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Boarding Schools and Homeschooling
The US offers some of the best boarding schools in the world, which often pave the way to prestigious colleges and a great career. If you want your child to receive the best education available, boarding schools may be a serious alternative to other public or private schools. Some of them also accept students on a day-to-day basis without board.
Boarding schools often focus on boys, girls or even troubled teens, and they offer a greater variety of elective courses than many public or private schools. In this way, a boarding school may be the perfect alternative to prepare your children for higher education.
Homeschooling is legal in every US state under certain circumstances. While some states only require you to have a high school diploma (or an international equivalent thereof), other states ask you for proof that you are capable of teaching your children, as well as for your curriculum and your own test results. If you are unhappy with the choice of schools in your area and have enough time on your hands to teach your children, you are free to do so provided you meet these requirements.
However, if your children are a bit older, you should keep in mind that certain minimum qualifications are necessary in order for them to be eligible for college. The prestigious colleges in particular may be suspicious of students who have been homeschooled for most of their school lives. A homeschooling education may also make it more difficult for your children to re-enter the school system when you move again to another country. Make sure to contact experts and gather enough information on this subject before you start homeschooling your kids.
US Schools: General Information and Advice
Unlike in many other countries, US students enjoy a long summer vacation every year. It usually lasts from May or June until August or September. During this time, children go on vacation with their family, enjoy summer camps, work or (if they need extra credits) attend summer school. The latter often applies to children who have not gained the minimum percentage in any class to pass. This percentage may vary between 60 and 75 percent, based on state and school.
The US school system is very different from that of other countries and, on top of that, is not centralized or unified across the country. Each state has different education requirements schools must follow. Moreover, every school has a different philosophy and different policies. Private schools in particular impose strict rules and dress codes on their students. Talk to your children and to the official representatives of your school of choice. Only in face-to-face meetings will you be able to find a school which not only offers excellent education, but also a positive learning atmosphere and sensible rules for your children.
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