View Full Version : I'm so nervous for DD

02-21-2008, 08:11 AM
She will be going to Middleschool next year and at that grade level they have to go to another school. All or at least most of her friends are staying in the district we are in. So going to the same school. But DD's father (we are not together) lives in a very nice smaller town with a good school and he wants her to attend there. I'm willing to do it because it is a better school (even as far as her teacher is concerned), but I am just nervous for her because she is VERY shy and quiet. It's bad enough that she is an only child and was looking forward to attending the other middle school with her cousin, our only family member her age. I know education wise, it is better for her but is it better for her overall? What do you think? Thanks. :(

02-21-2008, 09:34 AM
Did you ask your DD what she thinks? How she reacts is your primary concern from the sound of your post, so why not talk to her about it? Make a list of the pros and cons and discuss it together and include her father if you guys get along well enough for a "family" meeting. If she were my DD, I would send her to the better school only if she's willing to give it a chance. The best educational facility in the world will do no good if she's not happy and willing to learn. It's a tough choice for you - best of luck with it!

02-21-2008, 11:23 AM
I am not a parent but I sort of disagree that you should do what she wants, even if you do the whole pro and con thing, because I really think she'll pick the poorer of the two schools-thats where her friends are, it's where she'll be most comfortable.
I know when I was young, I was also very shy and anxious I talked my parents into letting me quit a number of sports and music programs. I would cry to them that I couldn't do it anymore, I didn't like the other kids, I didn't have any friends there, the instructor is mean to me blah blah. They tried to make me stay but I eventually wore them out. All I could see at the time was the present. But now I really wish they had forced me to stay in at least a few of those things. I regret it so much now that I'm older. I know it's not the same as school, but I also didn't know anyone going into high school and I was still shy and anxious. But it was amazing how fast I made friends.

I think what it comes down to is, how hard of a worker is your DD, and how MUCH better of a school is it? If she is a hard worker than she can still get a good education at the other school. But if there is a remarkable difference than I say definitely send her to the better school. But prepare her for it, and encourage her to join clubs in order to make new friends. In the mean time she doesn't have to ditch her old friends either. She can keep in touch with them too, especially if she has email or instant messenger. It is rough but sometimes it's necessary. She may not see the long term benefit of switching to the better school now, but I bet when she gets older she'll probably thank you.

02-21-2008, 12:32 PM
Yes, she definitely wants to go to the school where her friends are going to be. She certainly is not thinking of her education. I will keep in mind to have her join clubs and activities to help make new friends, since that is what she is primarily concerned about. Thanks. ;)

02-21-2008, 12:38 PM
Middle school there are soooooo many kids that come in from different schools. In 6th grade they are ALL new.

My idea would be if she's going to go next year...take her "THIS YEAR" to a school carnival of the elementary that will attend that school. Get her broken in. Maybe how about a "scout troop" that populates the new school. Scouts are always looking for new recruits. Sometimes schools also have outside activities that many students attend like "soccer", "karate". In a small town a LOT of kids in the school are quite likely to attend these types of events. They're not limited to enrollment of a certian school sooo....

That may allievate some of her shyness. ALSO...letting some of her old friends come over for visits on weekends will help a LOT. It's HUGE knowing that just because you're going to a different school doesn't mean you suddenly LOSE all your old and dear friends.

"Better School"...Smaller town. A shy girl may actually in the long run feel more comfortable in a smaller school than she would in a high paced overcrowded one. She might be able to make deeper friendships and break out of that shell.

The only "possible" negative I've seen in "small town" schools (note I've said POSSIBLE negative...based ONLY on personal experience through friends living in small towns)...the schools don't have a lot of financial resources. So if she's really ahead of her grade or way behind...there may be very "limited" resources to push her or help her. But at the same time...although she may not have the latest and greatest computers or technology...the classes may be a lot smaller and more focused.

02-21-2008, 12:52 PM
My first concern is custody issues here. I've seen it start very innocently then pow before you know it you have someone battling for the child b/c they have a better environment. There is more to this decision than what goes on in a classroom.
Will she have to live with him? I would want to know more than what the difference is btwn the classes because a lot more is at stake here.
Whatever you do -- don't make a swift and fast decision because you may regret it later. If you voluntarily give up custody it is very difficult to regain. I'm not saying he's a bad guy but it's a huge step and is not easy to reverse.
Middle school is difficult and social impact can be as important as educational. What is the driving factor? Do they offer HS classes? music? arts?

02-21-2008, 01:17 PM
Things to consider --

You mention that the other school is "better", and that may well be, but does that mean that the current school is a bad school?

Would your daughter then be moving to live with your husband? or would you move? or would she commute each day?

Parental involvement at school has been shown to have a definitely effect on student success. How would the potential for parental involvement be effected by school choice. The "less good" school may prove better in the long run if it provides an increased opportunity for parent involvement.

I obviously don't know the "mood" of your family situation. Likely your daughter has some separation issues as a result. She may be very well adjusted, and dealing with it all extremely well, but there could still be internal issues. Would the other location and the resulting separation from friends, cousin, and possibly you, add to or cause any additional separation issues. Even if the other school is better, if it messes with her mental well-being, the result may not be a better educational opportunity.

I am not going to offer an opinion, because it's not my place to, and I don't know the "whole" situation. I'm just offering food for thought. Ultimately you have to decide, and you have to decide based on what is better for your child now, and in the long run. Likely, even if she remains at her local school, she won't be in the same class with many of her friends. At middle school age, don't underestimate her ability to make an intelligent decision, or the importance of her input into this decision. If her feelings and opinions are bypassed entirely, she'll never buy-in to the decision and there may always be resentment, and rightfully so.

Never underestimate, kids are resilient, and capable if given a chance. They are also capable of intelligent thought. They can deal with a lot of things, if they're allowed to do so as THEY NEED TO. But what they don't need, is to be forced to deal with the issues of the adults. Keep in mind, that EVERYTHING you do, is an example to them.

02-21-2008, 01:55 PM
Also, your DD won't have the perspective to understand this, but people change a lot during the middle school years -- and then change friends as well. So the set of friends that she enters 6th grade with very well may not be the set she ends the school year with.

Good luck to you and your family in making this decision. :)

02-21-2008, 06:37 PM
That is so true as far as many new kids coming to middle school, so this will be helpful in her not feeling like the "odd man out". And we did contact the school and have been offered to come and get a tour of the school as well as meeting some of the faculty. So we will be doing this. She is so into texting with her now school friends so hopefully this will continue. If not we will deal with it then. And yes a smaller school w/smaller classes should be better for someone who is shy. Plus I like the ratio of teachers to students per class at this other school. Custody and commuting not even an issue.

Good luck to you and your family in making this decision. :)

Thank You!