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Child refuses to investigate schools

2wuhanmom2wuhanmom Registered User Posts: 213 Junior Member
My daughter attends a small private middle school where she has received a great deal of needed support. She is very anxious about the transition to high school and insists she wants to be "home schooled." For a number of reasons this is not an option. I think she would do well in another private school but she is resistant to going to open houses, looking at web sites, or doing any other kind of research. Our local public high school is enormous and would not be a good fit. How can I help her overcome her anxiety and increase her motivation to pursue a private school option?

Replies to: Child refuses to investigate schools

  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle Registered User Posts: 3,501 Senior Member
    Have you thought of using a consultant? Sometimes a child will not want to talk about her worries with her parents, so a neutral third party could help her sort out her feelings. For you to say, "I can't homeschool you," might imply rejection of a sort, although what a strange, modern world it is that homeschooling is becoming a mainstream option!

    I would ask the counselors at her current school for recommendations as to the appropriate professional person, or parents who have found good schools for their children from the same school.
  • 2wuhanmom2wuhanmom Registered User Posts: 213 Junior Member
    That is a wonderful suggestion, Periwinkle! Thanks so much.
  • SudsieSudsie Registered User Posts: 494 Member
    Is she working with a therapist? If not, I would recommend this as the first step. If she is already, what does the therapist think about the school options?
  • 2wuhanmom2wuhanmom Registered User Posts: 213 Junior Member
    Not at present but this is another excellent suggestion that I will pursue - thanks!
  • PhotographerMomPhotographerMom Registered User Posts: 1,818 Senior Member
    edited September 2014
    I remember how fun and exciting it was for my kids to receive BS brochures in the mail. It was so much more fun than going on a school's website! BS admissions materials are amazing and so beautifully done. It may be putting the cart before the horse, but if she takes a quick glance and sees what schools offer- it might spark some interest....or at least plant a seed.

    Anyone can call a school and request materials. You may end up on a mailing list but you're under no obligation to follow through with a tour or interview. Brochures could be a nice way to warm up to the idea...

    I also like Periwinkle's suggestion. Good luck! :)
  • soxmomsoxmom Registered User Posts: 690 Member
    Totally agreed on the consultant. The one we've been talking to has had some great conversations with my daughter and has really been able to help her figure out what attributes she wants and doesn't want in a school. Although our situation is different in that my daughter was already excited about looking at boarding schools, I'd say that she feels much more confident about the process now because she already feels good about the schools she will go look at as being a really good fit for her in particular (as opposed to just generally being good schools).
  • BrdngschlmomBrdngschlmom Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    Try to convince her to attend an open house! My daughter got very excited about the boarding school option after going to an open house. Seeing the brochures, talking to charming admissions staffers, hearing about the amazing opportunities at the schools made it very appealing to my daughter. Some schools give away little freebies like pens or sunglasses -- tell your daughter you are just there for the loot. ;)
  • SudsieSudsie Registered User Posts: 494 Member
    From the initial post I am assuming that they are looking at day schools rather than boarding schools. Can you clarify, OP? Also if her current school doesn't go through high school, they must be used to helping their students with high school placement and may have resources. It sounds like you may need to take the lead on researching schools.
  • 2wuhanmom2wuhanmom Registered User Posts: 213 Junior Member
    Yes, we are looking for a day school. I have found three that I think would be a reasonable fit but she has yet to show any interest or enthusiasm, unfortunately.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 32,859 Senior Member
    Middle schoolers can be like that... I would tell her that homeschooling isn't one of the choices, and she likely will be happier if SHE picks vs. having YOU pick for her. Tell her the deadlines for applications, when you have time to visit or there are open houses, and let her know that you will be deciding even if she doesn't participate.

    Also... are any of her friends considering these schools? Can you arrange to go to an open house or on a visit with another family with kids she likes? Many middle school girls like to travel in a group...
  • photodadphotodad Registered User Posts: 457 Member
    Has she visited the local public high school? If not, perhaps a visit might help her realize that it might be a good idea to look at other options.
  • 2wuhanmom2wuhanmom Registered User Posts: 213 Junior Member
    Another great idea - thanks!
  • scholarmescholarme Registered User Posts: 2,546 Senior Member
    Is it possible that there was / is some bullying issues at the MS that makes her want to retreat to home?
  • 2wuhanmom2wuhanmom Registered User Posts: 213 Junior Member
    You are very astute, scholarme. She was bullied last year and I think this had a very negative effect on her self-esteem. I am keeping a close eye on how things are going this year.
  • scholarmescholarme Registered User Posts: 2,546 Senior Member
    edited September 2014
    Some therapy type counseling might be a good idea then. This is probably something that only incidentally relates to schooling.

    Also, in case this is an option - I highly recommend martial arts training (karate, tang soo do, etc) for building self-esteem. Look around for a school with good word of mouth from parents - one that focuses on the tradition of the discipline and can trace their school's pedigree back a ways. This won't necessarily correspond with a fancy studio - in fact, lost of times really good martial arts schools run on a shoestring budget in borrowed space.
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