School struggles are never fun. We want our kids to succeed. So how do we know when it’s time to move on? What information can help us make the decision that it’s time to look for another option? These three simple questions have helped me find clarity and peace of mind with my choices.
Three Questions to Ask Before Your Child Changes Schools
1. Is your child happy?
If your answer to this question is no, then continue on to the next question.
I realize that kids don’t always like school. But, if you are constantly battling about going to school, it might be a sign that the school is not the right fit. Try to uncover what is making your child unhappy. Examine the stress level during transition times such as going to or leaving school. If your child is emotionally spilling all over you during these times, their bodies could be telling you something they might not be able to verbalize.
If your child has few or no good friends at a school, it is easier for them to leave. Without social anchors, there is no one to leave behind. Class friendships generally create more satisfaction with the school. You might want to consider whether you have helped foster friendships or if you have left the task completely up to your child. Are friend issues or bullying something that has been unique to this particular school experience?
2. Is your child continuing to grow and learn with their self-esteem intact?
If your answer to the first two questions was no, then continue on to the next question.
Grades are not a perfect indicator of learning. Yet, we know they indicate that there is a problem somewhere. As parents, we know that the most important parts of school are self growth and learning. Getting through school with a healthy self-outlook is a major accomplishment.
A red flag for me is any time my kids report feeling “not good enough” in a school environment. I have experienced having my child in a school where they performed fine academically, but could not meet the rigid standards of behavior. I will never forget seeing a former neighbor crying in front of a private school principal as she was told that her kindergartner was too rambunctious for the school. It was an awakening for me. While my son went to that school, warnings overshadowed his whole first year of school. Is it any wonder that he didn’t feel good about himself or his school work?
3. Are there other viable options that can positively change your previous two answers?
If you can answer the third question with a yes, in my opinion, you should make the change. Most folks in urban areas are lucky to have many schooling options in their communities. Homeschooling and virtual schooling are viable and easier than ever to integrate into home life.