Having Children at Different Schools

Miriam Gwynne by Miriam Gwynne Additional Needs

Miriam Gwynne

Miriam Gwynne

Full time mum and carer for two truly wonderful autistic twins. I love reading, writing, walking, swimming and encouraging others. Don’t struggle a...

It has been like this for several years now but sometimes it still hits me: I have twins who can't even go to the same school!

Having siblings at different schools is quite a challenge: besides the different uniforms to wash and dry they often have different school holidays, different days for parent nights and completely different ways of doing things.

You really would be amazed at how different schools can actually be.

It's the silly little things like one school has gym shorts and t-shirts stay in the school all year so they are always there while the other has children take them or wear them on set gym days.

One school has a policy of 'indoor shoes' and 'outdoor shoes' while the other one lets the kids wear any footwear all day.

One allows bottled water at their desk throughout the day while the other does not. One provides milk at break time while the other one doesn't. One sets homework daily but the other does not.

One child goes to school by taxi the other walks.

Those are the minor things though. My children have mostly adapted to those changes and other than the homework one they rarely have issues.

The ones that really upset the children though are what my daughter deems the 'unfair' ones, namely that her brother's school have a hydrotherapy school and take her brother horse riding and trips into the community where my daughter's class rarely get to leave the school building!

You try explaining that to an 8 year old!

While one child struggles with times tables and complex spelling words her brother gets painting and planting seeds.

The differences get wider each year.

As a parent I have different struggles with my children at different schools.

They have different lunch times so if they have appointments I have to juggle getting them both back in time for lunch when their schools are 15 miles apart!

It is not the first time one child's school have had an event for parents at a similar time to the other one!

How am I meant to decide which child's school to go to?

Parent nights cause similar difficulties. If my children were at the same school I would see both teachers in the same night at the same location making arranging child care and travel much simpler.

Instead we often have two different nights, sometimes different weeks, and arranging child care and travel becomes much more complicated.

Another issue is school photographs!

One of my children's schools have a policy of no school pictures at all while the other child's school not only offer individual pictures but family pictures too.

The latter breaks my heart every year as I would love to have both my children in a school pic together in similar colours just like my parents had when I was young with my siblings.

I have to say I took these things somewhat for granted until I found my children needed to attend different schools.

I am the sort of parent who loves to be involved in my children's education but that becomes much harder and more complicated when you add in two different schools in different towns.

I tried to join both PTA's but sadly had to pull out of one as I was never able to get home in time to collect my daughter from her school.

My children are twins and by being educated apart they never get to see each other at all during the day.

While this has some advantages it also makes me a little sad as I grew up with siblings at my school and knew there was always someone looking out for me.

I know my daughter would love to see her brother at her school and know he was happy and settled.

Sadly that will never happen.

I know my children are in the right schools for them. They are happy and both doing well.

It never will be possible for them to be educated in the same school, they know that and so do I. For many special needs families this is the norm.

I love both my children equally but having them in different schools means keeping life equal is impossible.

One has friends locally the other doesn't. One can tell me about her day, the other relies on a diary written by his teacher.

Having siblings at different schools is a challenge at times but despite being apart all day it is beautiful to see my twins still adore each other!

(Well most of the time anyway!)


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