Starting to feel a bit nostalgic that my kids have been at school for almost a whole year already! A year later and Riya is still pulling that smile for photo’s!
Deciding to send our little people to school already, was one decision that we thought about quite carefully. It wasn’t just a choice that we made without taking into account all the factors that influence our family. But, as is becoming a custom on all parenting blogs out there, I feel like I need to add a little disclaimer before I continue.
* I am in no way judging people that home school their children. I’m not about judging people up in this space – unless of course you do not strap your kids into car seats. I do not necessarily think that school is better for all children, but I feel that it is best for our children in particular. Mostly because if I stayed home to teach them, I doubt that we would get much teaching done at all, unless Nina and The Neurons is on TV. *
Big deciding factors in us sending the kids to school were:
- We needed a second income in order to continue our living standard as well as accommodate the extra costs of having my parents live with us (in a separate house in the garden).
- I felt that even if I could stay home to “educate” our children, I have very little teaching experience and I would be putting my kids at a disadvantage. Unless of course, they are interested in insurance. Which I tried, and somehow I get the feeling that they will not be taking over the family business.
- I would quite possibly lose my mind. I mean, I love my kids and all, but sometimes when I find myself repeating something for the 100th time in a 5 minute period I wonder if there really is any use in trying to actually parent them at all.
- Clearly according to the above point, I’m useless at discipline and somehow I think that staying home would compound that issue.
- They were not getting enough stimulation staying at home with Ga. We could not expect her to look after all 3 of them and teach them new things every day.
Obviously after only entrusting Seth’s Mom with them for the first years of their lives, we had legitimate concerns that our children would be properly cared for and that they would get the attention they deserve. So we scoured the land of the Southern Suburbs for suitable schools. We were very lucky to find the lovely little school that we did. I know that my children are being supervised, looked after and loved there and that definitely gives me a huge peace of mind.
There are bigger reasons that I feel that we have made the right choice for our kids, here are the many wonderful ways that I have seen them grow and develop over the year that they have been at school:
- They have had to go out of their comfort zones to make friends with children who are not children of our friends – if you know what I mean. No one was there to facilitate the friendships – they had to put themselves out there and make those relationships on their own. People say that kids are supposed to be able to do this easily, but our kids were very shy and so found it difficult to have too much attention on them.
- The vocabulary that they are now using is astonishing. Every day they come home with new words and even though it’s sometimes it’s some cultural slang from the other kids, the fact that they are becoming able to express themselves better and better is very sweet. And even the occasional “Yoooor!” from Kyla is so hilarious that it doesn’t matter that she’s picked up on different accents.
- They have learned to listen to their teachers and follow the instructions given without much assistance. The teacher tells them what to do and they do it. They now know how to follow specific orders. I don’t think that I give them enough space to prove themselves on this one – if they were home with me they may never have been taught that ever.
- Kyla’s art has absolutely excelled. She has always been very creative, but see what she can now produce on her own blows my mind every day. I joke that I send them to school to paint, which is why we don’t do it at home, but on the rare occasion that we get arty she produces such interesting things. I know that this is part her own talent but also part watching all of her friends grow and learn too.
- They are starting to learn how to deal with conflict without running straight to us to sort out their problems (well, some of the time).
- They get a proper story time, exposure to loads of different arts and crafts, structured outside time where they learn to move those muscles and also just free reign to develop their minds in so many ways that they just wouldn’t get at home or even at playdates. Sometimes being away from Mommy and Daddy is really beneficial in their ability to be independent.
- Riya was potty trained in 3 weeks. That right there is enough said.
- I get to come home half day and spend the afternoon with them doing the fun things that involve a lot of free play and down time. Knowing that they have been at school definitely eases the Mommy guilt when we just play in the garden all afternoon and I don’t actually “teach” them anything.
- They learn new things every single day. Each week has a new theme and new things for them to explore and learn. I really can’t stress how much I would not have been able to provide this awesomness to them.
So, although I don’t think school is best for absolutely everyone, it really has worked so well for our kids in building and growing them. We are also going to probably include one extra mural next year – seeing as they are already demanding a ballet party it’s probably quite fitting that they actually do ballet!