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Siblings share school: Exposure yields relationships

While it may be common for students to attend high school without siblings due to an age difference, there are some who share the same school with a brother or sister. Whether it’s getting ready in the morning or assisting with homework, siblings are able to find commonalities with each other after being exposed to each other in a learning environment.

One benefit for parents and younger siblings is that older siblings often can drive the younger ones to school in the morning.

“My sister [Elise, ’11] drives me and my brother [Justin, ’15] to school in the morning,” sophomore Brandon Porter said. “I like it because we can listen to better music with my sister than with my mom. Also, if I leave something in my sister’s car during school, it’s OK, because I can just go and get it; if I left it in my mom’s car, it would go home with her.”

As a licensed driver, junior Julianne King knows the positive and negative aspects of driving her siblings to school, as opposed to riding as a passenger. For instance, King says that her sisters, freshman Kaitlyn and sixth-grader Jennifer, generally control the music selections on the ride to school.

“Katie sits in the front seat and messes with my music, and it always lands on Justin Bieber,” King said. “I don’t dislike him, but [listening] every day is a little too much. When we drive with our mom, it is pretty relaxed and quiet, with no commenting on the driving.”

While some siblings adore having their brother or sister at school, senior Kory Thompson says sharing a campus with her siblings comes with drawbacks.

“I hate having my siblings at school because my mom makes me be the mom,” Thompson said. “If they forget something at home, I have to bring it to them. I also have to be in charge of money and getting things signed for everyone.”

Although attending the same school doesn’t necessarily mean that siblings have to talk during and in between classes, it does provide its conversational benefits, King says.

“I actually don’t mind going to school with my siblings,” King said. “The pros to having a sibling at school are that I always have somebody to sit with and tell amusing stories to about my day. Also, I am able to help my sister academically. All of the classes she is taking, I have taken too, so that makes helping much easier.”

For Porter, attending the same school and sharing some classes with his sister has given him an advantage with homework and class projects.

“The things I like about going to school with my sibling is that she can help me with homework in classes we have together, or even be my partner for a group project,” Porter said. “This makes completing the project much easier than most groups, because we can work on it whenever we want.”

Seeing her sister a good amount of time because of school, Kaitlyn says that she is thankful for the opportunity because Julianne is able to support her in mutual activities like athletics. For instance, both sisters played for the girls’ soccer team during the fall.

“My favorite soccer memory with Juli was traveling to Garces and doing the class raps [an annual tradition] in the hotel,” Kaitlyn said. “Juli was always there to cheer me on and she supported me on and off the field. We both offered advise to each other on how we could do better in games and practices.”

Along with academic advantages, a school environment gives siblings a chance to grow closer to each other in ways not available at home, according to Elise. In particular, sharing the same teachers and classes provides common topics to discuss, such as school events.

“Going to the same school [as my brother] has probably made us closer since it has given us a lot more in common,” Elise said. “We know the same people, have the same teachers and are even in the same Bible class. It has also been fun to go to the same events, like Night of the Stars and homecoming.”

As a younger sibling, Porter recognizes a negative side to having a sibling at school, as embarrassing stories about him may come up from Elise.

“The biggest con [to going to school with a sibling] would have to be that anything embarrassing that happens at home could potentially end up at school, too,” Porter said.

Like Porter, Kaitlyn believes that her older sister divulges stories about her to friends, which she would rather keep to herself.

“She [Julianne] enjoys telling her friends embarrassing stories about me and likes to make fun of me in front of them,” Kaitlyn said.

Despite the occasional public humiliation, the Porter siblings are able to agree that going to the same school has created more memories and a closer friendship.

“I enjoy having Brandon at the school,” Elise said. “It’s kind of cool because we kind of hang out with similar groups of people. One of the good things about having a sibling around is that it gives us more things to talk about. We know a lot of the same people, so it’s fun to tell stories about our friends and talk about whatever is happening around school.”

Since Kaitlyn is a high school student this year, King has taken advantage of the time to form a deeper relationship with Kaitlyn through friends and activities.

“This year I have gotten to know Katie a lot better,” King said. “Since we share some of the same friends, I have hung out with her at at the movies, sleepovers and Yogurtland. We get along a lot better [after going to school together], despite our very different personalities.”

For more features on siblings, read the Aug. 29, 2008 article, Sibling rivalry complicates academics, activities.

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