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Only girls school for my only child ? It is an artificial world?

(38 Posts)
ShiftLD Mon 23-Nov-15 18:33:39

She doesn't have a brother and the cousins are miles away. If DD goes to an only girls school from Reception will probably have few oportunities to play with boys during hr whole childwood and teenage.

I see this as a problem but DH don't. I think it is artificial, the world is not like that and she must learn succed with boys around, DH thinks she will be fine, Im overthinking.

Should I choose a good co-ed OR accept Im really exagerating and go to the outstanding only girls option !?!?! I'm very confused...

AndNowItsSeven Mon 23-Nov-15 18:35:02

Send her to the all girls school, how do you think home ed kids cope.

Millymollymama Mon 23-Nov-15 19:52:18

My DD2 went to all girls prep and then girls boarding. She knows who boys are!!! Do you think that your child will live in a school vacuum ? Girls, in the main, don't play with boys. One of mine went co-ed until 11 but never played with boys. She found very many of them an irritation to be avoided. The odd one was funny. If you want her to play with boys, join Beavers or a football club.

Hulababy Mon 23-Nov-15 19:57:49

DD is an only child and has only been in girl's only education - both her primary and now her secondary.

However, she has not lived in a school bubble. Therefore, she has met boys in other aspects of her life: drama, swimming, local friends on street, other friend's siblings and friends of friends (not all of her friends go to girl's only schools).

Believeitornot Mon 23-Nov-15 19:58:34

My dh went to an all boys school and said he would have preferred a mixed education.

Why single sex from reception? I personally find it odd (but I have brothers and went to mixed schools)

TheOriginalWinkly Mon 23-Nov-15 20:04:54

I went to girls only primary and secondary schools. I then did a very male dominated degree ( maths ) and work in a very male dominated job ( police ). I never had any problems socialising with boys/men, nor did any of my school friends. Statistically girls do much better academically in girls only schools, and are more likely to continue with STEM subjects post-16. I wouldn't hesitate to send my DD to an all girls school if there was a good one available.

TheOriginalWinkly Mon 23-Nov-15 20:07:57

To answer your question, I do think single sex education is a bit artificial but I think it's artificially better - no getting distracted by vying for boys attention, no getting swamped in STEM subjects by boys, not being sexually harassed by the more immature 'lads' etc etc.

lljkk Mon 23-Nov-15 20:12:20

I would be very reluctant to choose a single sex school if I had only one gender for my children, for all the reasons that concern OP. Good luck with your decision.

Helps that I don't believe in "outstanding" schools anyway.

Caveatemptor Mon 23-Nov-15 20:26:47

My husband is an only child - he went to all boys schools and doesn't have a problem speaking to women. Go with your gut instinct

uhoh1973 Mon 23-Nov-15 20:37:55

Like TheOriginalWinkly I also went to all girls primary and secondary school, did an engineering degree and work in a male dominated environment. I don't have any close friends who are men but I haven't had any problems working with all men. I think girls are more likely to study STEM topics at all girl schools. DD attends a mixed primary but we plan for her to go to an all girls secondary school to give her what we consider the best available education.

At school DD plays with the other girls 99% of the time but she interacts with boys at her swimming class where she is the only boy and also has been to football training where she was the only girl. She was the only girl at nursery!

As others have said if you are concerned sign her up for swimming / beavers / football.

TheGreenNinja Mon 23-Nov-15 20:42:47

I went to a girls school, did have a brother though. I'd agree with the pp about stem subjects, I studied maths, physics, chemistry and biology, ended up doing a male-dominated degree and working in a male-dominated industry.

Millymollymama Mon 23-Nov-15 21:03:39

Girls only need to succeed with boys around when they get into employment and that may be at the age of 21 plus. At university you really compete with yourself. Why worry that her school education will not give her competition and interaction with boys? As girls do better educationally without the distraction and sometimes juvenile behaviour of boys, why would girls not be able to cope with them and compete against them in the "real " world later on? By that time, the girls will be confident, educated and articulate. They will not be phased by boys!

brokenmouse Mon 23-Nov-15 21:14:25

Wouldn't worry about it. Take all other opportunities to socialise with boys e.g. do Cubs rather than Brownies.

MMmomKK Mon 23-Nov-15 21:26:51

I had the same doubts and I have two Dds. My choice was an average, "happy" co-ed vs several "academic" girls only schools.

The eldest was very shy but bright and we chose the best school for her, which was the girls only school with a small Reception class. Fast forward several years and she is a confident, chatty girl not afraid to speak her mind. At this point she wants girls for friends, and sees boys at activities and sports. Also she loves math and science. Maybe she would consider a co-ed for secondary, or maybe not. Time will tell.
I firmly believe she would have been lost and invisible in a mixed Reception class. I don't think the teacher would have had time to cojole her out of her shell...

Dd2 probably would have done Ok at a co-ed. However, academically their current school is so much better, that it would not make sense to shortchange their education to just to gain a company of boys...

Littlefish Mon 23-Nov-15 22:18:51

I went to a girls-only school and as a result, would never consider sending my dd to one.

I found it horrifically bitchy, false and competitive (not academically, competitive, but more relating to clothes, social lives, weight, looks etc).

I had absolutely no idea how to relate to boys and was uncomfortable around them for several years after I left school.

turquoisetoad Tue 24-Nov-15 08:20:48

I have 4 children (2 boys, 2 girls) and they've all gone to co-ed schools and are now thriving in a co-ed state Academy. In fact one of my daughters came top in her chemistry class last week and does not consider it a 'male' subject! They are all doing well academically and socially and have consistently had friends of both gender. We live in a co-ed world, they will work in a co-ed world so why segregate??

Jinglebellsarenearlyhere Tue 24-Nov-15 08:42:52

So I had the same decisions to make. I have an only DD. Most of my relatives and friends are female. Only boy cousin to DD miles away. I myself went to an all girls school from age 8 to 18 and do not have brothers.

For me (and I stress it's an individual thing) I could not talk to boys / men with ease for years and years. Even now at 40+ I really struggle to find common ground and see men as a different and slightly scary group of humans.

I did not want this for my DD. So mixed primary it was. And yes it's true that generally girls play with girls and boys boys but the interaction is equal. And although she has no male friends she can chat, play, etc etc with them with ease.

So for secondary we chose mixed. Which meant for us moving out of London as our borough only has single sex schools. There were other reasons for the move but for me this was my primary reason.

I personally believe that school should mimic life. School is to prepare kids for the rest of their life both academically and socially and this means a mixed sex environment.

I appreciate that my experience has influenced my thinking. And it's worth noting that my sister who had the same education as me had and has no issues with speaking / being with men.

I also think that if DD had other boys in her life from clubs / friends / family etc etc it would make me far less concerned.

Also I do think that having an only child does factor as in my opinion only children can live more in a bubble of their lives. Siblings bring their friends / their clubs etc etc into the family experience.

neuroticnicky Tue 24-Nov-15 12:14:15

There is no good reason to send your DD to an all girls school from Reception unless perhaps it is the junior school of a school you are desperate for her to go to at 11 . The argument that girls get distracted by boys in the classroom can't sensibly be made in relation to primary school and it is unnatural to separate the sexes at that age. Some girls have lots of male friends at primary (like DD who loves sport and will play football with the boys) and some just have female friends but still normally enjoy being in a mixed environment.

neuroticnicky Tue 24-Nov-15 12:40:12

I also think that one of the problems is that people who have been to single sex schools or indeed boarding schools often defend them simply because they haven't experienced the alternative. The fact remains that both single sex schools and boarding schools are an unnatural separation from the other sex or one's family and only justifiable if the school is much better in terms of academic results than the mixed/day alternative.

Happymummy007 Tue 24-Nov-15 12:49:04

We've just moved our DD (an only child) from a co-ed primary to a girls' school - she's 9 and in Year 5. My DH works away from home during the week and we have no other male role models near us, so it's very much a female environment. However, I have absolutely no qualms about having moved her. The school (an independent one) is amazing, the results are fantastic and she is very, very happy with the all-girls environment. The simple fact was that at her previous school she increasingly simply saw the boys as a distraction in class, and didn't play with them either. I would also say that my niece went to an all girls boarding school and is now studying engineering with, yep, a whole lot of men. And she hasn't had any trouble in making friends, nor in doing well in her studies.

neuroticnicky Tue 24-Nov-15 13:33:36

Happymummy007 I am happy for your DD-as mentioned I think single sex schools are only justifiable if they are much better than the co-ed alternative and in your case the new school does seems much better. However I'm surprised that at age 9 your DD saw boys as a distraction in class; I can only assume that the co-ed school in question had poorly trained teachers who could not control the classroom.

Millymollymama Tue 24-Nov-15 13:59:20

When children attend a single sex school, they are only separated out for a few hours! Honestly, it is not their whole lives that are separated. Of course they are in the real world! They do not live in a total girls' vacuum!

Co-ed can be unsettling for some girls, and definitely in primary, and everyone should be aware that co-ed is not for everyone. It is not always down to discipline in the classroom either. Why do work relationships have to be mirrored in school? There is plenty of time for natural relationships with boys to develop insted of forcing the issue. Also, although girls might be difficult with each other over looks, image etc: boys are very judgemental about how the girls look! I know of boys in co-ed schools who give the girls very unflattering nick names if they are a bit larger and rank them out of 10 on looks and sex appeal. In truth it depends on the children in the school at the given time. No school is ideal!

ChristmasPartyDress Tue 24-Nov-15 14:01:27

such a big deal made out of single sex education. I sent my dd to all girls and have had to listen politely to some right bollox. You would think that a bit of bitchiness (and that happens at mixed schools) is the worst thing a dauughter could endure at school. I was sexually assaulted at my mixed comprehensive. A couple of times. Just picked myself up and dusted myself down and walked in to class where the teachers ignored most of the girls and focused on the boys. Nightmare.

HeadDreamer Tue 24-Nov-15 14:21:23

This Statistically girls do much better academically in girls only schools, and are more likely to continue with STEM subjects post-16. I wouldn't hesitate to send my DD to an all girls school if there was a good one available.

I would send both my DDs to a all girl school if I could afford the one here.

HeadDreamer Tue 24-Nov-15 14:24:45

I'm another who went to a girls school, studied engineering and now work as a software developer. It's statistically more likely for girls to study STEM at a girls school because it's not seen as 'male' in these schools.

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