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Old 02-20-2013, 12:37 PM
 
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I'm wondering if anyone on here has any experience moving with Middle School aged kids to rural-ish areas?

I've been missing my hometown lately and am wanting to go back home to my family. We've lived in the DC area since my daughter was 7 and she's lost contact with all her friends back in Canada.

We currently live in a medium sized city in the DC area which is surrounded by many other medium sized cities/towns. We will be moving to a town with a population of about 15k, and the nearest city with a population of over 500 will be 5+ hours away. There aren't any supermarkets, fast food places or chain stores there. It's very quaint.

We'll be moving when my daughter is a few weeks or months into 7th grade. There will be about 50 people in her graduating Middle School class, but around a hundred in her graduating class in HS. I'm worried about her since she's very independent. She doesn't follow any trends because she thinks they're stupid, whereas the girls where we're moving have a very specific style to them. I've tried getting her to buy some of the brands that are popular there but she thinks they're ugly, and prefers hoodies and jeans. I've offered to buy her brand name clothes but she says it's stupid to buy clothes for that amount. She also has a much more urban vocabulary than the kids back home and I know that the kids have made fun of that. I also know that she makes fun of their "rural" vocabulary.

Does anyone have any advice or experience with situations like these, to make this go as smoothly as possible?
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:24 PM
 
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We made a similar move when my oldest was in 7th grade. They ended up in a k-8 school of 400 kids. Instead of walking into town to meet up with their friends, they biked to the bridge and jumped into the river on hot days. They fished, they built forts in the woods, etc. We had a general store instead of a big supermarket. The closest mall was over 30 minutes away, and had very little to choose from. Life revolved around outdoor activities or school activities. They adored living there, for the 4 years until another transfer moved us on.

But, I am glad we moved away when we did. My best friend's daughter is currently in her second stint at rehab. Her pusher was my youngest son's best buddy. I've been told of far too many kids with names I recognize that have gotten into drugs. Once these kids reached high school age, there just isn't much to keep them busy. Finding a part time job is very difficult.

As glad as I am that my kids had the experience or living rurally (and the people, wildlife and scenery were great), I would hesitate to be too rural once they get into their teens. Your daughter may have a completely different experience of course.

And, good for her to not fall into the "labels are better" trap. It sounds as though she has a sensible head on her shoulders.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
49,990 posts, read 49,604,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
Once these kids reached high school age, there just isn't much to keep them busy. Finding a part time job is very difficult.
This is exactly the first thing I thought of.

It reminds me of when I plan a family vacation to the beach.

I like to go in order to plant myself in a chair and read a book, maybe walk up and down the beach with my husband.

My 9-year-old is content to play in the water and build sandcastles.

My teens, however, nearly drove us berserk the last time we went because "all their friends" were at a resort area 30 miles away on the Florida coast, not even in biking distance. Their idea of fun did not match my "old-lady" idea of fun, despite my best intentions.

If smart teens can't find enough challenging, "fun" things to do then they will make their own fun, and it's not always a good thing. I caution you to really, really think about your motivations for this move. Your daughter may be quite independent, but in a pond that small being the ONLY fish of your kind, so to speak, can be difficult.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:20 AM
 
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We did exactly this a year ago. Moved 2000 miles from a town of 350K to a rural town with a total of 1900 kids K-12. The Jr high has about 300 kids in 6th to 8th grade. Large city a little over an hour away.
We thought a slower pace would be great, small town quaint etc.

We are currently house hunting to move back to the suburbs of the closest major city. I will end up commuting about 45 minutes to my job but the main issue is the schools. While "well rated" they cannot offer much in academic challenges. Our DD is bored out of her mind. She is a straight A student and I have not seen her do an ounce of work in a year. She starts high school in the fall and we have decided that small town life is not for us. People are very click-ish, the area is very conservative and religious. We feel like outsiders and don't fit into the rural country lifestyle but mainly there are few academic challenges on the high school level and we want more options for DD for high school.

We also considered the options for DD in regards to part time jobs in high school, a friends circle that can be expanded or moved beyond when drama occurs etc.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:23 AM
 
1,058 posts, read 1,951,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
This is exactly the first thing I thought of.

It reminds me of when I plan a family vacation to the beach.

I like to go in order to plant myself in a chair and read a book, maybe walk up and down the beach with my husband.

My 9-year-old is content to play in the water and build sandcastles.

My teens, however, nearly drove us berserk the last time we went because "all their friends" were at a resort area 30 miles away on the Florida coast, not even in biking distance. Their idea of fun did not match my "old-lady" idea of fun, despite my best intentions.

If smart teens can't find enough challenging, "fun" things to do then they will make their own fun, and it's not always a good thing. I caution you to really, really think about your motivations for this move. Your daughter may be quite independent, but in a pond that small being the ONLY fish of your kind, so to speak, can be difficult.
This that I highlighted is an extremely good point. We are running into this issue also and it is kind of sad to see DD's uniqueness being stifled so that she fits the norms of the community.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:12 AM
 
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I hate to say this but this move may be a disaster in the making for your daughter. She sounds like a very bright, very well grounded kid.

To put an independent child who you already know has nothing in common with her new school mates into this situation may not give you the results you want.

For the life of me I can't see why you're trying to make your child fit in by having her wear particular brands of clothes, etc. I know you think you're helping but your daughter is far wiser. She knows clothes don't make the person. You can put her into trendy clothes but it won't change who she is inside. You do understand that ? She has to be accepted for herself not forced into being what she is not.

I think your daughter is going to be the proverbial fish out of water and is not likely to find strong friendships or any friendships in a class of 50. It may even open her up to some degree of bullying or being ostracized .

Academically, this may not also be a good school for her. I think she is going to need a more challenging
school system.

If you hadn't already made the decision to move, you would have been better off waiting six years until she finished high school and was off to college and then made the move for yourself.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:32 PM
 
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That is a REALLY small high school for a town of 15,000 people. Are you sure it is that small? Around here towns that size would have high school classes in the 300 student range. Then, are you sure there is no shopping, not even a grocery store for 15,000 people and you have to drive 5 hours to find one?
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:46 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,570 posts, read 7,050,491 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
That is a REALLY small high school for a town of 15,000 people. Are you sure it is that small? Around here towns that size would have high school classes in the 300 student range. Then, are you sure there is no shopping, not even a grocery store for 15,000 people and you have to drive 5 hours to find one?
When the OP said "supermarket" I assumed she meant big huge grocery stores, not that there's a lack of any kind of grocery store.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:26 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 56,616,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sally_Sparrow View Post
When the OP said "supermarket" I assumed she meant big huge grocery stores, not that there's a lack of any kind of grocery store.
For a town of 15,000 that is that remote I find it hard to believe that there isn't a Super Walmart or similar...
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:06 AM
 
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When I was entering 7th grade, my family and I moved out to the country. We moved from a town of around 100K to a town of 1,821. My HS had 800 kids (it drew from 3 different towns nearby) and we knew just about everyone. I felt like quite the outsider when I started school. Most of the kids had been going to school with each other since K. The middle school drew from 4 elementary schools and if you didn't know someone from school then you knew them from a summer sports league or church or some other way. The biggest town was 30 minutes in either direction. I had a great time growing up there once I made some friends. We had all sorts of kids from all walks of life. Some were farmers and some were more interested in name brands. I think diversity was the key.

I have also lived in the DC area and it sounds like it's going to be quite a culture shock for your daughter. If you haven't already set the plans in motion to move I would wait until she is off to college. That area has some of the best schools and your daughter sounds like she is a great kid.
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