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Same family, different schools

Same family, different schools

There are some pretty obvious arguments for sending your children to the same school, but there are just as many reasons not to. Read over the debate below and think about which points resonate most with your family before making your decision.

For every point of convenience or financial advantage in sending children to one school, there is the counterargument for the tailored learning environments that suit specific student needs plus the children’s independence that might be developed further by siblings attending different schools.

The argument for siblings attending the same school.

Some schools offer financial incentives for sending multiple students to the same school. Similar to a loyalty program, discounts are sometimes offered to parents for the tuition of their second and third child to attend the school. This can be an important saving for parents.

Uniforms and sometimes textbooks and other equipment and resources can often be passed down to younger siblings. The ability to reuse these items can significantly reduce your spending.

It is more convenient to have one start and finish time and to collect kids from one school than to have to coordinate between multiple destinations. This may not sound that critical, but on a daily basis can make your life much easier.

Differences in school rules and expectations can breed confusion for parents and resentment between siblings. When all children in the family have the same procedures to follow and the same regulations to abide by it can help to limit arguments.

Most importantly, if you are happy with one school, why worry about trying out another? 

The argument for siblings attending different schools.

Children who attend different schools from their siblings are able to develop their own identity more easily. They never have to worry about being seen as someone else's brother or sister or face being compared unfavourably with a sibling.

The need to be responsible for their own schooling without relying on a sibling can foster independence in children. Some younger siblings can depend on their big brother or sister at the expense of their own autonomy. Attending different schools can help to minimise this tendency.

For siblings who don't get along very well or have very different personalities, attending separate schools can be an emotional respite.

The freedom of spending at least six hours a day apart can reduce tension between siblings and, as a result, within the family.

Different children have different needs, interests and abilities. Likewise, different schools have different areas of expertise, specialties and strengths. It is important to match the child’s personality and talents with those of the school they attend. Sending an exceptional student to a school without a gifted and talented program may be frustrating for them and prevent them from realising their full potential. Likewise for a talented athlete to attend a school with limited sporting facilities.

The decision.

Ultimately there is no magic formula that will work for every family. The most important thing is to reflect on your children, their personalities, relationships, and educational, social and creative needs and interests, and then choose the option that is right for you.