Secondary school, should they choose?

My kids are in 4th and 5th class in primary and so the conversation about where local kids will go to secondary comes up regularly. Everyone is keen to hear everyone else's opinion as there's no natural feeder school.

There is one thing I feel strongly about when it comes to schooling. It's about separating girls and boys. I hate it. To separate them is un-natural and old fashioned.

Teenage years are about discovering who you are and developing yourself as a person, learning how to deal with things and how to handle situations. Developing skills is harder the older you get, so throw them in the deep end when young and they'll figure it out. If some people argue that mixing boys and girls is distracting, I'd argue that mixing them makes them more resilient.

So our dilemma is whether we should allow our kids choose where they go to school (one of them in particular, wants to go where her friends are going)? You've guessed it... that school is all girls - non mixed! We feel strongly about a different school, which is mixed and they'll know no-one else there. It breaks my heart seeing her upset as she begs and pleads to go to school with her friends, who are such amazing friends - and at such a young age. I've explained that rather than lose the friends they have, they'll extend their circles of friends. However, it's hard for them to see that right now. What's more, my daughter actually wants to go to an all girls school, saying boys are immature and dumb."Well dearest, they've been like that since the dawn of time; they eventually grow out of it."

So what do we do? Give in and go against what I believe in, or show tough love? Easier said than done, after-all I'm pretty laid back and like most parents would do anything for my kids. But maybe that's the point. Maybe 'doing' is figuring out a way to get her on my side; 'not doing' would be to go against what t I believe in and allow her to do as she pleases. Now my challenge is how do I get her on my side. Well, as I said, I am the parent, so I'll need to go figure that one out next. Either way, they'll all be going to the mixed school.


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