Is your teen struggling to keep up with his education?
Is he having a hard time in another part of his life, and it is taking a toll on his education?
Is your teen son being bullied and now is struggling to even get to school, let alone doing his homework?
If your teen is struggling, it might be time to consider an alternative school for him.
There are several types of schools that are considered to be alternatives to traditional public schools. Knowing more about the types of alternative schools can help you decide whether this might be what your teen needs to help him refocus on his education while also addressing mental health or behavioral concerns.
What is an alternative school?
An alternative school offers a supportive educational setting for students who do not thrive in a traditional school setting. An alternative school can also meet a child or adolescent’s medical, mental health, and behavioral needs. These needs are not often sufficiently met in the traditional school setting.
It could be that your teen’s school has tried to work with him and with you, offering a 504 plan or an IEP, but it has not been enough to help get your teen back on track. Time spent in a different type of educational setting can help your struggling student recover those missing credits, learn new life skills, and find themselves on the right path to a bright and healthy future.
While there are several types of alternative schools, they all tend to have curriculum elements focusing on helping the student improve their self-esteem, social skills, and other essential life skills.
Alternative schools were once the option for students at an increased risk of dropping out or being overly disruptive in the traditional school setting. Today, the alternative school offers expanded services to meet the wider needs of the struggling child and adolescent.
Many parents and educators are aware of the benefits alternative schools offer children and adolescents struggling to get their needs met in the traditional school setting.
For youngsters who struggle with a wide range of concerns, an alternative school can offer a supportive and therapeutic environment for the child and teen who can benefit from a safer focused environment.
Public schools may not have the resources to provide your struggling student with the individualized attention that they need to thrive, especially when dealing with:
- Personality disorders
- Depression and anxiety
- ADHD and ADD
- Substance abuse
- Aggression and violence
- Special needs that aren’t met well in a traditional setting
With a focus on healing emotional and mental health concerns and meeting the needs of the individual, an alternative school can prove to be the best option for a child or teen who has been struggling to find their way in a traditional education environment.
Types of alternative schools
While some may still refer to alternative schools as that, there are other names used to refer to these types of educational facilities. For gifted children and teens who are not getting their educational needs met in a traditional public school, magnet schools or charter schools may be the option that works best for their needs.
Therapeutic wilderness programs are an option that combines individual and group therapy in an outdoor setting that involves hiking, camping, and horseback riding.
Some other options could include:
· Therapeutic boarding schools
· Residential treatment centers
· Military school
· Boot camp
There are benefits for each type of school. The key is to select an alternative school that will meet the needs of your child. It won’t help your child or teen to go to a military school or a boot camp if they do not have behavioral issues or problems with defiance and disrespect.
A teen struggling with anxiety, depression, and other mental wellness issues would be better suited for a therapeutic boarding school that has a supportive, nurturing environment with therapists to work with them.
A residential treatment center can be a good choice for a teen who has been struggling with behavioral issues or with substance use and abuse.
Preparing for placement in an alternative school
Several factors go into deciding to pull your child from a traditional school and place them in an alternative school. It might be one that you struggle with, particularly if you’re considering options that mean your teen will not be living with you for the duration of the school year.
Once you’ve decided, you must communicate with your child about the benefits of going to an alternative school. Some may be resistant to the change, while others may be excited about a fresh start.
Alternative schools are intended to help your student get their education back on track after being unsuccessful in a traditional school. Whether due to safety, behavior, or disciplinary concerns, an alternative school can help to meet the needs of your troubled teen. It will help immensely if your child is on board with the idea of starting fresh in a new school.
Your student may believe that they are being sent to a school just for bad kids. While this may have once been the view of alternative schools, today, that is not the case. Many students who attend an alternative school don’t have a behavioral problem. They may need to get their education back on track due to attendance concerns.
Get your struggling student the right type of help to get them back on a path to the future that they deserve. At Help Your Teen Now, we have access to the resources that your family needs. Choosing the right type of alternative schooling option is important to ensure that your teen can heal, thrive, and focus on their future.