For most children, their school becomes nearly their entire universe. They make friends in school, they learn and adapt to new people in school, they may even make a few enemies in school.

They develop interests, too–like sports or chess–and hopefully they’re able to get a good education in the process.

But in some cases, the school is just not a good fit. It could be any number of factors that create this problem–from bullying or unfavorable social groups to a lack of extracurricular options or just plain poor learning resources.

Here are two common reasons parents decide to consider transferring their child to a different school and the pros and cons associated with them.

The school isn’t developing your child enough

One of the most common reasons for student transfers is a lack of development in school. For some, that might mean your child isn’t being exposed to enough different people and social situations and for others it might mean your child isn’t being challenged enough with the school curriculum.

Parents may consider transferring their child for this reason at any point in their educational journey–from elementary school all the way up to high school. In many instances, your child will be averse to this decision but some children are actually okay with it or even encourage it.

Since this is a more general reason to consider switching schools, the decision usually involves multiple factors, like social and educational development. It’s important to take a close look at why your child is struggling at the current school to make sure it’s not something that would continue at a new school.

This decision often revolves around the school’s resources and its inability to provide your child with a good education. Even if the school is lacking resources, it’s very important to think about the social impact transferring schools might have on your child.

If you’re convinced it’s the right decision, it can be helpful to start introducing your child to people outside of their current school’s circle–especially if you have access to activities that include students from other schools.

Should You Switch Schools Mid-Year? Learn Why & Why Not

Your child is hanging out with the wrong crowd

In school, children are practically forced into certain social funnels. They will inevitably hang around other children in their classes, children who have the same lunchtime, etc. This can make it really hard to guide and monitor their social circles.

Even worse, it can make it nearly impossible to separate them from children you’re concerned about.

This issue tends to be more relevant for high school students, but it can also be an issue for children in middle and even elementary school.

If you see that your child is starting to hang out with an unfavorable crowd in middle school–and perhaps even earn a reputation for it–you might want to start planning for a different path for high school.

This is an extremely important time in your child’s life, as it will not only impact the social circles they gravitate toward, but also how well they develop socially (which can affect how well they interact with people as adults), how well they prepare for life after high school (college, work, etc.) and much more.

If this is your reason for considering a transfer, it’s important to remember that these social issues may not improve simply by changing schools. It’s critical to consider the new environment the school will offer and to think about how your child will adjust and integrate into the new environment.

Again, try introducing your child to new people outside of their current circles, including children from the desired school if possible. This will help them form more positive relationships and it will make transferring schools less painful.

Tips For Transitioning To A New School

Making the best decision for your child

In the end, you just want the best thing for your child. Be sure to also keep in mind what your child wants when heading in this direction and weigh that alongside your own point-of-view. You can even bring in other advisors, from school and elsewhere.

The best way to make the right decision is to have discussions with your child as often as possible and maintain transparency. It also helps to be proactive. Introduce them to children from other schools, find extracurricular activities they can participate in, even if the activities aren’t offered through their current school.

Lastly, you should thoroughly vet the new schools that you’re considering for your child. Be sure the academics are up to par, the social environment is safe and positive and any other factors that are important to your family.

Questions to Ask When Researching Schools

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