Home > School and Learning > Your Child's School > Alternative Education > Magnet School vs. Public School

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Magnet School vs. Public School

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: I have a gifted nine-year-old boy who is in the gifted program at an elementary school in Florida. He's going to middle school in August, but I've heard about the magnet schools, and I'm at a loss about what should I do. What are the real benefits if I place him on a magnet program? I'm scared about not taking the right option about my child's education.

A: You need to do some serious school shopping to find the best fit for your gifted son. It could be the magnet school. Many parents find these schools very appealing as they believe that magnet programs offer a superior education. Quite often, students in these schools do have higher achievement test scores than those in "regular" schools; however, this is not always true.

Magnet schools typically offer a unified curriculum based on a special theme or method of instruction. They attract more motivated students, which leads to a safer, more orderly environment conducive to learning. Plus, the teachers tend to be committed and enthusiastic. In addition, the school's focus on a field of study gives students a sense of direction. Another benefit of these schools is that they are freer to offer educational innovations.

While a magnet school may sound very appealing, only you can determine if it is truly right for your son. For example, if a magnet program emphasizes a unified curriculum based on the arts, it would probably not be a good choice if your son is most interested in science or history.

Visit the schools your son could attend next year. Your final choice should depend primarily on finding the school where your son will be in the challenging environment he needs. Look carefully at what he will be studying and how it will be taught at each school. Also, be sure to get input from your son as it is important for him to be happy at the new school. Finally, remember that because you know your son best, you are well qualified to find the right school for him.

More on: Expert Advice

Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


Zika Virus Q&A: 4 Facts for Pregnant Women & Families
Zika virus is pretty scary. Pregnant or not, learn what steps to take to protect your family from Zika, including travel restrictions and mosquito bite prevention.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme!

Ommm! 5 Meditation & Mindfulness Activities for Families
Family meditation and mindfulness can help reduce anxiety and promote health and happiness. Learn some fun and easy mindfulness activities for kids, and set them on the path to inner peace!

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks