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in being completely obsessed with finding the right school place for DD?

(17 Posts)
mollysmum82 Sat 22-Oct-11 19:40:01

In my defence:

-DD is very much a "precious first born" (actually IS that in my defence??)
-I do not project this obsession onto DD in any way. She really has no idea I promise. DH on the other hand - sick to the back teeth!

I'm just having constant angel/devil on the shoulder arguments with myself about what would be best.

Basically DD is bright and shy, a bit like I was... and I really didn't have a good time at school. My parents put me in 4 different schools before the age of 8 and after then I found it really hard to make friends. The first school was lovely but Catholic and my Dad had previous horrendous experience at a Catholic school growing up so wasn't comfortable with me continuing there. My second school was an oversubscribed state school, which my parents described as complacent as a result and also lacking in funding (half the class of five year olds would watch the other half when they did art etc). I got bitten by another girl on the cheek and this was the final straw for my parents. My third school was a private prep school "crammer" as my parents described it, issuing me with 3 hours of homework a night. So that didn't last the year. The fourth was another private school, possibly more elite than the first but rising to the age of 18 so not as much of a crammer. I found the girls there to be so snobby. My parents put all their money into affording my fees (bless them, to the best of intentions) but because of this we couldn't afford the right bag or haircut or school shoes or skiing trips the other girls could and consequently I was ignored. Not bullied really, but taken the micky of and left out of invitations, sports team line ups etc. However I did love it academically, I really enjoyed working and I did well in GCSEs as a result.

So anyway that's just a bit of background. I really want to start off DD in a school that's perfect for her to save her being moved about like me...and its twisting me up inside.

Part of me thinks it would be lovely for her to go to our local primary school. The staff seem very nice and she could walk there. However all my local mum friends are moving to get away with it. Its low in the league tables (53% level 4 at ks2) although has a good ofsted.

So I think to myself maybe it would be best to move too? But then the market is horrendous and we'd stand to lose £30K on our new build house. And what if the oversubscribed schools aren't what they're cracked up to be? What if they're arrogant/complacent also and only achieve high results due to parental support? Essentially what if we waste all that money for nothing and DD ends up being unhappy?

So then I move onto private schools and dreamily think about small class sizes and DD being given loads of lovely attention. But then I worry she will have a similar experience as me and will struggle socially with too small a class size?

I sit and read ofsted reports and the primary education forum constantly. I visit schools and I think about this all the time.

Now for the really embarrassing part. DD is only 2.

Please tell me that other people obsess in this way? Or if not please help me get a grip!!! Thank you smile

mollysmum82 Sat 22-Oct-11 19:41:43

local mum friends moving to get away *from it

Majestic12 Sat 22-Oct-11 19:44:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cantspel Sat 22-Oct-11 19:45:27

If she is only 2 then i do think you are obsessing a wee bit to much.

Does the local or any local schools have an attached nursery school? if so why not try for a place and see if you can get a feel for the school that way.

Andrewofgg Sat 22-Oct-11 19:45:37

OP You've left obsessing about schools until DD is two? Shame on you. You're meant to start worrying before they are even conceived!

Just taking the piss as is my wont. Been there, done that, got the photo of DS at his graduation with a First. Best of luck grin

squeakyfreakytoy Sat 22-Oct-11 19:46:41

Enjoy the time you have with her now rather than obsessing about what is going to happen in two years time.

Education is important, but not when it overtakes the here and now.

fuzzynavel Sat 22-Oct-11 19:48:35

There is no such thing as the "perfect school". I'd opt to send her to the local one.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Sat 22-Oct-11 19:53:47

If you are being unreasonable then so was I. When pregnant with dd I was obsessed with moving near to what I judged to be the best local primary school.
Friend of mine is moving house to get her ds (will start school in September) into her school of choice.

youmeatsix Sat 22-Oct-11 19:57:46

we moved when our 1st was 8 months old so she would go to our school of choice
we thought it would take longer but we were lucky and very settled when the time came
its a big decision to make

maybe a bit excessive/obsessive but we never regretted it and were glad we did it

Cheeseandseveredfingersarnie Sat 22-Oct-11 19:59:25

if shes only 2 youre being a bit ott.but nothing wrong with wanting to get your childs education right.

tonightpetal Sat 22-Oct-11 20:04:39

I was obsessed like you OP. DS was a pfb, I used to go to open days for primary/secondary schools and fairs for private schools years ahead of time. blush

Then he was diagnosed with severe dyslexia when he was 7, so all my plans went kaput. I ended up having to send him to a private dyslexia school, which took years to convince our local authority to fund.

I think DS is now at the perfect school for him, but obviously it's not one I'd have thought it would be when he was two. You can never predict what your child's strengths, weaknesses and interests will be - so while I think it's sensible to plan ahead, it makes no sense to set your heart on a particular school until you know what your child's needs are.

Tanith Sat 22-Oct-11 20:07:52

I have a 2 year old DD as well and I find myself worrying about which school she will go to. I think it's quite a normal thing to do.

I remember my best friend's mum confessing to us that she was desperate for my friend to go to the local private girls school because they wore capes and hats and looked so smart. My mum says her dad wanted her to go to the Convent school. We all lived on a council estate: there was no way on earth either of our families would ever have afforded private education smile

It's natural for parents to want the very best for their children.

YetAnotherMum Sat 22-Oct-11 20:19:04

Definitely send her to the local school & stop worrying. My 3 went to probably the 'worst' school in the town as far as SATs & challenging intake was concerned, but it was local & they could walk by themselves & make friends with their neighbours. Other friends moved their children away to other primary schools but they all ended up in the same secondary anyway!
I don't go into any hothousing at home either - if a child is reasonably keen to do well academically they will in most cases I think. My son has just started at Oxford University - because he was keen & self-motivated, not because I pushed him. My others aren't so academic but I don't think a different primary would have made any difference.
Relax & enjoy life with your daughter - imagine how unstressful life would be by being able to walk to school & not having to move house.

mollysmum82 Sat 22-Oct-11 20:22:52

Thank you for your replies smile You've made me feel better. And a bit more normal!

It would be so much less stressful sending her to or local school. I've done so many calculations in my head about how much we could save here or scrimp there to afford private (or to move) and my head is starting to hurt!

mollysmum82 Sat 22-Oct-11 20:24:48

What a good point tonightpetal! I'm so glad your DS is in a perfect school for him now smile

mollysmum82 Sat 22-Oct-11 20:25:33

Thanks to all those who admitted obsessing too! smile

PointyBlackHat Sat 22-Oct-11 20:30:31

I'd plump for the local school and ignore the peer pressure, especially if it is giving you good vibes (and continues to do so). KS2 results can vary wildly from year group to year group, and are also very dependent on the nature of the catchment. I'd look at Value Added scores first.

If your DD is bright but shy, she will do better locally where she can make friends that she can form bonds with because they live nearby, and your involvement as parents supporting her learning will be the best predictor of how she does academically.

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