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Many families around the world aspire and strive to obtain an American education for their children. This is because American schools are well known for providing high quality education through a balanced and proven curriculum. The American education system is based on cutting-edge research, which helps students become critical thinkers with comprehensive social-emotional skills.

Generally speaking, American education combines facts, figures, and data with an open problem-based curriculum that involves collaboration, trial-and-error methodologies, and risk-taking. And this opens up unlimited opportunities for students, not only in the United States but also around the world.

Sending your child to an American school means they will gain the skills and confidence to enter schools, colleges, and universities in the United States or anywhere else in the world. But how do you know if an American education is right for your child?

In this article, we’ll answer a few questions about the US education system, including:

How is the American education system structured?
What are the goals and outcomes of American schooling?
Balanced approach to literacy
Daily math skills
Practical and authentic learning
Character development program
Why should you consider an American education for your child?
Read on to learn more or click the links above to skip to each section.

How is the American education system structured?

Generally, the American school system is divided into four stages:

Early Childhood Program (Kindergarten to Pre-Kindergarten) — ages 2 to 5,
Elementary school (1st to 5th grade) — 6 to 10 years old,
Middle school or college (grades 6-8) – ages 11-14, and
High School (9th to 12th grade) — 15 to 18 years old.

What are the goals and outcomes of American schooling?

Balanced literacy is about balancing explicit language teaching with independent learning and language exploration. It aims to find a balance between the whole language and phonetics when learning to read and write.

Lessons in critical phonetics are balanced with rich literature from around the world (especially in the United States) that demonstrates creativity and reflection alongside the necessary skills in phonetics and literacy.

Daily math skills

Everyday Mathematics is a comprehensive program developed by the University of Chicago with over 30 years of authentic research-based success across the United States. It has consistently been ranked among the top 10 university mathematics programs internationally.

Everyday math uses a spiral approach, which means that concepts are presented repeatedly throughout the program in other applications or with increasing levels of complexity.

This hands-on, spiraling program not only meets each student where they are now, but continues to present skills and tasks throughout the elementary and middle school years. It develops strong skill-based knowledge associated with various problem-solving methods that students can learn and continue to use in high school and beyond.

Practical and authentic learning

American education emphasizes hands-on, authentic learning that incorporates real-life lessons and activities. Programs such as Inspired Science are designed to engage all students through virtual field trips, videos, podcasts, texts, interactives, and more that deepen students’ understanding of the lesson beyond simple facts and figures.

The program enables students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills acquired at every age and stage, including essential lifelong skills such as leadership, collaboration, critical thinking, public speaking, data analysis and problem solving. Emphasis is also placed on authentic tasks, in which students apply what they have learned to create products or solutions to real problems.

This rigorous academic program is balanced with instruction in the arts, music, and sports to develop students into well-rounded individuals.

Character development program

More than just academic achievement, American education also focuses on character development in students. For example, the Second Stage program offers a holistic approach to social-emotional learning (SEL) by providing a full range of SEL activities and goals from kindergarten through high school.

The second stage is closely aligned with the CASEL Framework , which creates a foundation for applying evidence-based SEL strategies to schools and communities. Through guided lessons, discussions and activities, students develop key skills within the framework of the five CASEL skills: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, relational skills and social awareness.

This character development program aims to promote positive behavior, holistic awareness, tolerance towards others, and above all, kindness and empathy in students.

Why should you consider an American education for your child?

For many families, the search for these opportunities, coupled with their child’s aspirations, typically leads them to the United States for additional training specific to achieving their goals. American education provides a solid foundation and an endless springboard to unlimited opportunities for students who want to live, study, and work in the United States. Simply put, an American school will provide the best preparation for students heading to the United States.

But what exactly are the advantages for international students?

1. American schooling is rigorous and standards-based
Rigorous educational standards such as the AERO curriculum and the American Common Core ensure that students achieve their academic goals in math, science, social studies, English language arts/literacy, and other subjects. Plus, they allow easy transition to any similar US program around the world.

This means that international students will be familiar with the program when they move to the United States or to an American school abroad. It also builds confidence and provides a much-needed sense of security, which is especially important when adjusting to a new environment or country.

2. It prepares students for life in American schools
School transfer can be quite stressful, so you can imagine how your child might feel when moving to the United States or another country. More often than not, academics aren’t the primary concern – instead, many students worry about speaking up, making friends, and fitting in at school.

This transition is rarely easy, but it is much smoother for students coming from American schools. They are already familiar with the program and find it easier to participate in class, especially in an American classroom where discussions abound and students are encouraged to think critically and logically.

American education also helps international students understand and harmonize with their classmates, who also come from diverse cultures and backgrounds. By recognizing this diversity and integrating it into the curriculum, American schools are helping students develop the confidence and skills essential to thrive in their new environment. Students are also less likely to feel alienated, which means they can adapt more quickly to their new life and to school.

Whether your child goes to the United States or another country, American schooling provides a solid foundation for success in an increasingly global world.

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