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2 DCs at 2 different schools? - pondering

(13 Posts)
harryhausen Fri 12-Apr-13 09:36:58

I'm pondering with the idea of maybe changing schools for my ds (nearly 6) if things don't improve in the future.

There are 21 boys in his class out of a class of 30. He's been having trouble in the past 6 months with not 'fitting' with their playtime ideas and in general really. My son hates football, is a huge geek, doesn't own a games console (yet) although does have a ds and often plays on my iPad. He has a fairly unconstructive friendship with one boy he has known since they were toddlers. They completely disrupt each other so much they are totally separated with all class activities. It's not nasty - a bit of a crazy bro-mance. It's been exhausting. I've tried to widen his social group with play dates etc. while these go well, he's rarely asked backhmm
Yesterday 5 of his 'friends' had to stay inside as punishment for treading my ds about him being 'babyish' and only playing 'baby' games like Octonauts (shock) or Harry Potter (babyish??)

I had a chat with the teacher who said she'd try and keep an eye on him at playtime, but I'm beginning to think maybe ds is just the wrong 'fit' for the school? I'd like more of a gender mix, and his school work is ok but he's not progressing hugely.

However my dd (8) is doing exceptionally well at the school. She really loves it all. Lots of friends with both boys and girls. It would break her heart to leave.

So, how feasible is it to have 2 dcs at 2 different schools? Like I said, I'll stick it out for a bit, just pondering.....

ptangyangkipperbang Fri 12-Apr-13 09:46:43

If you feel it's not something they'll grow out of I'd move him. My DS's ended up in different schools and I think DS2 in particular benefitted because he became his 'own person'.
I moved DS2 in year 1. I could tell the school was failing and his class teacher was really ineffective. It was hard leaving DS1 there but he insisted that he wanted to stay and his class teacher was more effective.
It worked well for both of them. DS2 fitted into his new school and DS1 continued to progress. This went on for another year when DS1 decided he wanted to move too! We couldn't get him in at D S2s school so sent him to another. He thrived, the original school ended up in special measures and I had 2 happy boys!
The school run was a bit manic but both schools were sympathetic about the logistics.
Good luck. It's a massive decision but sometimes you just have to act if things don't feel right.

happpygardening Fri 12-Apr-13 09:47:44

I did it for about a year when my Ds's were in yrs 1 and frankly its the practicalities that are difficult because you cannot be in two places at once. It was amazing despite the fact that one school was a prep school the other a state school how often things clashed assemblies, parent teacher, meetings, sports day even social functions but it was the driving around frantically between two schools that I found really difficult they were about 6 miles apart (we're rural). In the end I had to get an au pair to help.

harryhausen Fri 12-Apr-13 13:05:16

Thanks for replies and experiences.

The current school has a breakfast club but not an after school club. I hadn't thought about the complexities of different school plays/assemblies/sports days etc. Also my family live nowhere near me so I'd have no help.

Hmmmm. Much to think about. I'm thinking it may be too muchhmm

YoniFoolsAndHorses Sat 13-Apr-13 09:52:11

I have two different independent schools - and has actually found it easier than I would have done had the little one gone to the same. Yes, some things clash as holidays are never quite the same... But it's not too difficult to arrange around. Big one will be moving to a boarding school from year 7, and I am pleased I chose a school to suit the little one's personality rather than just go for convenience. She is thriving! She would not have done so well otherwise I think.

Look at clubs etc. My little one had a flexible drop off and pick up which makes it work!

I do a lot of driving though!

greenfolder Sat 13-Apr-13 10:32:36

its hard to say unless you investigate all the options- you say current school has a breakfast club? well thats morning taken care of! new school might have an afterschool club or does dds school have after school activities? could this combined with a few playdates work?

i really think your instincts are right in looking at alternatives, it sounds unfortunate to say the least that there are so few girls in the class/school as i really think this makes a difference. i assume its an issue across the year else they wouldnt have so few girls in one class?

needanewnickname Sat 13-Apr-13 16:44:59

OP, have you thought about the practicalities of managing if your children are off on different days? The five training days are decided on a school by school basis so will almost certainly vary between schools. If both schools have their holidays set by the same local authority then holidays will be the same, but more and more schools are becoming academies with power to set their own holiday dates, so I think you should give some serious thought to how manageable it would be if your children ended up with different half-term weeks, or perhaps completely different Easter holidays if Easter is late/early and one school sets the holidays around the Easter week-end and the other doesn't.

harryhausen Sun 14-Apr-13 07:54:07

I hadn't thought about holidays - although I if I moved him it would very probably be within the same EA. Inset days would be a bind though.

Thanks everyone for talking it through with me. Not a decision to be taken lightly, although its obviously been the best choice for some of you. I will have to stick it out a bit more and keep musing on the idea I think. I have no real idea of which other school to send him to!

There are 2 classes in his year. The other class has a huge amount of boys in it too - although not quite as many as his class. I don't think it would help much.

I'm so hmm that I feel like this and I feel ds isn't thriving too well. As I said, dd is doing so well there - it never occurred to me that ds wouldn't be the same. Also, until you apply for a school place you have no idea of a gender split until you start do you? Hopefully things will improve as they get older.

eatyourveg Sun 14-Apr-13 09:03:27

lots of people have no choice but to do it when they have a dc in sn school - most if not all the people I know who have had two schools to juggle have managed well

I had 3 children in 4 different places for 2 years ds1 in Y2 ds2 in sn reception and ds3 in a split placement with one mainstream nursey school for part of the week and a special needs for the other half. I managed although it was tricky and more than once I muddled which school had which letter of the week and which school had show and tell etc but the important thing was that they were each in the very best environment for their particular needs and strengths

Think on it as being what is best for your dc, rather than what is most convenient for you. If you are going to move your ds though be sure you have really found the right place rather than a school which is just somewhere other than where he is now

sashh Sun 14-Apr-13 09:34:21

Lets face it unless you have twins you will have children at different schools at some stage because they move to secondary.

If you can do it then why not move him somewhere he will be happy.

happygardening Sun 14-Apr-13 10:38:14

The logistics depend very much on your DC's age; if they are young it's going to be much harder, your location; it's much harder if your rural as schools can obviously be far apart, whether you have good and supportive neighbours, friends, family, au pair etc; someone who can do a last minute school run or look after one DC whilst you're talking to a teacher at the others ones school, the existence after school clubs/extra curricular activities/breakfast clubs.
I'm not disputing it's not doable but if as I've said from personal experience it can result in you frantically driving between two schools twice a day and shouting at slow moving tractors blocking narrow country lanes for 3 miles.

Ladymuck Sun 14-Apr-13 23:25:39

I've done it since ds2 finished reception. His class contained some incredibly disruptive children, and we could see that he was getting a far worse education than his elder brother.

Single sex schools seem better set up for the dynamics than co-ed schools, since many of the children will have siblings at other single-sex schools, so there is usually a decent drop-off/pick-up allowance at such schools. But as others have said, do not underestimate the number of hours that will be spent driving under time-pressure between schools. Other issues that I have encountered:
- different homework policies, especially regarding holiday homework;
- different levels of school trips, particularly residential trips in later years;
- sports fixtures can be at a distance from the school, therefore there can be an even greater challenge in picking up from schools - cricket matches in particular are challenging as they can go on forever!
- different school kit and no chance for hand-me-downs

That said the advantages for ds2 far outweighed the negatives for me, and I don't regret the decision to move him at all.

tallulah Mon 15-Apr-13 19:10:09

At one point we had 4 children at 4 different schools grin.

Trying to remember 4 lots of term dates/ inset days/ assemblies etc was a bit chaotic but not impossible. We had to reject one school when looking to move DC4 simply because the drop off/ pick up times didn't fit in with the others, but in the end it was all very smooth.

If things clash, well tough. As long as you manage to get to each child's school for one major event they'll just have to understand you can't be in 2 places at once. In our case I worked and couldn't always get time off so they were used to my not being able to go. I always made sure to go to the more important (to them) events.

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