Advice on changing 10 yr. old son's school - FamilyEducation
Advice on changing 10 yr. old son's school
04/23/2008 at 10:37 AM

Hi! I have 3 children: a 10 yr. old boy, a 5 yr. old boy and a 2 yr. old girl. My boys are currently attending our local public school. I have been content with the school up until now. Their school goes up until 6th grade, and one of the 6th graders was caught with marijuana on him. I can see this happening in highschool (even though it is awful) but in middle school?! My husband and I also just attended my 10 year olds middle school orientation. We were not impressed. I consider my husband and I to be realistic, down to earth people - not pretentious. We both felt the school wasn't as clean and up to date as we would like. I had also heard through a teacher (from different school) that this middle school was the "roughest" of the schools - I understood what she meant when we saw some of the parents and students. We just built a house  1 year  and a half ago and we love our neighborhood - our school district rates as "excellent". Needless to say all my son's friends will be attending this school, so the few times I even mentioned a different school he started to cry. My husband and I attended an open house over the weekend for a private school - we fell in love with it. It will be pretty expensive but we feel very strongly about giving them the best we feel we can give. Do I insist my son goes to this private school? Will this be detrimental to him in this stage of his development? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Listen to your instincts. If the school doesn't seem to fit your expectations, then the private school would be a good option. Your son may be mad, hurt and angry but he will get over it. Sometimes kids do not always know what is best for them.

Your child deserves the best, right? Do what you think is best for him. Kids change schools all time. It's a big deal for them, of course, but they usually get over it and end up just fine. I homeschool my children, because it is what I feel is best for them. Everyone has their own choice to make. Good luck.

I, too, am very particular about the schools my kids attend, but my kids are not yet at this age. That being said, ripping your son away from his stable environment and long-time friends may do more harm than good. He will face an emotional adjustment that will no doubt impact other areas of his life. He may thrive in the new environment, but it may backfire as well. If he is not socially or emotionally comfortable in his new environment, he may actually be more likely to get involved with the wrong crowd or try out drugs.

Unfortunately, all of our kids will be exposed sooner or later to street drugs, no matter where they go to school. You and your husband, as his parents, have much more influence than his teachers in ensuring he makes good decisions when the time comes.

If your son has been doing well in his current school district and you feel good about his group of friends, I think he may be better off staying there. Just make sure you provide the support and communication at home to keep him on the right track.

- Kristin

Thanks for the advice! My instincts are kinda telling me what you said. He did just get 3 c's on his report card - my husband and I were not happy because we know he can do better. It just seems like he is on the verge of going down the wrong path - we refuse to let him but we feel like this new middle school will be trouble. I don't see him being comfortable in this private school, but I'm going to push it as much as I can and just see how much resistance I get. Half of me feels like "I'm the parent, what I say goes", the other half is thinking about letting him choose and his father and I will have to be extra vigilant. I also will probably feel guilty for sending 2 out of 3 of my kids to a private school - but I know I would feel guilty making him go and stay at a school he doesn't want to be at. When all is said and done I know that the parents ultimately have the most impact and influence on their children's lives. Thank you so much for your reply. It did help!! Thanks to the other replies as well - it is helping! Kristin