Sometimes you have to let your kids find their own way and make difficult decisions for themselves.
My oldest son goes to a private high school. Neither my husband nor I went to private school so this was a new thing for us. We live within walking distance of the school he goes to, and he’s wanted to go there since elementary school. His decision was solidified by the fact that he is more comfortable in a smaller environment, and the fact that in the public school system he had teachers that couldn’t remember his name.
Two years in, he’s decided he wants to transfer. No, not back to the public school. To a different private school. This was not something my husband and I took lightly, because we help coach at the school he currently attends, and also because as I said before, it’s walking distance from our house. You may recall from another post that my husband and I told him if he wanted to apply, he had to do everything for the application himself, thinking he’d never get it done. But he surprised us, and did complete it all on his own. Then he hounded us to give him a date we could go on a campus tour and got himself excused from school for it. He also had to give each of his teachers at his current school forms to fill out for recommendations, which I am sure was not easy.
He’s doing fairly well academically at his current school, and he does like the school itself. But several of his closest friends from growing up attend the other school, and he’s never felt completely comfortable at his current school. High school years are supposed to be fun, and I want it to be that way for him. We did go visit the other school, and my gut tells me he is going to be happier there. It’s even smaller than his current school, all boys, and the school kind of reminds me of a ski lodge. It has that “homey” feel. I could tell just seeing him on campus that he was more comfortable. So he’s transferring. I signed the contract this morning. I think he’ll be happy there. But it wasn’t our decision…it was 100% his.
Next year we’ll have another child heading off to high school. She went back and forth considering public vs private school and in the end decided that public was a better choice for her. I think it was probably the right decision. She’s very outgoing and social, and likes being around a lot of people. She doesn’t mind large class sizes. She’s excited about the challenging course load she’s signed up for. And the public school allows her the opportunity to focus on the sport she loves most and plays year round, where if she had gone to private school, she would have had to play a different sport each season. For her, I think it makes sense. She can always reconsider down the road, but I don’t think she will. I think she is going to be happy with the path she has chosen. Of course the schedule for public vs private school is completely different, so it runs havoc on family time. But in the end I think we need to make a decision based on what is right for our children and their needs…we can always make up spring break with family time in the summer!