You have just taken your first wobbly steps ... and now you are "suddenly" coming to school? !! Starting school, especially for the first child, is a real turning point in family life. Not only for the child, but also for the parents. Which elementary school is right for my child? What do we have to consider when choosing? What changes in childcare compared to daycare? On these topics there are at least (!) As many opinions as there are questions and ultimately every family has to find its own answers. But today we would like to give all future first-year parents an overview for initial orientation. (It is best to have a look at the further links.)
Which elementary school for my child?
In most federal states, this question does not really arise, because the child's primary school is usually based on where the parents live. An application can be made to enroll the child at another state school. But there must be other reasons than just the parents' wish for you to have any chance of the application being granted. Besides that quite a few parents try to cheat on this
In order to be able to send your child to the school of your choice, there are also legal circumstances that allow us to be "spoiled for choice". For example, the primary school (depending on capacity) can be freely chosen here in Hamburg as well as in North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition, in many cities and regions there are schools with a special profile that can be chosen regardless of the catchment area, as long as you get a place for your child. These include, for example free Waldorf schools
, Montessori schools
and other schools with a special educational concept, bilingual schools as well as denominational schools. An overview of the most common types of independent schools in Germany can be found here
The agony of choice
So how do you find the right elementary school for your child when you are "spoiled for choice" and being able to choose? How do you find the concept in which your own child is in perfect hands from grade 1? Hand on heart: The best thing to do is not to worry too much and to just stay on the ground. If there are basically no valid reasons for you to go to an elementary school other than the local one, you should perhaps not look for it compulsively. However, if you, as parents, have certain values that you would rather see lived in a non-state primary school, you shouldn't ignore them. (It should not be forgotten: Private schools such as the Waldorf and Montessori schools cost school fees from the first year of school, in some cases this is staggered according to the income of the parents.) If your child has a particularly strong musical or other interest that deals with A special elementary school would of course always be worth considering.
Important for many parents: the care
Also the topic of care
often still plays a major role in the choice of primary school. It is well known that today it is no longer as common as it used to be for one parent to be completely at home. Therefore, many families rely on their elementary school child to be reliable and well looked after at least until 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m., often even longer. When choosing the primary school, you should also pay attention to how your own childcare options are at home and how you can make up for the time when you cannot look after your child yourself. If one parent works part-time, a "reliable primary school" may be sufficient, that is, a primary school where the children are guaranteed to be looked after for five hours a day, even if the lessons are shorter. If longer care times are necessary for you, you have the choice between extracurricular care and, if necessary, all-day school. With the latter, as everywhere in life, there is both pre
as well as disadvantage
and you should consider carefully whether an all-day school is a good concept for your child with his or her specific personality. Ultimately, there are a number of possible combinations of lessons and afternoon care. It is important that the chosen form fits the needs of your family and does not represent an additional burden for your everyday life.
Short way to school - an argument that should not be underestimated
Even if we as parents often have very clear ideas about what we want for our child and what is probably good for them, we should not underestimate one clear advantage of primary school in the catchment area: the short way to school! Because even if the little ABC-shooters are now school children, they are still children that we shouldn't overstrain. (Which unfortunately occurs more and more frequently
.) The change from daycare or kindergarten to school is a new phase in life for the still relatively small child. This new section often brings a lot of excitement, but change is always a stress factor. If we as parents decide against the nearest elementary school, we can potentially cause even more stress due to the longer ways to school. In addition, the new school friends of our little sunshine probably don't live in the neighborhood, which in turn leads to more effort for game dates and the like.
Conclusion: think carefully, but don't brood too much
So it pays to think twice about enrolling your child in another school instead of the primary school in the catchment area. Sometimes there are good reasons for it and it can be the best solution for the whole family, including mini. But sometimes it is perhaps a slightly exaggerated desire for control that leads us to think a lot about the right elementary school for our child. After all, we only want the best for our little ones - and the motto is often: Less (brooding) is more (quality of life for the whole family).
The perfect gift for future school children
A beautifully designed photo book about the Kita years is a unique memory. Take a look at our photo books here
Would you like more exciting stories and articles?
Subscribe to the Kleine Sonntagspost, our great newsletter, and you will regularly receive great, informative, entertaining e-mails from ours Founder Eva
directly to your mailbox. Grab it now!