You’ve spent hours combing through school websites, checking statistics, and reading reviews. You have narrowed down your list to a handful of private schools that you think will provide the best environment for your child to learn, grow, explore, and develop. But now you find yourself with an assignment to help your child achieve this new goal: the parent statement.
The parent statement is an opportunity for you to introduce your child to admissions; to give them a glimpse of who your child is and why they would be a great fit for the institution in question. By the time the admissions committee finishes reading your parent statement, you want them to be clamoring for what your son or daughter can contribute to their community. But how exactly do you do that?
We recommend starting with some freewriting: Sit in front of an open notebook or blank Google Doc and start writing down your first thoughts. Ask yourself: What special qualities does my child have? When have I felt particularly proud of them? How do they approach learning? How do they engage with their peers? Remember, school is as much about soft skills, like conflict resolution and active listening, as it is about mastering the times tables.
The admissions committee isn’t just accepting your child, they are accepting you, too, along with any other children you might want to enroll in the future (though this is not a guarantee). Many private schools want to know about parenting styles and academic goals to ensure you will also be a good fit for their community.
You will not be doing yourself (or your child!) any favors if you dust any major concerns or challenges under the rug. Be upfront. Albert Einstein was a prodigal genius, but he struggled with discipline and authority as a student. Before Robert Frost was a celebrated poet and four-time Pulitzer Prize winner, he was expelled from school for constant daydreaming. Bringing admissions into the fold will set your child up for success. And, besides, if the institution isn’t prepared to support and inspire your child, is that really where you want them to spend their formative years?
To really set your parent statement apart from the rest, explore the school’s website and see if you can find their mission statement. Pepper in some of the school’s values (and how they overlap with your own) to demonstrate your interest and fit.
Finally, we’re always here if you’d like a second opinion from seasoned experts who know the admissions process inside and out. Good luck!