I live in AZ. I sent my kids to a higher performing high school, where the majority of the classes are considered honors and are discussion based. They hate it. My thought process was that they would learn valuable skills to help them in college and beyond but now my sons GPA is low so he will start out at the community college (not a huge issue, it’s how I started). How do you know when it’s time to cut your losses and move them to a different school where they might might be happier?

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Maybe the problem is not so much that the school is high-performing but rather than learning style (discussion based). I would talk to your son about it, if he wants to change schools help him find one with a learning style that you think will work better.


This is going to sound very jaded. This was my experience, your kids school may be wonderful.
A high-performing high-school can put a lot of pressure on students that already put a lot of pressure on themselves. Growing up I was curious, loved learning, and kept getting placed in gifted programs. My last year of junior high I took a math class at UW over the summer and was offered a place in the early start college program (which my parents rejected since they thought that was to much pressure for a HS aged kid).
Going to a college prep public high school nearly killed me and my senior year we had the highest rate of suicide in the country. If you’re a smart kid, they expect you to achieve a high GPA in AP/IB courses, work an after school job/intern, compete in sports, join and lead clubs, do hundreds of hours of community service, and while being a social able and creative. My friends and I experimented with sleep patterns - I got down to 6 15-minute naps throughout the day. I doubted my abilities and lost all meaning of self. And to emphasize, I was well-liked by my peers and teachers, had a adequately happy home life, and was not a victim of bullying.
I nearly killed myself through both intentional and accidental means in high school trying to achieve what prep schools insist you must achieve to beat out the next student.
However, I was a high-achieving college student and continue to do so as an adult. Adversity is the flame that forges the sword?


What is it that they hate -- the students, the teachers, the subjects, the teaching style, just having to make a change/adjust to a new school? From your post, it sounds like it could be the learning style but you may want to flush out with them more where their frustration points are. If it really comes down to "I don't retain or understand things by just talking about them" then by all means find a new school. But if its any of the other number of things they might dislike about the new environment, you may have other ways forward.


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