Switching from one school to another school is difficult for anyone, child, teen or adult. Moving from one type of school to another, such as from a public school to a private school is even more taxing as it requires not only the typical level of acclimation to be reached but also an adaptation to a different learning and social environment. Solid parenting with consistent dialogue is required to best help your teen adjust.
Adjust to the New Social Sphere
For teenagers adjusting to private school, one of the most daunting tasks is adjusting to the social sphere of a new high school. Public schools, even the non-garden variety magnet or charter schools, always feature a diverse mix in the student population. At private schools, there is less variety. While some students may be in attendance on scholarships or due to strategic budgeting by their parents many are simply from higher income families. Discuss these topics with your teenager if they are attending school through these means as they will undoubtedly encounter other teens who use these points as bards when personality conflicts arise. Your teen must be made to appreciate the value of the education they will be receiving and that any commentary should be promptly ignored.
Prepare for More Rigorous Academics
Many private schools have a more rigorous academic program than public schools. Help your teen keep up by maintaining a vested interest in their schoolwork. Find out their assignments when they come home from school and ensure that they complete them in the evening. Offer to help.
Plot Out Extracurricular Needs
Depending on the size of your teen’s private school, it may not offer as many extracurricular activities as a public high school counterpart. That being said, the activities offered are usually taken quite seriously as success at club conferences or district meetings brings notoriety to the school. Encourage your teen to pick only sports or clubs that they are truly interested in and devote themselves to excelling. If they begin to be stretched too thin, encourage them to pull back slightly.
While private school is generally considered more peaceful than public schools, it is typically because problems are typically dealt with swiftly and severely. If your teen is having problems with another student or a conflict with a faculty member, then they must deal with it through appropriate channels. Private schools do not have to have tolerance for disruptive students, so make sure that your child understands they should discuss problems with you and other adults before a larger situation erupts.
Helping your teen adjust to private school is mostly a matter of dialogue and conversation related to new situations that will occur. By discussing the differences in the education and atmosphere offered by each institution, you are making sure your teen has a wide base of knowledge to deal with any new situations that may occur.