local churches, medical facilities, or other organizations within San Diego.

The service projects that our students complete ring throughout San Diego and contribute to our community’s growth. We truly believe that our students’ hard work is invaluable to the community and their personal growth.

Join Us!

All of us here at Notre Dame Academy believe that our school service projects set your students up for success beyond our halls.

To join us at Notre Dame Academy in San Diego, call us at 858-509-2300.

We are confident that your child will excel here both inside and outside of the classroom.

You’ve done your homework when it comes to securing the best education for your child. But there might be one form of enrichment that has a bigger impact on their future than you imagine.

Sending your child to a high performing school with the best teachers is important. You search for a curriculum that includes science, mathematics, language arts, and more.

Did you overlook creative classes, like music and art? The importance of art education can’t be dismissed.

If you’re still not sure about the impact that the arts have on a child’s future success, you will be by the end of this list. Here are seven reasons why the arts should play a role in your child’s development and education.

1. Increase Motor Skills

Learning to crawl, walk, jump, and run are some of the few basic motor skills your baby develops early on. Fine motor skills, like grasping a pencil, come later.

Mastering these skills gives kids an edge physically as well as psychologically and socially. The earlier you work on them the better they are — and problems are quickly spotted and corrected.

Get your child started early in the arts to increase their range of motor skills. The discipline and creativity will help them explore their capabilities.

2. Practical Application Opportunities

Hard sciences, math, and other subjects are essential to academic success. They can be a little boring for kids, though.

For example, how can you get your child excited to learn about fractions? Enroll them in a music class so they can have fun while using their math skills.

Use math to partition areas for a mural. Learn more about geology while building jewelry out of semi-precious stones.

The arts offer plenty of real-world opportunities to use other class’ information.

3. Develop Creativity

Allowing your child to paint to their heart’s content develops their creativity, of course. But did you know that those wild bursts of inspiration will lead to success beyond school?

Creativity is a big key to landing a great job. The majority of businesses say they place a high priority on creativity when they’re looking to hire someone.

Being creative isn’t just about drawing, writing, or playing music. It’s about thinking outside of the box, problem-solving, and coming up with fresh new ideas.

Any business that wants to innovate and stay relevant needs to have a creative team. Add the arts to your child’s educational curriculum and watch them succeed.

4. Language Development

You know that giving your kid the opportunity to learn other languages improves their intelligence. Learning about art can have the same effect.

With art in preschool, young children will learn how to identify shapes, colors, and more. Visuals paired with verbal reinforcement help develop their language capabilities.

Older kids’ language skills benefit from art classes too. Not only are their specific techniques and styles to talk about, but there’s descriptions and emotions, too.

Expand your child’s ability to express themselves by enrolling them in an art class.

5. Creates Healthy and Engaged Students

Getting involved in the arts helps your kids grow in so many ways. One important way is that it develops their self-esteem.

Creating something uniquely their own shows them all that they can achieve. It gets them involved in a fun class, making them less likely to drop out in the future.

Art classes, like dance, can help steer kids away from drug abuse. They find an outlet for their creative energy instead of seeking it elsewhere.

Add some art to your kid’s world and watch their overall grades improve. Your child will feel empowered, inspired, and most importantly, engaged in class.

6. Improves Decision Making

What color goes best in this painting? How should I play this part on the violin — soft or loud?

These are a few small examples of some decisions your child might make in an art class. Even though they’re simple, they’re the beginning of something bigger.

Exploration and experimentation are all parts of creating art. Your child will make choices and experiences the consequences of their actions as part of the process.

Critical thinking and problem solving are valuable skills for the future. Decisions made in art classes improve and strengthen your child’s abilities.

7. Cultural Development

Our world’s borders are expanding. Collaboration occurs across the globe in a matter of seconds due to technological advancements.

As such, we need to be culturally aware of people and societies different than those we grew up in. The arts offers a window to the world’s diversity.

Critical thinking skills developed in art classes help your child question and process things they might see and experience. They will feel comfortable pushing back against offensive concepts and understanding the role media plays in shaping our views.

Experiencing art, writing, music, dance, and more from other cultures broadens their horizons. What better way to learn about the wide world than through the art it creates?

Importance of Art in School

These are only a few of the benefits of art in school. Your child has so much to gain from adding these valuable skills to their curriculum.

The importance of art in school can’t be overstated. Next, you need to find the right school for your child.

Catholic schools consistently outperform public schools. They post higher scores in reading, math, and more across the board.

Catholic students’ graduation rates are high. Their post-school achievements are impressive as well.

The student to teacher ratios are lower. Parents get a lot of attention, too, and can guide what sorts of classes are part of the curriculum.

Get involved in your kid’s life and help them succeed. Send them to the best schools and make sure that the arts are a part of their education.

Looking for a private school in the San Diego area? Consider Notre Dame Academy.

Not only are our academics second to none, we also offer a robust arts program. Our teachers offer hands-on instruction in drawing, performance arts, music, and more.

Equip your child for success. Talk to us today about all of the educational possibilities available to you and your family.



Your little one is growing up right in front of your very eyes. It probably seems as if they’re growing up a little too fast.

As with every new stage of their lives, it comes with many different decisions for you to make as a parent. One of those decisions is determining whether or not they should attend preschool.

It’s not for every child, but there are benefits to doing it. There are also several things to consider in the process.

If you’re weighing out between preschool vs no preschool, see below for a few things to consider as you reach your decision.

1. Experience With Structured Teaching

It’s unlikely that you remember your first day of kindergarten,  but odds are that you struggled a bit with the adjustment as all kids tend to do.

If you don’t put your child through preschool, then kindergarten will be their first experience with a structured teaching environment. That’s not an easy thing to learn.

You don’t want them stepping into their future private school without having some understanding of what a classroom looks like.

Preschool gives them time to learn that in a modified setting. They won’t force your child to sit all day, but gradually, they’ll learn to keep their eyes on the teacher when she’s talking.

2. Social Skills

Is your child frequently put in an environment where they’re learning to use social skills to build friendships and play with others?

The magnitude of new faces in kindergarten can be an overwhelming sight to a child who’s never been in an environment like that. Without preschool experience, they’ll have to learn that for the first time in school.

Preschool will give your child time to learn how to properly interact with other children.

Preschool teachers are focused on developing both social skills and emotional skills (both are essential for communication) for each child they oversee.

3. Overall Health

You probably never knew that preschool has been linked to better overall health among those children that attend it.

Studies show that children who attended preschool are in better physical condition than those who don’t. They get more activity and have structure introduced into their day early on.

The preschool atmosphere promotes healthy diets and high levels of activity, two factors your child longs for.

Encourage their activity by placing them in preschool where they can run around with friends and improve their health simultaneously.

4. A Head Start on Education

What parent doesn’t want their child to be the top of their class in every grade level as they grow up?

The child’s learning and study habits start early on. The habits that they learn play a factor in the rest of their scholastic career.

Putting your child in preschool will help them learn more, grow more, and be in a better position to absorb the information being thrown at them.

Not to mention, they’ll already have a head start on things such as the alphabet and mathematical skills. Having an edge on their classmates that didn’t go to preschool can only help them.

A heavy part of learning for your child is confidence and familiarity. If you want them to eventually get into the best school in your community, you need to do your part now to help them build confidence in learning.

5. Decision Making

You might not think it, but having your child attend preschool forces them to make more choices than they otherwise would.

These choices range from how to communicate, picking the right toy to play with, joining a group of children to play with them, etc.

While that may not seem like earth-shattering decisions to us, they’re a big deal to your kids. Every decision and choice your child takes for themselves is a huge victory.

The biggest thing is to have preschool teachers there to help them make those decisions. If they see that your child is struggling, they’ll offer advice on how to go about it.

6. Building Friendships in Advance

If nothing else, consider preschooling an investment for your kid’s kindergarten experience.

There are more than likely going to be at least 1 to 2 kids in preschool that will attend the school you’re sending your child to for elementary in the following year(s).

Having someone in their class that they know is a huge benefit to their transition.

It gives them an amazing opportunity to have a friendship or two they can rely on as they go to make new friends in kindergarten. Those friendships only form if you use preschool in the year or two prior.

7. Taking Care of Themselves

This might be the biggest consideration of all. Is your child dependent or heavily-reliant on you to point them to their every move?

If it’s the latter, they’ll be in for a rude awakening when you drop them off at kindergarten and leave them in the classroom to fend for themselves.

Preschool can help them build confidence in themselves and their abilities. They start to understand who they are and what interests they have.

Preschool vs No Preschool: Make the Decision for You

Now that you’ve seen considerations of preschool vs no preschool, it’s time for you to make the best decision for your child.

Be sure to check out this article on catholic school vs public school. There you’ll find more information on the advantages to which school you should place your child into.

For more inquiries on our academy, be sure to request a tour online and we’ll be happy to assist you further.

Choosing a school for your children is one of the most important things you’ll do. The school your kids attend will have a huge impact on their lives. The lessons they learn there will help shape their minds and set them down the correct path going forward.

This is why many parents have moved away from public schools and toward private schools. But is private school worth it, especially when you can just as easily homeschool your kids? Let’s explore that.

Class Sizes & Socializing

Private school offers smaller class sizes than public schools, which means better education. But homeschooling offers the smallest class sizes possible. It’s just you and your kids in the “classroom” every day!

This can be a pro and a con. It’s great that you know what your children are up to and know where their influences are coming from. But it also means less socializing for your kids and less time for yourself.

Private schools give your kids more of a chance to make friends and learn social skills. Plus, their class sizes are still much smaller than public schools, and the crowd is usually more mature.

The best private schools are religious, so they are already practicing God’s morals. The students share their love of God and spread it to each other. With a private catholic school, you know your kids are learning to socialize in the best of environments.

Homeschooling will undoubtedly help strengthen your family bonds. You’ll love spending a lot of time with your kids, and they’ll love spending it with you. But, outside relationships are crucial for a kid’s development, too.

Private schools encourage help from parents for extracurricular activities. This means your kids will get to bond with you and others. The best of both worlds!

The Workload

Some private schools give a lot of homework. This can be stressful for young students and can even seem excessive at times. It does, however, teach them responsibility and time management skills and how to balance work with play.

With homeschooling, all the work is technically homework. If you don’t want your kids to do any work beyond the teaching hours, they don’t have to. It’s as simple as that, and it can reduce a lot of stress in the kids’ minds.

However, homeschooling does mean more of a workload for you, the teacher. Private schools may also be able to teach kids things that you can’t easily teach, like other languages.

If you’re working a job it can be very hard to balance this with homeschooling. You have to stay on top of your lesson plan, help your kids understand it and thrive, and check their work. The responsibilities start to stack.

If you’ve got kids of different ages it just adds to the stress of homeschooling. A six-year-old is going to learn very differently than an eight-year-old, for example. You’ll need different lesson plans and different strategies for each kid.

The Cost

Private school is far from the cheapest option. That price only goes up the more children you have. You know you’re getting the best education possible for the price, but it can still be a deterring factor for many.

Homeschooling still costs money, though. You’ll need to buy all the necessary materials for each given curriculum, which can equal upwards of $1,000 a year. Then there’s supplies, books, and the inescapable cost of your time.

You don’t need to spend a lot on homeschooling, but you’ll need to spend a bit if you want to give your kids the best learning experience. Still, it probably won’t be as expensive as private schools.

Private schools do their best to make the experience worth the money. They offer a great learning environment, teachers with a deep understanding of their subjects, and learning about God by people of God. For many, the price is well worth it.

The Education

Private schooling offers a better education than public schooling. Each student gets more one-on-one time thanks to the small class sizes, and the teachers seem to care more. The environment is much less stressful, with an emphasis on your kids’ future.

Homeschooling can be a bit of a mixed bag. Some students will thrive in the low-stress environment, and others will struggle. It all depends on how successful you as a parent are at teaching.

The curriculum gives you everything you need to teach your kids the essential skills they need. But every kid struggles in different areas, and this can be hard to see as the parent of the kids. You might be tempted to take it too easy on them, or simply not have the necessary skills to tutor them to their furthest level of success.

Outside tutoring can help with this, but some kids will fight against it. It also adds to costs. Private school teachers have had more experience in teaching, meaning they know how to get a student to thrive.

Plus, private schooling will teach your kids the importance of following God and how to properly worship him in all aspects of life. This includes lesson plans that work with God without sacrificing educational integrity. The teachers have been studying God their whole lives, and have a lot of insight into His teachings that they’re eager to pass on to their students.

Is Private School Worth It?

So, is a private school worth it?

Private schools may not be the right choice for everyone, but it is almost always worth it. If you want your kids to get the best education and social experiences possible, private school is the way to go. It may be a more costly option, but you know all your money is going to your kids’ future in education and God.

Before deciding between home and private schooling, go check out some private schools in your area. It’ll help make your decision a lot easier.

If you’re looking for an award-winning private school in the San Diego area, see what Notre Dame Academy can do for you. Contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns. We’d be happy to help.

The number of bilingual residents has nearly doubled from 10.68% in 1980 to 20.14% in 2016. A lot of this increase has to do with children learning a second language. Learning multiple languages is on the rise because of its range of cognitive and social benefits, especially for the next generation. If you want your child to thrive in a world that is becoming more diverse then ensuring their bilingual skills is a must.  Read on to find out about the reasons to teach your children another language.

1. Stronger Memory

Your memory works better when it is consistently being used. Learning a foreign language adds more vocabulary and syntax rules to your child’s mind to increase their working memory. The brain has to exercise more by switching back and forth to two or more languages. This is a workout for the mind. It expands the capacity of your child’s brain and its ability to remember more information at once. Practicing both languages keeps the information current and moves languages from the short-term memory to the long-term memory.

2. Ability to Multitask

Switching from one language to another is similar to alternating tasks at the same time. This can be stressful if the brain isn’t used to handling more than one task. When the mind is accustomed to working with more than one language it can also handle more than one activity at once. This is an essential skill that translates into college and the workforce. The benefits of learning a second language mean your child won’t get stressed when handling two things at once. This can come in handy in school as they manage their emotions. They will be able to grasp several tasks without worry, switching from one to the other based on their priority.

3. Understand Other Cultures

Learning languages doesn’t just mean that your child can speak another dialect. It also means that they appreciate other cultures and traditions. The more languages they learn the more they know or want to learn about the world.

A language is the essence of a society. Its slang, accents, and even sarcasm are all part of the local tradition. Your child will be able to show empathy and compassion toward others outside your own country when they understand that cultures vary from place to place.

When you are deciding on whether to send your child to private or public school consider how second languages are taught. Your child should be engaged with the culture of the language not just its terminology.

4. Increase Future Career Options

To earn another language means to open doors to more career options for your child. They can add their bilingual skills on their resume as a transferable experience. With this skill, they can apply to jobs in various countries including the language of origin.

Careers in linguistics, from translators to teachers is also a great opportunity. Even if your child stays in their own country, employers look for bilingual prospects to communicate globally to costumers. Your child can even increase their salary as a bilingual employee. Most jobs increase the salary between 5 to 20 percent for applicants who can speak more than one language.

5. Improve First Language

Believe it or not, learning a second language improves your first language. Your child gets a second lesson in grammar, sentence structure, and vocabulary. So, their comprehension of language, in general, is improved. Language also becomes more intuitive as rules change from language to language. This makes the response more automatic.

Your child will interpret their first language with more insight as they must understand and distinguish the differences between the two. This makes then better listeners as they need to grasp various meanings.

Their writing and reading skills will also improve. They will need to pay attention to grammar as they learn the differences in the second language. This will make them more aware of their first language’s rules.

6. Decrease Dementia

You might think that children are too young to think about dementia, but early brain development can have long-term effects.

Studies on the relationship between dementia and being bilingual show that knowing a second language makes your brain less susceptible to deterioration. Dual language speakers can also recover from serious conditions such as a stroke.

This may be thinking well into your child’s future, but dementia and Alzheimer’s has become an epidemic that needs to be actively prevented. Safeguard your child’s mind as early as possible from these cognitive diseases.

7. Become Perceptive

A child that can distinguish between two very different languages grows the ability to be more perceptive. This ability makes them more intuitive to see mistakes, to be more empathetic, and to be more grateful.

They analyze situations without a narrow lense as learning more than one language expands their view of the world. Contrasting languages and cultures shines a light on the concept of variety is the spice of life.

This contrast makes them more open-minded and willing to embrace new opportunities whether it be traveling to another country to meeting new people. They will be prepared to take on new tasks in their career and social life.

How to Get Your Child Started Learning Multiple Languages

Now that you know the benefits of learning multiple languages, it is time to find the best method of teaching. Enrolling your child in a school that appreciates foreign language is essential.

Contact us today to schedule a visit to our foreign language department to get a closer look at our teaching methods.

If you really want to impart something in your child’s life that makes a difference, it doesn’t get better than signing them up for sports. Regardless of what sort of athletics your child gravitates toward, there are life lessons and benefits that they will take with them for as long as they live. The sports advantage is clear. Read on to learn more about how athletics can help your child.

1. It Teaches Principles and Character

Enrolling your child in an athletics program can teach them the principles and character that they will carry with them for the rest of their life.

While winning championships and the thrill of the game is great, the true reward for participating in sports is the person it makes you into. Being apart of and accountable to a team brings something out that regular life just doesn’t.

They will be required to give their best effort, show up on time, have a positive attitude and play within the rules. By building this character and learning to face adversity, your children will develop the character that will make them better for every other stage in their life.

2. Your Child Will Have a Sense of Belonging and Camaraderie

It’s important for your child to feel one with their surrounding community.

When your child feels like they are part of a team, they will learn how to be social and will have some peace that allows them to be comfortable in their skin. What’s more, when your child is cooperating with other kids, they will develop a camaraderie that is great for their overall wellness.

This will allow them to want to be more outgoing and pursue other activities in their everyday lives.

3. They Will Stay Physically Fit

Of course, giving your child a physical activity to participate in is essential in this day and age.

Having a physical activity that they show up to regularly will help fight back against the risk of childhood obesity, cardiovascular issues, high cholesterol and bone, and joint problems — all of which are happening at high numbers.

The healthier your child is, the less they’ll get sick. They will enjoy the way that they look and feel and will have more energy in their daily lives when they are physically fit.

When your child is constantly working out, they’ll breathe easier and will be less likely to deal with respiratory issues. Having a physical challenge also can push them into finding out just how much more they can get out of their body and their fitness.

4. Athletics Helps Your Child’s Mind and Temperament

Even though this is a physical challenge, don’t lose sight of the fact that sports are mental also. To perform well athletically, you have to focus and get into the present moment.

Maintaining eye contact to hit a baseball, balance to hit a cheer routine or calm and soft hands to catch a football all require incredible mental focus, so this training and these skills will carry over into every part of their life.

What’s more, constantly training the body physically puts your child at ease and allows them to have a sense of calm and wellness that helps them think clearly. They will show up to school calmer and ready to participate in class.

This calm will carry over into a positive temperament, which can also help with hyperactivity and behavioral problems.

5. They’ll Pick Up Valuable Motor Skills and Coordination

Sports are all about training and repetition. While building sports skills, your child will also start to develop incredible motor skills.

They’ll develop motor skills and body control that only sports can teach, and this will help them feel more comfortable in their skin as a while. It will also let them carry their weight comfortably so that they don’t run as big a risk of injury.

6. It Can Promote Academic Improvement

Kids that play sports also perform better in school. This is the case because they are better focused in school and can perform better on tests.

It also helps that being involved in other activities makes it so that they have to learn how to multi-task and balance their life. When they don’t have as much time to focus on homework and studying, they can learn to be more mindful of whatever time they do have.

7. Sports Can Help Your Child Find a Calling and a Future

Sports can also open the door for future opportunities and dreams that your child never even knew they had. They might have aspirations of going professional or playing in college.

By participating in traveling teams, they might learn that they really want to become the best player that they possibly can. Playing high-level sports opens the door for new life experiences, which expands their horizons for a better future as a whole.

8. Their Self-Esteem and Self-Worth Will Improve

When your child is able to compete and create bonds through athletics, they’ll hold their head high and learn how to take wins and losses.

A child that plays competitive sports will have higher self-esteem, more confidence and a sense of self-worth that can be powerful in their life. It will help them as a student, a professional, a family member, and any other roles they play.

Give Your Child the Sports Advantage That Will Improve Their Life

If you give your child the advantage of sports that can change their lives, they will enjoy all of the benefits above. It will really help them get to know themselves as a person while making bonds that can last a lifetime.

When your child enrolls at our school, they will have plenty of opportunities to flourish in the classroom and on the athletic field. We’re more than a school — we’re a springboard for excellence.

Take some time to contact us online today and give us a call at (858)509-2300.

Which school your child should go to is one of the most important decisions a parent will make.

For parents in the San Diego area, there are numerous choices available. Everyone, from grandparents to neighbors, will have an opinion on what you should do. How can you tell whether a private, parochial or public school is the right place for your child?

If you are weighing the decision of Catholic school vs. public school, there are several issues you must keep in mind. Look at the pros and cons of each option as you make this important decision.

1. Class Sizes

If you are trying to decide between a public and private school for your child, one of the biggest differences you will find between these choices is the class size.

In a Catholic or other private school, the average class size is twenty students.  In public schools, it is more likely to be about thirty students.

Most educational experts agree that small classes are better. Students get more attention and are less likely to slip through the administrative cracks. Teachers get to know their students by name and understand their individual strengths and weaknesses.

Experts do disagree on whether the expense of private education is worth the cost for all students. Students who are self-motivated can thrive in public classrooms. Some families simply cannot afford private school tuition.

However, some students benefit from being in a room with fewer students.  If your child has special needs or is extremely shy, they may need a small, nurturing atmosphere. A Catholic school may be the answer.

2. Individual Attention

As noted above, smaller classrooms enable teachers in Catholic and other private schools to really get to know their students. They quickly learn who needs extra help in reading, who always raises their hand, and who gets along with who.

They also find out about factors affecting the student’s progress, such as problems at home, illness or bullying. When they are better informed about the circumstances each student faces, they are better equipped to develop solutions.

Some students absorb information more quickly than others. Some need more hands-on experiential learning, while others do better by listening. When they can get individual attention from their teachers, most students are better able to find ways to excel.

3. Cost

In 2018, the average private school tuition in the San Diego area was $8,395 annually for elementary schools and $17,088 for high schools. For many families, that represents a significant cost.

Each family must decide for themselves whether it is worth it for them to make this kind of financial investment. The decision may be influenced by each parent’s income, how many kids are in the family, and each child’s interests and talents, amongst many other factors.

There are ways to lessen the financial impact of private school tuition. Some faith-based schools are less expensive than other private schools. Many private schools have scholarship programs for eligible students as well.

4. Spirituality

If it is important to your family that your child incorporates religion into their daily lives a Catholic school may be right for you. Some members of other Christian faiths send their kids to Catholic schools because they like the spiritual grounding provided by a faith-based education.

Public schools are forbidden by law from incorporating religious beliefs into their curriculum. The Constitution requires a strict separation of church and state, and public schools are an extension of the state. If you feel that you would prefer to be in charge of your child’s instruction on religious matters, then a private school may be the best choice for you.

Unlike public schools, many faith-based schools will have a daily prayer in the classroom or a chapel period during the day. There may be Bibles or religious art or crucifixes displayed. Catholic schools may also refuse to incorporate certain teachings into their curriculum, such as sex education that discusses birth control.

5. Location

Logistics are important when you are deciding on schools. In California, traffic is a fact of life! Sometimes you need to consider how long it will take your child to get to school, and how they will get home.

Public schools are obligated to provide transport to enrolled students. On the other hand, some private schools offer transportation services for students while others expect families to make their own arrangements. Parents who work outside the home sometimes must rely on carpools or babysitters to drop off and pick up the kids.

6. Extra-Curricular Activities

The budgets for public schools are often impacted by the local economy and tax rolls. Sadly, in some regions in California, the poor economy means that some public schools have to cut programs like music, art, and athletics from their schedules.

The benefits of music, art, drama, and sports on the development of a child are manifold. These activities help children appreciate the arts, develop confidence and dexterity, and learn how to handle a myriad of social interactions.

If your child wants to explore these extracurricular activities, look at private schools which include these activities in their schedules. You can also seek schools that offer vibrant afterschool activities, so kids can pursue their interests in these nonacademic but vitally important areas.

8. College Prospects

In public schools, guidance counselors often are responsible for large numbers of students. They may provide college counseling but also work with kids with emotional, disciplinary, or other issues.

Private schools often emphasize college preparation. In addition to college counseling, they may offer assistance with standardized test prep or host college recruiters for information sessions.

If you are eager for your child to have the benefit of a vigorous college application process, a private or Catholic school may be appropriate for you.

Catholic School vs. Public School: Choose What is Right for Your Family

While parents may feel pressure from friends, neighbors and other family members about the pros and cons of different kinds of education, each family must make these decisions based on their individual circumstances and goals.  If you are trying to decide between Catholic school vs. public school, discuss all the aspects with your child and your partner to see which one may be best for all of you.

For more information on one option for Catholic education in the San Diego area, contact us today.