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#1 JomoMum

Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:56 PM

We had a few options for DS’s FYOS this year. Local catholic (wasn’t keen based on their teaching methods), local public school which was quite large, and small private Christian school.

We chose the Christian school based on ability to assist with transition through their prep class (ds gets anxiety and his day are teachers stressed how important support was during transition to school), as well as their teaching methods. We thought small was good, and were convinced after meetings with both the Principal and Pastor that the religious component wouldn’t be an issue for us, as we are not Christian.

Well, it’s an issue. Big issue. So big, we’re pulling him out next term and sending him to the local public school. I wish we’d made this choice last year and feel just awful for putting DS through this.
It’s not the schools fault - other than not accurately representing this aspect at any point, but we really are not a good fit for the school.

I know, we should have seen it. I’m just feeling such horrid guilt about the last 9 months of wasted effort and the stress he’ll go through starting over again.

Has anyone done this so early? For any reason?

#2 Nobodyelse

Posted 14 March 2019 - 10:10 PM

You haven't failed. Quite the opposite. You tried something after much research, it wasn't right, so you've made the decision to move him so he has a better experience.

I don't see any failure in that.

We moved DS but after two years. Similar to you but without the religious componant. Thought the smaller school would suit him better and prevent him from getting overlooked (as he is quite quiet) but the opposite happened. By midway through grade one, he'd been all but ignored in class.

He's now in a school twice the size and thriving.

#3 CallMeFeral

Posted 14 March 2019 - 10:14 PM

I'm curious, what ended up being so bad?

Don't beat yourself up. You're allowed false starts, mistakes, and not getting everything right first time. At least it's early on.

#4 AliasMater

Posted 14 March 2019 - 10:21 PM

We moved our DS similar age from a public school that was wonderful, because we moved house, to another public school. The move was very hard when you actually love the place you are moving them from. I think though, harder on me than him.

All the Christian schools near me are scary fundamentalist. We have one about 200m walk away. I figured they were all like this.

#5 kyrrie

Posted 14 March 2019 - 10:24 PM

You haven’t failed. Failing is continuing in a situation that is not right for him and your family.

Change is never easy, but I hope you find lots of positives in this one.

#6 fancie shmancie

Posted 14 March 2019 - 10:25 PM

OP, please don't beat yourself up over this.

But I would not be waiting until next term to move him. Do it now. He has been at school for 6 weeks and you are unhappy.  No need to make it 10 weeks of unhappiness.
Also, Easter is coming - the holiest celebration of the Christian calendar, the religious fervour will only ramp up.

Your local public school will be very welcoming.  If you haven't already spoken with the school, do it first thing tomorrow.  You can also ask for the Assistant Principal for Kindergarten classes to call you to discuss.

Again, please don't wait.

#7 SeaPrincess

Posted 14 March 2019 - 10:51 PM

We started our eldest in catholic school, and by the time our second was at the stage of being interviewed, I knew it was wrong for us. In a similar situation, I absolutely wouldn’t hesitate to move again.

As pp said, why wait? We’ve got friends who just moved back from the country and the children started school on the Tuesday - they used Monday to sort out uniforms and stationery.

#8 just roses

Posted 14 March 2019 - 11:21 PM

Small, independent schools need bums on seats. They misrepresented the faith aspect to you to get your child’s enrolment. That’s their failing, not yours. Don’t hesitate to move now. If you’re going to move, the sooner the better. My son is now at his third school. First wasn’t the right fit, second was fine for remainder of primary and new school will see him through to year 12. Kids do adjust. Expect and accept that it might be hard at first, but have confidence that you’re doing the right thing for your family.

Edited by just roses, 15 March 2019 - 12:38 AM.


#9 PocketKitty

Posted 14 March 2019 - 11:29 PM

I'd move now too. That'll be three or four weeks to get to know the place, meet new friends etc before the holidays. Most of the kids would still be finding their feet at this point anyway.

Good on you for recognising it's not working and coming up with a solution.

#10 MooGuru

Posted 15 March 2019 - 12:19 AM

DH changed schools a lot as a kid. He always fitted in better with a mid year/term change because he'd get buddied with people and there was something interesting about him. He also felt that the teachers had a better awareness of where he was at (he didn't necessarily view this as a positive as a teen lol) but as an adult watching kids slip through the cracks he reckons he didn't have that opportunity because he'd caught the teacher's attention. So changing doesn't have to mean an awful experience.

It isn't a failure. It sounds like you made a decision based on the available info. Turns out things have ch an ged and now you are listening to your DS and yourselves to make the best decision you can for his future.
That's not failure.

#11 Crazy4

Posted 15 March 2019 - 05:57 AM

Failing would have been knowing it was wrong for him and leaving him there anyway. You did good.

#12 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 15 March 2019 - 05:58 AM

at least you found out early and are moving him....it’s kindy - i don’t think the transition will be bad. and I’m sure he’ll thrive at pub,in school. but yeh - those religious schools are shockers.

#13 Prancer is coming

Posted 15 March 2019 - 05:59 AM

You have not failed.  You realised it is not working and you are doing something about it.  And I imagine there are important learnings you will take from this for future decisions.

I think there is so much fuss made over choosing the right school for your child and finding one that best suits them.  But how do we know what will even work for them?  I know my child best, but I have no idea what school environment they will thrive in.  Sometimes the school does things that I don’t think will suit my child, and it actually ends up working wonderfully.  And other times things I think my child will really enjoy actually ends up being a big flop.

We sent ours to the local public without touring anywhere else.  Lots of people avoid our school.  I think some people make the assumption that because of this, we don’t care about our child’s education, whereas we value it so much.  We have had plenty of issues along the way, but nothing that can’t be worked out and we have a lovely school community.

W have had several enrolments over the last few weeks, so definately get out now if it isn’t working.

#14 Lallalla

Posted 15 March 2019 - 06:14 AM

You haven’t failed him, he’ll cope, especially if it’s a better fit. My oldest is an anxious child whose room and centre transitions at daycare depended on what she was going to. Now she’s at our public schools preschool and has taken to it like a duck to water, none of the anxiety that came with moving daycares last year (it was a mistake that new daycare, have had to move her sisters, again, thankfully to one as good as our original one).

It’s not your fault they misrepresented themselves

#15 Octopodes

Posted 15 March 2019 - 06:39 AM

I agree with everyone else, you haven't failed.

Move him now, it means he's only missed 6 weeks of friendship building etc at the public school and he is not further exposed to whatever it is that is making you uncomfortable.

#16 Riotproof

Posted 15 March 2019 - 06:46 AM

View PostCrazy4, on 15 March 2019 - 05:57 AM, said:

Failing would have been knowing it was wrong for him and leaving him there anyway. You did good.

Yes. This is so true. It sounds like they underemphasised the religious aspects, and it’s okay not to be okay with that.

It’s actually probably a great time to move now. Everyone is settled, he can slot right in and have a few weeks before starting the term 2 fresh.

#17 Future-self

Posted 15 March 2019 - 06:57 AM

I know you probably have to give notice and are up for feesbwtc but I’m another who would love now rather than wait until Term 2
The kids in FYOS don’t know each other yet and are all still ‘new’ so your DS won’t stand out to his peers.  But the teacher has their routine down and is settled themselves so will be able to give your DS more attention to watch his settling in. This will change a bit in Term 2 and your DS will have the holidays to worry about about moving. I’d avoid that and just go.

#18 Orangecake

Posted 15 March 2019 - 07:18 AM

We had a similar experience, and agree that a lot of these schools are saying whatever they can to get enrolments. Unfortunately, what you are seeing now may be the tip of the iceberg so to speak, so I think it's great you've made the decision early and can just move on.
Kids at this stage don't really have a concept of staying at the one school forever. I would just list some benefits of the new school and promote these as a new adventure to you son.
Good luck, there isn't a week that goes by I don't think how wonderful our public school is. Better resources, normal mix of kids/parents, smaller classes, excellent curriculum, more focus on STEM etc etc.

#19 just roses

Posted 15 March 2019 - 07:34 AM

Adding to this, I would inform the school that you need to cancel your child's enrolment and why. I would be firm about how you feel they misrepresented the school. And explain that, as a result, you won't be paying any additional severance fees. It's enough that you have to deal with the financial burden of uniforms etc and the emotional upheaval of moving.

#20 JomoMum

Posted 15 March 2019 - 07:38 AM

Thank you everyone for your thoughts. I’ve had a horrible restless night. But we have made the decision for next week to be his last week, so he will have 3 weeks at the new school before end of term. DH was very much on board and said he will deal with the current school, exit interview etc. We’re away this weekend so logistically it was just going to be a bit much starting on this coming Monday. We’re up for a terms worth of fees in lieu of notice anyway :(

I’m still feeling guilty, but I know it will be the right decision for him and am feeling relieved weve made the call. I’m just cranky at myself for not seeing it before, normals mother’s guilt etc.

#21 just roses

Posted 15 March 2019 - 07:45 AM

View PostJomoMum, on 15 March 2019 - 07:38 AM, said:

I’m still feeling guilty, but I know it will be the right decision for him and am feeling relieved weve made the call. I’m just cranky at myself for not seeing it before, normals mother’s guilt etc.
You made the right decision with the best information you had at the time. And you're engaged enough to recognise that it's not working. You're doing a great job.

And seriously, don't pay any more fees!

Edited by just roses, 15 March 2019 - 07:45 AM.


#22 Lallalla

Posted 15 March 2019 - 08:08 AM

View Postjust roses, on 15 March 2019 - 07:45 AM, said:


You made the right decision with the best information you had at the time. And you're engaged enough to recognise that it's not working. You're doing a great job.

And seriously, don't pay any more fees!

Yes surely them misrepresenting themselves to you in the first place should get you out of any more fees. Certainly if it was any other “purchase” misrepresentation of the “product” (I think usually) gets you a refund. Could complain to the ACCC?? Or have I been watching too much of the Checkout??

#23 mum2jp

Posted 15 March 2019 - 08:12 AM

We purchased our house when DS was in FYOS around September time. I decided to allow him to finish up the year then he started year one at his new school after christmas break. He took a little while to find his way and make some friends (but this is probably because he was a bit socially immature anyway). All in all it was fine. He is year 3 this year and you wouldn't even know he hadn't been at the school since kindy. Kids are resilient at that age and friendships ect change year to year anyway.

#24 ipsee

Posted 15 March 2019 - 09:11 AM

Try not to let your son see your anxiety about the change and keep upbeat and positive about how you have found a fantastic new class for him.

#25 Abernathy

Posted 15 March 2019 - 09:42 AM

We sent our kids to a small independent school because we didn’t like the big state school or Catholic options. The school did a great sales job on us and it sounded wonderful but turned out to be a shocker!! I think they depended on families being loathed to move their kids (as many dissatisfied families stuck around rather that putting their kids through the “drama” of moving school which parents seem to regard as traumatising). Our kids were worried about moving but settled in to their new school easily. Within a month they were completely fine with it and it was the best decision we could have made. Staying would have been a disaster. Good luck with the move.




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