We can so easily make the wrong school choice for our children (even in our own countries), but when moving to a culturally different country this could be what either develops your child into having a positive attitude or not.
Let your child go to a school that will suite his/her personality. Will they develop better in a smaller or bigger school, a social / sporty or academic school, what is the vision of the school for the students, check, check and double check if your child will suite the style of the school. Perhaps home schooling is another option to look into. Children need to thrive and will do so if the school appropriately develops their strengths. Send them to a school where they teach in your child’s home language and have children around them with similar cultural backgrounds e.g. sending a Christian child to a Muslim school or vice versa, may create boundaries for that child. Sometimes you do not have an option e.g. there is only 1 school available, but then get involved with the school and teach your child about cultural diversity. It is not “bad” to let your child go to a different school to learn about the new culture or language, but make sure that the child has the type of personality that can cope with this diverse education, else in the long term it may be damaging to their growth. Look at all the options and if your child is old enough, discuss the options with them and let them help make the decision. Educating your child is not an option, they need to be educated but they can help decide where they will be happiest. Remember your child is not you! Where you may cope, he or she may not, his / her strengths are different to yours and respect that they are their own individuals.
Liz writes: I would seriously recommend sending your kids to a similar type size of school you are leaving, we went from a gorgeous little school to a private huge, pressure pressure school, the main focus was on the academics but not a holistic school. WORSE mistake, Nick went from a happy outgoing little boy to vomiting every day and getting nauseous when we drove past the school. NIGHTMARE the school offered no support only interested in bums in seats and $ in the bank.
Well it was sooo bad we contemplated going back to the country we had just come from (not home by the way), but gave a smaller school a go. Nick had counseling from the trauma, and is back to his old happy self ….. so my friends don’t get caught up in the hype but go with your gut feel.