Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: Schooled

Friday, 28 April 2017


Since our oldest child turned three we have been somewhat preoccupied with the thought of schooling and how best to go about it. When I say preoccupied, there are times when it has consumed my thoughts upon waking and drifting to sleep.

I have an almighty fear of getting it wrong and ruining my children forever. Which I am sure with the gift of hindsight will be laughable but it doesn’t feel very amusing right now.

The worst part of all is that the distress is due to a very middle-class quandary (which I do realise I am extremely fortunate to even be able to consider) for I am trying to decide between state and private schooling.

You see, my husband was private schooled and I, state. Academically we are probably on par but where he is filled with an innate confidence and comfort in who he is, I am racked with insecurity and would gratefully morph into (any) another human being altogether. I see he and his friends and they just seem more at ease with who they are and their lot in life. For some reason, I put this, at least in part, down to schooling. I do realise that I am probably entirely mistaken, however, it is the one thing I can do something about. I want my children to have the confidence (not arrogance) to enjoy their lives to the fullest. So while there is certainly nothing I can do about the genetic make-up that I have passed down, what I can do is obsess on schools; private schools, state schools, grammar schools, mixed schools and everything in between.

What I would like to make very clear is that I don’t think private schooling makes you a better individual and I do see that in some cases it can do quite the opposite. I do believe that the quality of the teaching staff is identical but the class sizes and resources they enjoy are not and if we can afford it then surely we should lavish those bouquets of pencils upon them! But I then realise that we are merely on the cusp of being able to afford it and would I be short changing them elsewhere? Would they end up enduring school at the bottom of the social heap like a Cinderella who has been discovered half way through the first dance?  

With jobs that can be easily moved, we regularly play the “Right Move” game where we pick an area and look up the available schools in the area ( I should point out that this can involve plonking our baby on the map and seeing where he crawls). Although currently Scotland based, England (as well as the weather) has the attractive offer of grammar schools as while we do not struggle to meet the mortgage repayments, we would certainly be stretching ourselves by enrolling two children in private school but then is anything more important that your children’s education? And again, I come full circle.
That’s it. I’m home schooling
The "Right Move Game" Toddler Style

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