School too rigorous


Is it wrong to consider sending our children to a public high school if we are finding that the current Catholic College Prep school they are attending is too rigorous for them?

The school they are currently in is excellent in formation and excellent academically, but it is not a good fit for all of our children. Also at times, this school can cross the boundry and become unreasonably rigorous. This has been challenging at times and for some of our children and for our family it is causing great suffering. Other Catholic schools in the area are either too far away or just not what we are looking for in a Catholic school. We are torn as are some other families that we know that are currently in the same situation. By moving to another school, we feel strongly that this is the only way to ensure that the children who are struggling have the same opportunities for a solid Catholic college education as our children do that are doing well at the college prep school. If they were to remain at the school they are at, their GPA would be so low, they would not be able to apply at some of the Catholic Universities.

We have been in Catholic education since our children have been in kindergarten, so this is a frightening prospect for us. Is it feasible to believe that we can have children in the public school system and increase the formation outside of the school through Catholic organizations that are available in our diocese for the youth?

Did you yourself or do your children have experience with the public education system for high school? How did you help them remain strong in their Faith?

We feel very strongly that we need to recapture our peaceful family life. Can we achieve that through public education after being in Catholic education for so long?

Thank you


Can your children who are struggling get help after school? This is an extremely important lesson for them to learn before college, to seek help when you aren’t catching on fast enough. Also, it shows the teacher that the student is willing to learn, just having a difficult time comprehending in the time required. I know that I did fine in my high school education, but it took many dropouts of classes in college before I realized that I SHOULD seek help early on when i began getting lost than drop the class. My peers who had sought help in high school, had no problem doing this in college, where my stubborn pride got in the way of finishing a few classes before I admitted I needed the help.


How could it be “wrong” to send your children to the school that best fits them? Really, this seems like a pragmatic decision, not a moral judgement.

What kind of area do you live in? Are you in the country, or in the suburbs, or in a poor inner-city neighborhood? I went to a public school in a rural area, and my classmates seemed to have better moral character than the students at the Catholic school 15 miles away…


I went to public high school after going to Catholic schools before then. I switched my sophomore year because the Catholic high was not giving me the faith formation that my parents were paying the extra money for.

I loved the first public high I went to - it was great and I never once had to defend my faith - it just wasn’t ever brought up. Plus, I made friends with people who are not Catholic but had better morals and more upright lifestyles than my “Catholic” friends had. Then, I moved. Went to public high again and made some wonderful friends - although I wasn’t as happy with the school system itself. My parents didn’t change though, which is what kept me going with my faith. We still went to Mass, said daily Rosary, talked about matters of faith and they always answered my questions. I went to youth group (although a Protestant one during my senior yr due to ours being ruled by a woman who took all the “religion” out of it) and went to Steubenville youth conferences during the summer.

If your public school seems right academically for your children, I’d say go for it. Remember, you are the primary educators esp. in regards to your children’s faith. What you do at home is the most important - the rest is details :).


Thank you for pointing out the poor choice of the word “wrong”. You make a very good point. I guess my choice of the word “wrong” stems from my concern of taking children that are used to a small school setting and putting them into a very large high school. Funny…now that I think about it, this is exactly what my parents did with me.


Do what you need to do to help your kids get the best education possible. If that means sending some of them to a Catholic school, and sending the others to the public school, go for it. Some kids do not do well in the small closely scrutinized environment at a Catholic School, but blossom at a school where they have more autonomy.

The most important part of their religious education is what you do at home. It sounds like you are already involving yourself in their religious education outside of school anyway, so your kids are probably going to be ok spiritually in either case. If a family doesn’t practice the faith in their home, it doesn’t matter if their kids go to Catholic school or not. They won’t take the faith seriously if their parents don’t.


I have been in this situation. My oldest son struggled and I fought to keep him in Catholic school. He needed extra help that the Catholic School couldn’t provide. He transferred to public school his SENIOR year of high school because the Catholic school didn’t feel he was making reasonable progression towards graduation. He ended up doing fine in public school for that year and I wish we would had done it many years ago. My two younger kids remain in Catholic school which is the right place for them.

However, I am still disturbed that the help that my son needed was not available in the Catholic school. I think that every child who wants a Catholic education deserves one but unfortunately in our area it’s not the case. :frowning:


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