Sunday, 16 August 2015

A new chapter in education

I wrote a few months ago about my biggest little girl coming of 'school age' and my thoughts on what route we would take wether its foundation in a primary school, home education or flexi-schooling (part time hours). The past few weeks while enjoying summer holidays and realising that time is getting closer to decide I keep feeling my heart pounding with so many emotions. The day we returned home from camping two weeks ago we received news that our Yve's had actually been given a place in our first choice, a lovely little village primary school in the same place as where she had just finished pre-school at back un July, and where Halle will continue to go as well except for this time, Yve's would be in school uniform, round the other side of the building and potentially being full time, where as in pre-school she only did 15 hours a week by her choice. She is looking forward to going, she's such an eager beaver to get doing things, learning, discovering new things. I just worry sometimes that doing a fixed 'full time' scale of hours may be too much regardless of her abilities. And maybe i'm thinking way ahead of myself but when being taught things, I think it's a good thing that our little ones do it at their own pace, after all this is what we want for them from birth-five with the milestones instead of going by what everyone else expects. My little girl is such a sponge and wants to be learning all the time, but along with this she loves having time to herself to play in her magical imaginary little world where anything is possible to her, and I don't want that to have restrictions just yet. Life does come with so many changes, and as a family we have been through so many for the past 5 years, I just don't want her being rushed to grow up so quickly.

Not only that, we do have lots of fun learning at home too, wish i'm sure we'll all miss. We love to do crafting, baking, playing, going outdoors, parks, trips etc and i'm sad this will all stop as it's things she loves doing wholeheartedly. Doing all those things creates so many opportunities for the littles to learn as well as i'm a firm believer that they learn to their abilities and also interests, the whole world around them they can learn from - not just school textbooks or whats being pressured on them with schooling statistics. I'm not a teacher, but i've spoken to a few who have even said they don't agree with the way they have to follow guidelines to teach their classrooms, and for me thats frightening that the teachers who we are entrusting our little ones with don't actually agree so don't love what they're showing our little ones on a daily basis.

When I think about how close we are as a family, it does make me think about if she becomes distance, or we lose the connection we have build with her over the past five years, how will she be spending 30 hours a week away from us, the people who have been her life and that we love being around one another. Of course there is the element of my parental instinct of protection, and the disbelief that our first born baby girl is almost five years old already. It seems just like yesterday that I gave birth to her, soaking in that fresh baby smell, a mop of jet black hair, chunky thighs and content nature. then the moments of beginning our breastfeeding journey together which wasn't always easy but we made it through to 13 months, first words,  experiencing traumatic events in life when she was still so small, playgroup dates with our friends, watching her become a big sister for the first time, and then for the second time, the ever lasting bonds she has with the people she loves most. All these firsts that have gone by in a flash. They say these are the 'golden years' and they're right, I couldn't be any prouder and happy for the past five years, but all this aside I still can't get my head around the whole starting school full time at five.

I've read so many ways in which education, or life education is available to little ones, and i've looked into the home education and unschooling methods lots. and each of these really appeal to us, however I do think you need the right amount of support, and also everyone's life circumstances are different so this changes that view on how it can become reality for us. Yve's does love the preschool setting, so maybe she will feel the same with primary school too, but I know from what she says that she also loves her own things and I want her to feel passionate about her favourite things, not have to be focusing on things that I dont think is important for such a small child to learn right now. I guess its trying to get the right balance for what I think is best for my littles and what they love to do. I truly think primary school should start around 7, up until then learning should be all play based, education-wise, she has taught herself how to write her own name, all our family members names, count to 20 and loves to be creative - thats all from her own initiative. since day one we have followed her lead, so we'll continue to enjoy our summer holidays together, prepare for some potential changes in September and take it one day at a time. If the flexi-schooling is an option then bonus, if not we will see how it goes, re-evaluate at Christmas time and go from there. I'm just trying to be the best parent I can be for her, every child is different, as are parents and the way they choose to parent them, I respect everyone's views and would love to hear your thoughts. I think for now, instead of continuing having so many sleepless nights on all of this, I will remember that nothing is set in stone, we can go with the flow and as long as we continue to be there for our little girl, guiding her, loving her unconditionally, and making sure she is happy, we know it'll all be alright.


Linking up with Katie at Mummy Daddy Me.
Ordinary Moments 2015 -33/52
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5 comments

  1. Going with the flow sounds like a good plan. And I think so many people worry about their children being forced into formal education too soon when compared with the continent... but the Reception year follows an Early Years curriculum which is almost entirely play based and child led, almost exactly the same as what she'll have had in preschool.
    As you say every child is different, and every family is different. And the school will know that and will make sure she is nurtured in the best possible way for her and for you. x

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  2. I can totally resonate with your post Nat. I'm fascinated by home schooling and flexi-schooling, and read loads of blogs by people who do both. I too like the idea of a child being able to learn at their own pace, and focus on their interests. I would just be worried that it would be too intense at home, us spending so much time together. I love my children, but have enjoyed the time alone to work and breathe whilst they're at preschool! We're going to start school next month, and like you, see what happens, and if F enjoys it. x

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  3. I totally agree with your opinions about starting formal education later and those younger years focusing on play, creativity and nature. I think deciding what to do is such a hard decision to make, and I think that seeing how it goes and taking it one step at a time sounds like the right decision as if something doesn't feel right you can always change it! Best of luck to you and Yve, I hope you find the best solution for your darling girl (who looks gorgeous in your photo!) xx

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  4. You have to go with what feels right for you all as a family, and I guess going with the flow is best. I know that the regular schooling system works for us but I have also at times been tempted by home schooling. I hope that whatever you decide it works out well xx

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  5. This is a really interesting post Nat and it sounds like you have your head switched on when it comes to what is best for Yves. I hadn't ever really thought about any other forms of education for Mads other than full time school but I actually have been reading a lot about flexi schooling recently, and I really like the sound of it. That said I am going to put her in full time education and give it a couple of terms to re-evaluate it. I am sure she will thrive there and I almost certainly will follow that path for her. x

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