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To ask about school years gaps between children..?

(33 Posts)
Stuckonthebaby Wed 27-Aug-14 09:57:21

I have two school years between DCs 1 and 2. We definitely want a DC 3 but can't decide whether to have 2 or 3 school years gap between them. Getting them all on the same timetable quicker (and out the other end quicker wink ) and being able to go back to work vs having more time at home with DC 3 alone.

Can anyone share their experiences/preferences to help me decide? (Assuming of course that we are fortunate enough for these things to even happen according to our own timetable!)

cece Wed 27-Aug-14 10:00:50

I have one in Y9, one in Y6 and one in Y1.

I must say having a big gap with the last one did feel like having an only child again once the other two were at school. The problem arises for days out/holidays and keeping them all happy....

bellarations Wed 27-Aug-14 10:02:58

Blimey! I was never that organised!
I have 1 school year school gap and it works well, as I'm sure would two or three. As for "the same timetable" all children are different, it may not work out that way. My dc are absolute opposite learners, one is like a sponge and "gets it" the other is very dyslexic and struggles with some things but is streets ahead in ither ways.

Bowlersarm Wed 27-Aug-14 10:06:51

I have three dc with two school years between each. They are teens now and it is very tense and stressful with the exam timetable, having A levels, AS levels, GCSEs constantly for six years. However, in the bigger picture that isn't the end of the world, and I preferred the smaller age difference so they were all virtually at the same stage rather than having a much younger one at a different stage doing different things.

Different age gals work in different families, do what feels natural and right for you. And maybe factor in that you may get pregnant when you plan to, but it may take longer than you had hoped.

dreamingofsun Wed 27-Aug-14 10:11:15

my plan was to have 2 years between each of my 3. but when it came to the 3rd i didn't feel ready so we had a 3 year age difference. to be honest it doesn't really make much difference. the ones with the 3 year age difference probably get on best. its stressful with exams whatever the age difference - espec when you factor in they are doing key exams from about 15 to 22.

deakymom Wed 27-Aug-14 10:45:39

i have big gaps it does mean i don't go back to work fast but it also means i get to spend time with each child individually at home just the two of us (which is nice)

missknows Wed 27-Aug-14 11:10:38

In school the most common gap we get is 2 years so when we need to combine events (like the carol service) we put 3 and 5 together and 4 and 6 together. Can't give you any advice on the side of the parent though- sorry

CPtart Wed 27-Aug-14 11:15:58

2 school years between mine. My brother was 1 year below me and the constant comparison by teachers was an ongoing source of resentment so DH an I purposefully left just over 2 years.
Days out, holidays etc etc all easy. Both want to do the same thing ( same gender).

WillowWoods Wed 27-Aug-14 11:17:58

I thought that I'd have a neat 2 year gap,but DS2 had the temerity to be born on September 2nd. This meant that he started school a year later than I'd anticipated.

OldBeanbagz Wed 27-Aug-14 11:21:52

I have 3 school years between my DC and it's worked well for us though a bit trickier now i have one in high school.

I was one school year younger that my sister and was forever getting 'oh you're EvenOlderBeanbagz's sister'.

At my DD's school there are siblings (not twins) in the same year group. One is the oldest in the year, the other is almost the youngest shock

tittifilarious Wed 27-Aug-14 11:33:26

I thought that I'd have a neat 2 year gap,but DS2 had the temerity to be born on September 2nd. This meant that he started school a year later than I'd anticipated.

Yep we have a 4yr school gap even though there is only 3yrs and a matter of days between them.

WillowWoods Wed 27-Aug-14 12:08:22

At first,the school took DS2 in,by mistake. They only realised after a few months,and he had to start reception all over again shock

BarbarianMum Wed 27-Aug-14 12:24:48

I have a 2 year gap b/w mine. And it's only whilst reading this thread that I have realised that that means they'll be sitting GCSEs and A levels at the same time. shock

But until then then 2 year gap has/is working well.

wigglesrock Wed 27-Aug-14 12:25:24

I have 3 year gaps in-between each of my 3. There's only 2 years and 4 months between my elder two, but dd1 is the youngest in her class and dd2 is one of the eldest. I never really thought about it that much. I've enjoyed having time at home on my own with dd3 as dd2 has been at school for 2 years. Next month I'll have a P6, P3 and the youngest at nursery school, I'm quite excited smile

DeWee Wed 27-Aug-14 12:37:19

The disadvantage of 3 year gap is if you have an infant/junior school system in your area. I have 2 3 year gaps, and that's meant that every time one left the infants the next one started. So for the last 2 years I have had 3 different schools. One 10 minute walk away, one 40 minute walk away and one 10-15 minute drive (depending on traffic) in the opposite direction.

BackforGood Wed 27-Aug-14 12:42:32

I've never known anyone that can be that 'clinical' about getting pregnant - surely not many people can plan things with that accuracy?
What if the baby is due in the Autumn and arrives early, or due in the Summer and arrives late?

Anyway, there are advantages and disadvantages for all sorts. If you hang around the "parents supporting their children through University" threads, you'll see very good financial reasons for leaving a 4 year gap between dc. grin. I guess this also applies for paying for childcare when they were little.
OTOH it makes it difficult to entertain them all as age gaps become bigger - types of holiday, days out, even eateries, etc. I have a friend who has 3 in 3 consecutive school years and she loved the fact that they were all at one activity at similar times - say cubs or Brownies - but I liked the fact that my older dc had generally left before their sibling started, so they had their own 'space' and weren't always lumped together as being 'dc1's sister'.

Two yr gaps tend to give you exam stress at GCSEs and A-levels, but only if all dc go through the system "typically" without any reason not to.

I found that my two who were closer in age, didn't really get on unitil they were about 16 and 14, as dc1 always felt a bit 'threatened' by dc2's abilities and he didn't cope well with the competitiveness, getting on much better with his younger sibling who wasn't 'competing' with him but my nieces who are 1 school yr apart have always got on famously - so that can go either way too.

When there are things you don't particularly enjoy - be that having to get in the water at the swimming baths with them, or organising birthday parties for them, it does seem to go on for ever a long time if there are big gaps. I'd hate to start all that again once it had stopped for a while. That said, if there are bigger gaps then the older ones can be more helpful in keeping an eye on the little one for 10mins while you nip out, etc.

So many different reasons for each way. smile

WhoMovedMyVuvuzela Wed 27-Aug-14 13:11:33

3 of the DC's are close in age and for a few years I will have them all at the same primary school, that seems pretty organised and shouldn't have too much trouble getting DC3 and 4 into the same school as they will have siblings there.

Two of the DC's are a year apart, I'm hoping the older one behaves as I will be seeing each teacher for 2 years in a advantage is I should get to know the teacher and the TA really well. The other advantage will be that whatever the second one is doing will be fresh in my mind as I will have just done it the year before. Having them close in age also means that by the time the younger ones actually attend school they are very familiar with the setting and even know some of the teachers.

None of this was particularly planned btw, for various reasons I was just grateful to be able to get pg.

Summerisle1 Wed 27-Aug-14 13:21:41

I'm admiring of your organisational skills, OP but be aware that the best laid plans often fall apart!

I had 2 school years between mine although there was only an 18 month age gap. But DS1 was born in June and DS2 the following December. Not that it ever occurred to me to take school years into account since I was never that organised!

A shorter gap certainly made some things easier - the practical aspects of not needing to be at 2 schools for overlapping events for example - but what I would say is that DS2 actually flourished when he didn't perceive himself as in DS1's shadow. DS1 was a very competitive child who, if things didn't go as well as he'd assumed, tended to take his frustrations out on DS2 who he'd describe (quite wrongly) as "thick". So DS2 did very well in his last years of primary school and again at secondary school when DS1 wasn't around to be compared with.

RufusTheReindeer Wed 27-Aug-14 14:16:21

There is three school years between number 1 and 2 and one school year between 2 and 3

I wish there had been two school years between the last 2. I would have felt more ready for number 3 to start school

There is 17.5 months between 2 and 3 and one school year apart, my friend has daughters 14 months apart and there is two school years between them (confused)

RufusTheReindeer Wed 27-Aug-14 14:16:46

Or better still confused

Stuckonthebaby Wed 27-Aug-14 14:34:52

WillowWoods that's awful! Poor thing starting then having to leave again! Interesting input - don't worry I'm well aware that these things may not work out (I don't feel that strongly about it) just deciding whether to take the plunge on the off chance it happens quickly. With one DC taking forever to conceive and the other just a few glasses of wine, perhaps I should just open a bottle and see what happens grin

WillowWoods Wed 27-Aug-14 14:48:43

It seemed quite brutal Stuckon,but it's made him very sociable. DS1 was conceived on Beaujolais day grin

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 27-Aug-14 14:51:46

There is one school year between mine, it's been great! No real planning involved though, just lucky to get pregnant very quickly.

The pre school years were really tough, but since they've both been at school it's worked really well.

BramwellBrown Wed 27-Aug-14 15:07:33

I have a year 1 and a year 6 which has been nice as I only had 1 baby/toddler at home at a time, it was really strange when DD started school though as I'd got so used to having a child home with me.

I think there's definitely an advantage to having kids closer together though, my Mum's been doing the school run to the same primary since big bro started in 1992 and we worked out the other day that by the time littlest sis (who is year 6) finishes 6th form Mum will have had 30 years of nagging about homework and washing school uniforms.

larry5 Wed 27-Aug-14 15:46:33

I had 2 and a half years between ds1 and ds2 so they were 3 school years apart and them I had 15 and half years between ds2 and dd. I had children at home for 36 years and children at school for 31.

Dd is just going back to school as she starts her first job as a maths teacher next week!

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