Should Siblings Attend the Same School?
Yesterday I met a fellow Mummy for coffee and cake; her two children are a little older than mine - her eldest is 11 and her youngest is 9.
To date, (that is to say, until her eldest started secondary school) they have always attended the same school.
It seemed like a good plan - not least because of the practicalities of picking up and dropping off, and of course the emotional benefits of having a sibling at the same school; however she's now beginning to think about whether or not it's necessarily the best idea.
Now, I realise that depending upon whereabouts you live, there's not always a choice when it comes to schools; but as she's living in London and there are a couple of good schools in easy reach, there's no issue there.
I asked her what had brought about this thinking - not that I necessarily think it's a bad idea - it's just that I had always assumed that she would send them both to the same school. She said she'd always assumed much the same thing, but she wondered whether it really ought to be such a given.
She said she wondered if her youngest was in some ways getting overlooked when it came to choosing schools - as to date they've never really looked for a school with her specific needs in mind. Instead, when looking at schools, they've all been chosen with the eldest child in mind; and then her youngest has just joined him there a couple of years later - almost without a second thought to whether or not it was really the best environment for her.
I'm embarrassed to say that I'd never really thought about it like that. But when you come to think about, it does seem a little unfair doesn't it?
Whenever I'm asked about how parents should go about choosing a school for their child I'll always say - well think about the particular needs of your child, and consider which school is most likely to meet those needs. As such, it really does make sense to (consider at least) sending siblings to different schools - provided of course that there are viable options.
Some might argue that there are even benefits to sending siblings to different schools. Of course I'd like to think that this doesn't go on so much nowadays, but I remember talking to a parent a few years ago who was having terrible trouble with a particular school. The eldest was extremely academic whereas the younger child found certain subjects a struggle.
Her youngest felt that comparisons were being constantly drawn between the two of them. On her first day one teacher apparently greeted her with an ill-judged:
"I expect you're excellent at Maths, just like your brother."
Unhappily, Maths was a subject which she struggled with - so it really wasn't the greatest start. Now of course if the two siblings had attended different schools - this never would have come up... (Although you'd hope that this sort of thing didn't come up anyway... EVER!)
So dear readers - over to you. Would you consider sending your children to different schools? Perhaps, if you've already done so, has it worked for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Image credit scui3asteveo