I am wondering: Is it bad to split sibs up at different schools when a school might offer programs that meet that individual child’s needs better?
Between charter schools, magnet schools, specialty schools and even home schooling, parents have lots of option other than just the school that happens to be physically closest to their house.
I have a friend who is homeschooling this year just one of her kids and the other child wants desperately to be homeschooled as well. I can’t decide if that is just for mommy’s attention or if their local school really isn’t great (even though it has a good reputation). Would her youngest have done better this year if the older child was still at her school?
Another mom in another state is being offered a self-contained gifted class, where all the child’s subjects would be taught at a gifted level, but it’s at a different school. The family only moved to that school this year so while they think the class would be better academically, they are worried about switching the child’s school yet again. Plus, there would be all the logistical difficulties of two elementary schools.
I know in some districts in New Jersey parents match up the elementary school with their child’s strengths (such as math, science or global view — social studies) so you could in theory have your kids in several different schools.
I think I may have shared before that half of my dad’s brothers went to private school and the other half went to public school. I had always heard that my grandmother decided who she thought had the most potential and they got the private school. Recently, I have been told it was the opposite — that the younger boys didn’t go the private school because they thought it had dropped in stature. But half went to one school and half the other.
Eventually sibs will be separated by middle and high schools depending on their spreads but that seems more like a natural part of growing up not a choice by the parent.
So while a program at a different school may be better academically for the child, a parent has to consider:
1. Logistics: Can you get each child where they need to be at the times they need to be there?
2. Whole new set of kids and parents: Now you are trying to be engaged in two (or more) entirely different settings with different school events, different school days, different parents and different kids. You’re having to start over socially.
3. Is there some comfort for kids knowing their sib is right down the hall? Or some comfort in the stability of staying at one elementary school even if another program might fit the needs a little better?
So what have your experiences been with splitting off sibs at different schools where their individual needs may be better met? Do the academic benefits far outweigh any negative points of convenience or stability?
– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, Momania on ajc.com