1 Child Public, 1 Child Private? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 10-08-2012, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone have experience with their children in different schools? The good and the bad? 


My 8yo son is in public and thriving there. Great location, local kids to play with, average in his class academically and socially he is shy but has his friends. We wanted our 6yo in the same school, but for multiple reasons it is not working. She likes being in school, is making friends, but the class itself is a disaster. The school is not willing to switch her to the other class. This is the class she will be with for the next 9 years, from age 6 until 14. Also, due to other problems with specific kids, this class will be held back and "slower" than normal. My daughter is both socially and academically at least a year ahead, so this is a problem. 


I will not sacrifice one child on the altar of another. My kids have very different needs, so I think different schools would be best for them. I also think this may let them continue to be the best friends that they are to each other, because they can't really compete if they are in different environments. 


I have not even approached the subject with my DD yet, as of course she wants to stay in the school with her big brother, and will be very upset about moving. Also her very best friend is in the school, so she will be mad about that. But I can't look at right now and ignore the next 9 years. 


Anyone with experience? I am all ears.

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#2 of 10 Old 10-08-2012, 04:23 AM
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My son and daughter went to different high schools. Not by plan, really, but the one wanted to stay in our home HS, and the other wanted to go to the specialized one. They had different needs/wants, and the schools they went to reflected them. To be fair, they were old enough to really make those decisions themselves, which is different from your kids. But, I would not be keen on one of my kids being effectively held back because her class is not at her level.

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#3 of 10 Old 10-08-2012, 11:11 AM
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We've actually made a point of giving our 2 kids different educational experiences. My DD 15 was a very driven, high achiever in elementary. While we LOVED the school, in our gut, we knew DS 11 would not thrive in her shadow. He actually tests in the same percentile in regards to IQ but he also has some mild learning disabilities that dragged down his achievement in the early years. Instead, we sent him to the new Spanish Immersion school in the same district. All new teachers with work that was in a totally different language from his big sister and no preconceived expectations. He really came into his own in ability and confidence. By middle school, we didn't have any issues sending him to the school DD had attended and he's made his mark through his own talents. We're in the high school search now and what we are looking for is totally different from what we looked for with DD because their focuses are so different (DD is more written language and history, DS is all about math and science.)


I'm not suggesting all siblings should go to different schools in the least... only that in my situation, letting DS become his own person in a different elementary school was the very best thing we could have done. If your kids have different needs and you have the ability to put them in schools that suit them particularly, go for it!

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#4 of 10 Old 10-08-2012, 11:26 AM
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I graduated from a private high school while my sister did public.  It was a consequence of circumstances and personality.  Changes that went into place after my sister entered the system greatly affected my ability to get the same high-quality education that my sister was getting.  My personality was also less flexible, such that I wouldn't have been as able to just make it work.  As a result, I attended a $$$ private prep school while my sister was at public.


I think that part of what made it work was the approach my parents took in making it clear that they were responding to the needs of each child as an individual.  No more, no less.

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#5 of 10 Old 10-08-2012, 12:28 PM
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I attended a public high school while my younger brother went to a private school. I still harbor some resentment about it, though I don't blame anyone. I was bored and unhappy during high school, but I was one of those nice kids who basically tries to keep everyone happy and not make waves, so although I wished desperately for a more meaningful educational experience, I assumed it was not something that was in the cards. We were not well-off and it didn't seem like there was any money for private school. I was even told that taking the city bus to the public high school that offered an enriched track was too expensive. So I made sure I pulled in A's, but learned almost nothing and did almost no work for them.


My brother faced the same challenges I did, but he became the quintessential gifted underachiever. He just didn't bother to do any of the work and was in danger of failing courses. My parents freaked out, took out a loan from my grandparents, and sent him to the same wonderful private school I had dreamed of attending. He had an amazing high school experience full of challenge and exciting opportunities, made life-long friends. I went to midterms drunk in order to cope with my stultifyingly dismal school.


Boohoo. Poor me. nut.gif


Anyway, this is just a cautionary note: make sure it's not simply a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. Make sure that your public-schooled child is not just "conveniently coping okay," and that he is in fact thriving and getting a dynamic, robust education that fits him just as well as your private-schooled child's education is fitting her. If that's the case, by all means: have the two attend different schools. One size does certainly not fit all!



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#6 of 10 Old 10-08-2012, 01:01 PM
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I've seen it work, but it takes work on the parents' part to make it clear that this is meeting the needs of each child the best and not some sort of favoritism.


Is there any chance in your school for a grade skip? Would that be reasonable for her? I don't know how the Danish system works with respect to that, but if your daughter is both academically and socially advanced and her class is going to be moving SLOWER than average, that might be a solution to look into. (I really can't fathom holding a whole class back because of the needs of a few kids.)

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#7 of 10 Old 10-08-2012, 07:56 PM
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For awhile, one of my kids was homeschooling and one was in school.


Right now, they attend the same private school, but we are considering pulling one of them out because we think a specific charter school might better meet her needs. We haven't decided.


My kids are very, very different people. More so than most siblings. (One of my kids is on the autism spectrum).


We are totally fine with treating both of our kids like individuals. We know several families who have kids in different schools and with different configurations of public, private, charter, or homeschooling for siblings.


I think in some ways, it tougher for the mom. Two different schools; two different sets of days off, early releases, etc; two different PTOs; two different set of policies; etc.


If your DD was just going to be in a crappy room for this year, I'd suggest riding it out. But not for 9 years.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#8 of 10 Old 10-08-2012, 08:57 PM
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I have 3 kids that were in 3 different schools for 4 years. I pulled my youngest out of the elementary school my 2 older kids were successfully attending for much the same reasons you are now dealing with. I was lucky that I was able to find a local magnet school that more than meets his needs, but it has been interesting at times dealing with three different schedules, start days (I actually forgot to send one to the first day of school this year) but it works for him.
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#9 of 10 Old 10-09-2012, 02:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for your insight. Your experience Miranda puts another spin on it, but I don't think that will be an issue here. I was the one that went to public while my brother and sister went to private, and if I was angry about anything, it was it that it took my parents 5 years to get me out of the private hell I was in.


The more I think about it, the more I believe private will suit my daughters needs better. My son is happy where he is, which is the most important thing to me. A happy kid has the energy to learn, a stressed kid does not. I am also thinking, most of the private schools here start an extra class for 5th or 6th grade. Which means if my daughter starts in private, and then my son wants / needs to transfer to private, he will have the opportunity to do so in 3 years. That also gives us plenty of time to decide with him - instead of for him. Because he will be old enough to have a strong input. My daughter isn't old enough to decide, and I am sure she will be mad at first, but I have to look at her being mad for a while versus her being in the wrong environment for 5 or 6 years.


Now the problem is actually getting my daughter into a private, they are all full with waiting lists. ARGH! Wish I could pull some strings, but do not have any. We are visiting 2 tomorrow. If it looks like she doesn't have a chance at either, we will extend our search.

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#10 of 10 Old 10-09-2012, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post
Now the problem is actually getting my daughter into a private, they are all full with waiting lists. ARGH! Wish I could pull some strings, but do not have any. We are visiting 2 tomorrow. If it looks like she doesn't have a chance at either, we will extend our search.


Get on the waiting lists, stuff happens! There is a mom of a girl in dd's class who found out on either the first day of school or orientation a week earlier that her "home" school (regular public) cancelled her dcn's registrations because they supposedly heard from another school that the children would attend there--that afternoon she got a call from our school (a charter with a long waiting list) and was offered spots for her children.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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