Education: If there is a dispute about the private school

I have three children, the middle one has ADHD and various learning disabilities. Actually that’s the only reason he’s been going to a private school since the 5th grade, the others go to the grammar school around the corner. But because there are many things happening at his school that regular schools don’t offer (class trip to the USA, film lessons, circus project), my other sons are jealous. But we can’t afford to send all three to private school. Do you have a solution?

Caro S., Munich

Margit Auer Black and white

Margaret Auer is the author of the best-selling children’s book series “The School of Magical Animals”, which has now been printed more than seven million times and translated into 25 languages. She has three sons, almost all grown up, and lives in the middle of Bavaria.

(Photo: Auer)

Margit Auer:

Aren’t we dealing with a luxury problem here? Two children attend “the high school around the corner”, the other a private school. All three seem to be doing well overall. The only problem is that some go to the USA and the others “only” go to Lake Chiemsee. What can be said about the Chiemsee? Why are film lessons better than the chess club? Oh yes, life is full of injustices. It will always be like that, and the children should really be old enough to know that by now. Sometimes one is luckier, sometimes the other. One missed the good grade by one point, the other missed a mistake and is happy about “sufficient” instead of “inadequate”. Leave everything as it is, accompany them as they grow up and, if you have energy left, turn to the really great injustices of life: war, social inequality, exploitation of the environment. Incidentally, you can also start initiatives yourself if you don’t have an offer at the school. Would that be something?

Family trio: Herbert Renz-Polster is a pediatrician, scientist and author of educational guides and the blog

Herbert Renz upholstery is a pediatrician, scientist and author of parenting guides and the blog “Understanding Children”. He has four adult children and lives in Ravensburg with his wife and youngest child.

(Photo: Random House)

Herbert Renz upholstery:

No, I don’t have a solution. I think you’ve already found them. And it leads right into what family is: a place where interests are balanced – as best as possible. Where needs are taken into account – as best as possible. A place where people can talk openly about what works, what doesn’t, and why and why not. Try to name your reasons, including the fact that your slow-learning son does not go to private school for fun and frolic, but because he is disadvantaged in some things and has it harder than others, for example than his brothers. And because he would have been pinned down to his weaknesses at the other school (unfortunately that’s the rule at mainstream school, and I think the other brothers will be able to resonate here). The clearer you are that nobody is really neglected in their development rights and that what is possible goes hand in hand with what is necessary, the more clearly you can convey your position. That doesn’t mean that your two sons won’t be jealous, and that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to accommodate yourself – for example with a grant for your own trips abroad. If that’s possible.

Collien Ulmen-Fernandez

Collien Ulmen Fernandes is an actress and presenter. The mother of a daughter lives in Potsdam and wrote the bestselling children’s book “Lotti und Otto” and the parent guide “I’ll be a mom then”.

(Photo: Anatol Kotte)

Collien Ulmen Fernandes:

Your question reminds me that I regularly read angry posts on the Internet in which someone calls for the abolition of first class on the Deutsche Bahn – that’s so unfair and only creates envy. This makes me angry because the problem isn’t the existence of the first grade, but the existence of the second grade! It is the second class that should be abolished if you want everyone to have a good and comfortable life. That’s how I see it, and the problem can be applied to many areas – for example to the school system. The question shouldn’t be how to get more kids into private schools, but why the hell public schools can’t offer the same quality. Regarding your situation: Unfortunately, I have no solution for you and am afraid that my revolutionary babble will only be a small consolation for you and your children, since the problem is a fundamental one. And as is the case with fundamental injustices, it will take a very long time to resolve them, if they do so at all. All I can advise you is: Try to find other ways of creating justice in everyday life.

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