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Old School Blues

Question

My daughters were homeschooled, public schooled, homeschooled again, and back in public school right down the street. They were pretty happy with school but the oldest was always hard to get out of bed because she hates getting up early. My husband is a teacher in the neighboring county and he says the middle and high school there are a better community of people than the ones here AND they are on 4 day weeks, so Mondays off! We all agreed to move schools (not houses) to be on same schedule as Dad and have Mondays off (not as much fight to get out of bed). My oldest (who finally felt like she fit in last year at old school) is crying daily because she wants to go back and be with her "real" friends again. She sees them in the neighborhood some but not often and we pass the school every day and it makes her cry. My question is: Is it more important that we continue to be on the same schedule and enjoy 3 day weekends with each other and send them to slightly better school atmosphere, or is it better that she is where she feels comfortable and happy even if it is 5 days a week? She is already prone to sadness and shyness, and we can't decide which is best. HELP! Thank you!

Answer

Thanks for your question. You don't say how old your daughter is, and that may have figured into my answer had I known. But it sounds as if this 4-day week and a better school atmosphere works best for your family, so I'm going to gear my answer in that direction. Children are resilient. If this situation is working best for your family--and certainly you know better than your child what works best for your family--then stick with it. Encourage her to make friends in her new school and maybe invite some girls over one Saturday, and don't let the fact that she's prone to shyness/sadness dictate your decision. Here's the bottom line: If you're in a situation that is working better for you, your husband, and your other kids, then one child's dislike of said situation should not be a factor. Remember--you are the parent here. She will, indeed, make friends and be okay in the long run.

Laura E Gray, PhD
Certified Leadership Parenting Coach

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