Private Versus Public Schools Transition

nita1950

My child is in the 4th grade and attends a Christian private school. Many of the children are going to public schools this year. His father wants him to remain in private school, however, would give public schools a try if I feel that this would be good for him. We can afford private school. We live in a city with 30 elementary schools, about 12 Middle schools and 7 high schools. Except for the elementary schools, these are all very large schools. My son does not object either way. He actually wants to be homeschooled if he had a choice. He has been in this private school since age 2. What year is a good year to transfer them into public school? I would like personal experiences about the transition experience, especially if you are glad that you made the move. Public schools have so much more to offer, especially when it comes to extra-curricular activities and magnet programs (Arts, Science, Technology).

He is a high achiever and is above grade level when it comes to the public school level. He is already doing some 6th grade work according to my friends who have children in public schools.

Thanks in advance for sharing! Nita

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sheilajoyce_gw

My parents transferred me from parochial school to the public high school at 9th grade. The parochial high school was not good. I will say that I found that I knew almost no one in the high school, and it took a good year or more for me to feel socially connected. My suggestion would be to transfer a student before high school. Starting at the local neighborhood elementary school would be easier.

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aileen

It depends on how your school system is set up. Here, it's Elem. 1-5, Middle 6-8 and High School finishing up with 9-12. If yours has the same grouping, I would wait.

If you wait until the 6th, you will find that there are a lot more children gathering together from many different elementary schools that don't know each other. This puts less stress on the child as he would not be one of the few New Comers into the class room. If there would be a large number of children that he is already friendly with in the neighborhood, then the transition in the 5th would work OK.

There are many private school that do an excellent job academically, but the child is not exposed to those that are not able for one reason or another, to attend a private school.(it's not always lack of funds) . This exposure, both good and bad, prepares the developing child for a more balanced view point of people. This is a point that has been argued since schools began.

Most public schools will offer more enriched programs than private schools unless the private school is large.

give him one more year where he is and use that time to investigate programs, etc, for the gifted child.

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trekaren

Growing up, I did:
1st = public school A
2nd = private school A
3rd = public school B
4th = private school B
5th, 6th = public school C
7th-12th = public school D

I had no problems. The public schools offered advanced placement classes from 7th on, so I participated in those.

I got a good education at all of them, with the possible exception of grade 1. That was 1970 and they were experimenting with a lot of trendy education things then. For example, 1st/2nd/3rd grades shared a room and we rotated classes. This was good for me to get exposed to 3rd grade material. But what benefit does it give the 3rd graders to sit in on a 1st grade class?

Believe it or not, I lived in the same house all 12 years. The public schools changed because of fluctuations in districts. The private schools were only attended when my parents could afford it.

I had no problems or issues from all the bouncing around. Luckily I had some of the same friends throughout, since we all were being redistricted together.

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nita1950

I think that I will check out some programs this summer and next school year. Perhaps 6th grade will be a good year to put him in public schools. Aileen...our public schools are set up the same as yours.
Trekaren...what do the letters mean A...B..C..D Grades ? Nita

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trekaren

Letters to distinguish that they were different schools. (school A, school B, etc.)

reworded:
Growing up, I did:
1st = public school #1
2nd = private school #1
3rd = public school #2
4th = private school #2
5th, 6th = public school #3
7th-12th = public school #4

I went to four different public schools and 2 different private schools.

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anita9

My brother and I both moved from private to public school at the same time - I was halfway through 5th grade and he was halfway through 3rd. We had sort of outgrown the small private school we attended, and the atmosphere was kind of going downhill as kids whose parents helped start it up because they were looking for a higher-quality education moved away, and those kids were replaced with kids who got sent to private school out of desperation because they had behavior problems that the public schools weren't addressing.

We lived in a small town and the only options were the public school or the alternative program within the public school. My mom arranged for us to sit in on each for a day and let us choose which we wanted. My brother chose the alternative program and I choose the regular public school classroom.

I was glad I moved because the private school wasn't working that well for me - most of the kids were younger and I was getting tired of the teacher. It was a frustrating transition though, to go from 20 kids of different ages, 2 or 3 teachers, a non-competitive, non-graded atmosphere, learning at my own pace and helping teach younger kids, to a class of 25 kids all the same age all having to work on the same things at the same times, playing competitive games, being singled out for doing good work, and just generally being in a far more intellectually and socially restrictive atmosphere. It was kind of scary and it made me pretty shy through about 8th grade - at least I think it helped, junior high is the deepest pit in hell after all so who is to say what different factors contribute to each individual child's suffering.

For a lot of the kids I knew who made the private-public transition, they eased into public school partway while doing some homeschooling. If you have the time and ability to do a little homeschooling, why not? For a kid who is used to doing advanced work, big public school classrooms can be really boring. I remember days when silent free-choice reading was the only relief from utterly agonizing boredom. If your child finds that he is too far ahead in some areas, I think you are better off handling those areas yourself than letting him sit through them with the rest of the class and then letting them give him extra work through the gifted program. Quantity doesn't make up for quality in education IMO.

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whazzup

My youngest son transitioned to public from a private Christian school in the fourth grade. He did fine, in fact he excelled in public school. It took him a little while to adjust to the discipline - he was a little surprised at how the kids behaved in public school. But it was a good move for him. He's going to be junior next year, he's an honors student and he's happy. If your son is friends with public school children in the neighborhood it will be easier for him because he will know some of the other kids. If the school you are considering has a good academic record (check it out!), I am sure he will do very well and they will have classes that will meet his advanced needs. Good luck!

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nita1950

Since I posted this question, I had a conference with the 5th grade teacher of the Private school. The Abeka Curriculum seems heavy for this year. I have posted a new question on this same forum about this curriculum and other paretns experiences. I told the teacher to expect him to be B-C average when it comes to what she expects of her students. He has been a high achiever in past years, but it wasn't easy.

Please see my new post. Thanks..I am in a tough decision making process here. Public school teachers don't work during the summer, therefore, I can't have such a conference at this time. Thanks Nita

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smartkidsten13_gmail_com

As a teen whose parents are undecided on the matter, I have spent my school years at both private and public school. I find that both have their advantages, benefits that are well displayed in this article.

http://www.radicalparenting.com/2008/06/17/8-arguments-the-public-school-vs-private-school-debate/

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