A major problem today is not just that the average student is not receiving proper career guidance. The major problem and one that should quickly and carefully be tackled is the fact that the key decision makers who influence the school and education choices of the average student around the world, teachers and most importantly, parents, are uninformed, unconcerned, and obviously are in dire need of career guidance themselves. So, it makes more sense to guide the parents and guardians first and help them prepare better for their children’s education and future other than wait until the children are knee-deep in whatever education system and it’s almost too late to inspire any changes. One important thing to remember is that the process starts with determining the kind of education you wish for your child before hunting for schools.

First Important Question: Who Would I Want My Child to Grow Up Into?

Every reasonable parent has the ideal person or adult they wish their child grows up to be. Children have their own dreams, but parents too have dreams on behalf of their children. Usually these may differ and sometimes result in conflict between parent and child but should it so happen that both envision the same thing—wow, that would be amazing, rare, but amazing nonetheless. Let’s focus on more general attributes. Do you want your child to someday grow up into someone responsible, bold, hardworking, principled, enterprising? Every child is unique and you taking the time to observe the kind of person your child is will constantly adjust, broaden or help narrow down your answers to this question more specifically.

Second Important Question: What Kind of Future Do I Want for My Child?

After you have observed your child’s unique attributes and merged them with your dreams for your child, it is time to think of the future you want for him or her. Maybe you want your child to live a rich, comfortable life, travel the world, connect with highly influential people, create their own businesses, inherit the family business empire or work for the world’s best corporations. Perhaps you envision your child being the next Tiger Woods, Bill Gates, or being a celebrated Mathematician for developing a ground-breaking equation or discovering a new cure for leukemia. The kind of future you envision for your child will help you more specifically think of what you child will need to achieve such a future and later guide you to the kind of education and type of school they go to.

Third Important Question: What’s My Definition of a Quality Education?

Unfortunately, most schools today are more in the business of making profit at the expense of providing education. What you expect is almost worlds apart from what you get or what your child gets. Schools need to survive and therefore it is important to market for bigger student numbers. We have seen schools with amusing school mottos and mission statements, advertising facilities they either don’t have or that they never let students utilize. The question lies with you. If education is indeed an investment, what is your definition of a quality education that would be worth all the money you are preparing to spend over several years for your child. Think, do a bit of research online, and write down 3 or 5 things that would define a quality, a worthy education for your child and this list will help you identify the right school sooner or later for your child.

Fourth Important Question: Which Options are Available to Me and What’s Affordable?

The next crucial step is gathering all your answers to the first three questions and putting practicality and affordability into perspective. The questions you need to ask are:

  1. How far or near are the best schools and can my child meet the requirements?
  2. Will I need to take my child through school the traditional way or will I complement my child’s learning with private classes, homeschooling, vocational training sessions?
  3. What are the funding opportunities, scholarships, bank savings, a job or business, an education insurance plan, sponsorship, family support? What can I afford, how soon should I start to prepare, what other alternatives are available if my ideal plan doesn’t go as I have planned?

Anything worth investing in is worth planning for and parents or guardians ought to make informed decisions, do their homework by asking other people or parents or reading guiding material and utilizing the internet. These are not questions to be asked at the last minute. For best results, parents should entertain reflecting on these and similar questions much earlier probably two years before the child is due to start school or if possible, the time a couple is considering starting a family and having children.