Making the switch from a large public school to a private school, especially a classical curriculum school, is a big decision. This is the decision I faced last year when I decided to transition from the public school system that I had been in for nine years. For the most part I loved my time in public schools, but something did not feel right my freshman year and I knew that I needed to make a change.
My parents provided me with the opportunity to attend Providence Classical Christian and after finishing my Sophomore year, I know this change in schools was a blessing. Initially though, the thought of such a huge change both terrified and excited me. The class sizes were much smaller than what I was used to and the curriculum more difficult, but my nerves were settled the first week of school. In those first five days I was accepted into the warm embrace that is Providence Classical Christian. When people ask me why I switched to such a small school, my first response is always community. Seeing familiar friendly faces around the halls and having a sense of being one big family is very important to me. The smaller class size took some getting used to because it calls for more participation in class, but it is wonderful and has really helped me improve as a student. Below I’ve listed some tips for the transition to Providence that helped my parents and me last year.
- Comportment is important. At Providence there are comportment grades to assess a student’s classroom participation, attitude, and preparedness. In public school the large class sizes allow students to slip by and not join in class discussions. Parents should encourage their child to have good comportment and actively participate in class. This was a struggle for me initially because I was not used to speaking up in class and sharing my ideas so openly. That was until my mom got on my case about improving my comportment grade and now I’m more comfortable and enjoy the small classes.
- Stay involved in your child’s studies. Providence is a classical Christian school and the curriculum is a lot of different than a public school. This curriculum is often more advanced and can be a hard leap for a student that has only been in public school. Although my transition was pretty smooth from public school class work to Providence’s, public school does not really prepare you for heavy homework loads and often lets average work slip by. This is not the case at Providence because the standard of work is much higher. Because of these things your child might need your help on homework or editing papers.
- Actively check their grades from RenWeb. RenWeb is the website that shows you your students overall grade and individual assignment grades. This is very helpful to make sure your child is on track. My mom received weekly emails from RenWeb so she always knew my grades and would prompt me in areas where I needed to improve. That was really good for me because instead of letting my grades drop, I was able to improve and push myself.
- Get your child involved in extracurricular activities. Whether it is on a sports team, debate team, drama, or other activities, it is important to get involved. As a parent, you will want your child to get to know the other students and form friendships. Extracurricular activities are a great way of doing that. I tried volleyball for the first time this past season and I am glad I did it. The team was so welcoming and the friendships I made during the season lasted throughout the year.
I hope that these few tips are helpful. One last thing I would say is to get your child excited, because Providence is a wonderful school.
~Reyna, 11th grade student