Any type of transition has the potential to be difficult. For kids, transitioning to a new school can seem like an extremely scary thing to do. Leaving a known environment behind and going to a new one can be intimidating. Making the switch from public school to private school will require some adjustment. Ultimately, the benefits your child will experience from a private education far outweigh any difficulties related to the transition. As the parent, you can take steps to prepare your student for the transition to private school.
Go on a campus tour
Knowing what to expect – in any situation – can make major transitions much easier. You can help prepare your student for the transition to private school by helping her or him know what to expect. A campus tour and classroom observation are two of the best ways to establish expectations. Take your child to the private school. Most private schools have an official process that includes a tour and some even allow for a classroom observation time. Seeing the campus in person can significantly reduce the apprehension your child feels about transitioning to a new school.
Talk about the differences between the two schools
One of the scariest things about starting at a new school is dealing with the differences between the previous school and the new school. You can help your child with this transition by talking about the differences. The expectations of the teachers, the design of the classroom, teacher to student ratio, the way learning is assessed, and other factors will be different in private school when compared to public school. Talking through these differences with your child to help ease some of the concerns about making the transition.
Talk about the similarities between the two schools
There will be differences between the schools but there will be similarities as well. The similarities can help ease some of the transition for your child. Point out the ways that the schools are the same – other kids, some of the coursework, extracurricular activities, etc. If your child is concerned about making the switch, talking about the similarities between the two schools may help with the process.
Take time to listen to your child’s concerns
It is normal to have some concerns about transitioning from one school to another. If your child has concerns, take some time to listen to them. The reality is that your child will likely continue to have concerns until the transition happens. Listening to what your child has to say throughout the process can help your child feel like his or her thoughts and feelings matter.
You can make the transition to private school much easier for your child by following the steps outlined above. Change can be difficult but the benefits of transitioning to private school will far outweigh any temporary discomfort or concern.