When parents start looking for a school for their first child, they usually put a lot of effort into it. I say normally, because in my case I did not. Later I learned that to look for an educational center you have to take into account not only what the center is like in the Early Childhood Education stage, but also in the following stages, that is, Primary, and even Secondary if that is the case. In fact, it was when my son went to primary school that the problems began and I began to suspect that I had made the wrong choice.
Recognizing that we have chosen the wrong school is a process that can be slow and painful for everyone, but especially for children. The years go by very quickly and meanwhile the education they receive can deteriorate and be further and further away from what we would have wanted for them. But what can make us think that we should look for another center? There are several signs that indicate that it is time to start a new search process, this time more conscientious or with different priorities.
A good reason, which was decisive for me, is the excess of homework. The life of a primary school child cannot be limited to going to school and then staying locked in the room until completing endless tasks. This causes a lot of tension in the family and stress in the minor due to the lack of play time. If, when communicating it to the center, it is identified as a student’s problem and not of the methodology used in the classroom, it is best to flee from that center.
Precisely a methodology that is not very innovative or inclusive often leads to excessive homework and to children with learning difficulties not being integrated into school. When a child is enrolled at three years of age, it is not known if he will present difficulties later, but what happens if the parents notice that he is bored, distracted, does not learn to read at the same time as others or, You simply do not reach the level that is required of you in class? In this case, the lack of an inclusive approach can cause the minor to feel excluded and not progress in learning from it. When this happens, communication with the center, the tutors and the management team should be fluid, friendly and, above all, put the child at the center of the conversation, thinking about well-being and improving academic results.
If the help does not arrive, and any problem identified by the parents runs into a wall when it is reported to the center, then trust will have been broken and the school-family team will not be working, so the change of college will be more than justified. When the decision has already been made, after identifying the previous signs or others (misidentified and resolved cases of bullying, problems of coexistence in the classroom, ideologies that do not fit with those of the family, unattractive, modern or innovative educational project …), you must reflect and draw up a plan before taking the step and changing schools.
A frequent question that can be raised is what is the best time to make the change. It seems much more natural that it occurs at the beginning of the course or at the change of stage (when going from Infant to Primary, or from Primary to Secondary), which is also administratively simpler. But if the seriousness of the situation does not allow you to wait, or the deadlines for requesting a center in the ordinary admission period have already expired, then you will have to act in another way. It will be necessary to find out in the educational centers how to proceed following the extraordinary process.
I, for example, changed my children when the eldest went to high school, and although the middle one went to the sixth grade of Primary, I moved him knowing that later he would have to change again for Secondary. The little girl then went to fourth grade. The two minors changed schools together, but it was already June when I made the decision that they would start the course in another center, so as it was about public education I had to resort to the extraordinary process. By doing so, the schooling commission offers families the schools in which there is a place. So the ability to choose is greatly limited and it could be the case that we could not find a better center than the current one. From the following course, for a period of two years, my three children went to three different schools. It was tricky, but we managed to manage it.
How do we know if a school is better and if the change will be advantageous? With the experience of a failure, you know what to expect from the next center, and that is why it is important to thoroughly review your educational project and verify that it meets the requirements that interest us: innovation, inclusion, attention to diversity, communication with the family… It would be advisable to plan visits, meet the management teams, the parent associations, see the facilities, the classrooms and, when the one we want has been identified, then the decision must be communicated to the minor (or minors) and that start accepting the idea. If possible, they should also visit the school and even meet future classmates.
A change of school is a stressful event, although in the long run it can end up being liberating if the child is feeling very bad. It can even generate anxiety. So you have to be very attentive to this transition and keep your children informed, motivated by the change, but without ignoring the negative emotions they may be feeling due to the possible loss of friends and the uncertainty about the new destination.
You can follow Mamas & Papas on Facebook, Twitter or sign up here to receive our biweekly newsletter.