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View as: GRID LIST

SCHOOL INDECISION…
THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

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So many responsibilities come with being a parent. Day-to-day feeding and nurturing of small beings, for starters. Then the fact you have to act like a (vaguely) responsible adult. And, of course, there is the question of school, too.

That big old education thing doesn’t seem so important when two blue lines appear on the pregnancy test, but it starts to loom large when your offspring come out of the toddler years and you realise they need to learn some life skills. The kind of life skills that CBeebies, rhyme time and zooming around coffee shops

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while you send emails, won’t provide.

My kids joke that my worst nightmare would be to home school them. Indeed, the thought of looking after them 24/7 and having to equip them with proper life-cementing knowledge, sends shivers down my spine (hats off if you do this by the way, you’re made of stronger stuff then me).

When I was a kid I actually loved school (the cover pic is of me on my first day). A September baby, I was always the eldest in my school year and I thrived on this position with Virgo-esque vigour. I went in and out of friendships,

SelfishMother.com
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conscientiously did my school work, and tried not to stand out too much. I went to three state schools, none of them were on my doorstep – for my primary school we drove to the other side of Guildford, my middle school was a 20 minute walk away, and for my secondary school I got a bus to Merrow.

My mum says that she and my dad didn’t go for the closest options, because they wanted us to go to the best possible – and now I’m an adult I’m realising that school choosing anxiety is a real thing.

There seems to be so much weight attached to getting

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it right. In fact, my son Rafferty aged 8, is already on his third school. We moved from Rye to Brighton because of schools, and a big tick of moving to Bruton in Somerset was the density of schools in the area.

Now that Liberty is starting school in a couple of years my mind is thinking about it all again. I’m wondering if she should go to the same school as the boys, or go to the school on our doorstep with her nursery friends. I’m then wondering if it’s weird if your kids go to different schools than each other? Should the boys move closer? And

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which secondary school to choose for them all?

School questions are there, and the funny thing is that however much we discuss it with friends, we all have slightly different takes on it. Some people I know ferry their kids to schools miles away, some drop them round the corner, some go state and some go private… it’s one of those pub topics that can go around in circles.

There is no definitive answer, and funnily enough we’ll never know completely if our choice was right, because we don’t have the option of glimpsing into a Sliding Doors

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alternate universe. But I do know that we’re lucky to have the choice. We live in a country where education is not only encouraged, but mandatory, and that we have one of the best systems in the world.

So when you look at it like that… school indecision is just part of life’s rich parental passage, like empty nest syndrome… and nits.

SelfishMother.com
Molly Gunn, Editor

By

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- 20 Nov 19

So many responsibilities come with being a parent. Day-to-day feeding and nurturing of small beings, for starters. Then the fact you have to act like a (vaguely) responsible adult. And, of course, there is the question of school, too.

That big old education thing doesn’t seem so important when two blue lines appear on the pregnancy test, but it starts to loom large when your offspring come out of the toddler years and you realise they need to learn some life skills. The kind of life skills that CBeebies, rhyme time and zooming around coffee shops while you send emails, won’t provide.

My kids joke that my worst nightmare would be to home school them. Indeed, the thought of looking after them 24/7 and having to equip them with proper life-cementing knowledge, sends shivers down my spine (hats off if you do this by the way, you’re made of stronger stuff then me).

When I was a kid I actually loved school (the cover pic is of me on my first day). A September baby, I was always the eldest in my school year and I thrived on this position with Virgo-esque vigour. I went in and out of friendships, conscientiously did my school work, and tried not to stand out too much. I went to three state schools, none of them were on my doorstep – for my primary school we drove to the other side of Guildford, my middle school was a 20 minute walk away, and for my secondary school I got a bus to Merrow.

My mum says that she and my dad didn’t go for the closest options, because they wanted us to go to the best possible – and now I’m an adult I’m realising that school choosing anxiety is a real thing.

There seems to be so much weight attached to getting it right. In fact, my son Rafferty aged 8, is already on his third school. We moved from Rye to Brighton because of schools, and a big tick of moving to Bruton in Somerset was the density of schools in the area.

Now that Liberty is starting school in a couple of years my mind is thinking about it all again. I’m wondering if she should go to the same school as the boys, or go to the school on our doorstep with her nursery friends. I’m then wondering if it’s weird if your kids go to different schools than each other? Should the boys move closer? And which secondary school to choose for them all?

School questions are there, and the funny thing is that however much we discuss it with friends, we all have slightly different takes on it. Some people I know ferry their kids to schools miles away, some drop them round the corner, some go state and some go private… it’s one of those pub topics that can go around in circles.

There is no definitive answer, and funnily enough we’ll never know completely if our choice was right, because we don’t have the option of glimpsing into a Sliding Doors alternate universe. But I do know that we’re lucky to have the choice. We live in a country where education is not only encouraged, but mandatory, and that we have one of the best systems in the world.

So when you look at it like that… school indecision is just part of life’s rich parental passage, like empty nest syndrome… and nits.

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Molly Gunn, Editor

Molly Gunn is the founder and editor of Selfish Mother, a site she created for like-minded women in 2013. Molly has been a journalist for over 15 years, starting out working on fashion desks at The Guardian, The Telegraph & ES Magazine before going freelance in 2006 to write for quality publications. She now edits Selfish Mother, sells #GoodTees to raise funds for charity, & writes freelance for Red Magazine and The Sunday Telegraph's Stella. Molly is mother to Rafferty, 6, Fox, 4, and baby Liberty. She is married to Tom aka music producer Tee Mango and founder of Millionhands. They live in Bruton, Somerset.

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