Over the last week, I’ve had dozens of calls from harried parents on where to send their HSC next year for school. The concerns range from minor like little Lucy just “doesn’t fit in” to greater where children refuse to return to where they’ve been going. So to help you begin thinking about “the right school” for your highly sensitive child, please consider:
- Every child is different – There are no “quick fixes” for HSC and school. One child may thrive at Waldorf, while another hates it. The important point is to understand what your child uniquely needs to thrive (i.e. type of structure, flexibility, emphasis on the arts) and help find a school that’s a positive match. One of my clients, Tom, is a top-rated tennis player at age 11 and he’s transferring to a tennis academy so he can play part of the day (i.e. channel his incredible energy, hone skills) and then complete his academic requirements the other part.
- School fit is imperative – One mom, Ruth, asked me today: “Do I need a special needs school for my son?” And the truth is your HSC son needs a school that values his sensitivity and gets him. Oftentimes this may be a non-traditional school whether it’s a charter or magnet school, which lowers cost or a private school is up to you. I have one family, The Ings, who transferred their son to paraochial school even though they aren’t Catholic or religious – it was just the best school in their neighborhood for their spiritual son, and he loves it. So thinking “out of the box” pays off big-time.
- Creativity is key – HSC need schools that allow them to be their unqiue selves and share their voices. The enemy of sensitive children is a rigid curriculum, lots of testing (high-pressure, timed) and no room for individual expression.
Understanding what’s available in your area for schooling and then picking a school for your son or daughter takes effort. My suggestion is to involve your intuitive, likely opininated and highly intelligent HSC so they can “buy-in” to their new educational experience. Of course, show them only the schools that are really possible for them and get assistance as needed from a professional or caring friend that can really guide you in making the smartest choice for your child.