Next year my first daughter will have an interview to go to high school. She will only be in year 5, but we have had her name down at this school since she was two years old. They’ll hopefully send us an acceptance letter not long after, we will pay a fee to confirm her spot, and in 2019 she will start her higher school education. Her sisters will follow her later on. She will have already done 6 years of schooling but this school will be different for one big reason.
There will only be girls there.
The decision to send all my children to single sex high schools was made with my husband. He attended an all boys Catholic school where our sons did/will go, and I went to a public co-ed local school. He loved school, I was neither here nor there about it. I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it. It was just something that I had to do. One of the hardest things I found was dealing with the male students.
Don’t get me wrong. Apart from one turd who made my life a misery for two years the boys were a really good bunch. It wasn’t their issue – it was mine. I was self concious. I didn’t want to speak publicly in front of them for fear of embarrassing myself. I found it awkward to speak up when they were in class. So much so I threw a public speaking assessment in Year 12 to avoid doing it. I got zero in that task. I didn’t have male friends like other girls did. Despite being in a school full of boys. There was a huge emphasis on who liked who, which girl had a boyfriend.
One of my daughters is like I was – shy around boys. The other prefers her male friends. They’re as different as night and day yet I still think both will benefit more from single sex education. Teenagers have enough to deal with during high school without worrying about what the opposite sex is doing. It is my view that boys and girls learn differently, and my daughters will do better academically without being distracted by male classmates, and vice versa.
I’ve explained my choice countless times over the years and the number one comment made by people who choose a co-ed education for their child is “I want my child to be able to relate to the opposite sex”
As do I. Her school will have dances with local boys schools. She will interact with boys on the way to and from school. She has a younger brother who will have his mates over, we have friends with sons. Her interaction with males will be plentiful. I have female friends who were educated in single sex schools. Some loved it, some hated it. Not one of them can’t relate to males.
Maybe she will thrive. Maybe she won’t. That remains to be seen. But the decision is the right one for us, and hopefully our daughters.