We have had our first week at school and so far, so good. I wouldn’t say it was a roaring success yet just so far so good.
They both greeted us with massive smiles and were full of every detail of their first day. The friends they had made and the fun they had had in the playground. Izzy even came out with a guitar as the kids have a guitar lesson every Thursday, Lewis was very jealous but has taken consolation from pinching it and having a little strum occasionally . He came out that first day with a certificate for his keyboard skills, maybe he will be the musical one, time will tell, he also came out with a little packet of sweets, a sure fire way to win over kids, good move teach.
I had felt anxious all day, checking my watch every five minutes and wandering aimlessly from room to room trying to keep myself busy. We had said that we would treat ourselves to lunch that day to celebrate our first day of freedom in quite a while, but we didn’t, we were both quiet and thoughtful instead, not really worrying, were not that bad. The school has an excellent reputation and we have talked to friends who have moved back from Spain and Spanish school and their kids had all had a positive experience, many praised the British Education, saying how much more interesting the lessons are, more exciting than the rote method they had experienced in Spain. Their children had grown in confidence, were speaking out more as it was all in their native language. This was what had made us make the decision to put them back in.
The change in Izzy (10) has been the most noticeable. All of a sudden she is using different vocabulary. Every sentence begins with “oh my god” she has started a new instagram profile and is constantly on there, chatting away about who knows what. She shyly admitted to me that she didn’t understand all the abbreviations the other girls use, like WUU2 means “what you up too” I told her she would soon figure it out, and she is. Its almost like she is receiving two educations, one being academic and the other social. She is slotting in nicely though, her teacher said she needs to understand and get used to the routine of the day, break times etc as that was all a mystery to her and very different than the Spanish day where they get a breakfast break and finish studies at two, but otherwise she is just loving it, she performed a section of “a mid summer nights dream” yesterday in front of hers and the other year five class and wasn’t fazed by it at all, I would of struggled to recreate that at home without a theatre club.
Lewis (7)is giving me mixed signals, he is enjoying the social aspect and has made a few friends, there is not enough sport for him or outside stuff in general but I think that will improve next year where sports lessons step up a bit. The teacher told me, in the nicest possible way, that as they are a high achieving school ,that there are some things that I just havn’t covered with him yet, so he is having to do some catching up fast. Already in just one week I can hear a difference in his reading, his pace has improved so I am really happy about that. We had hit a brick wall doing it together, he had started digging his heels in and I was tired of fighting with him about it. so for someone else to give him the push he needed was a big relief for me. However by the end of that first week, where Izzy was up and dressed, raring to go in the morning, Lewis was hiding under the sheets and saying he didn’t want to go. I am hoping that improves as he catches up. We are both in a good position to help him with any extra help he needs and he can see that other children are all learning the same things as him now, he now has a point of comparison for himself which will help motivate him.
I have read many, MANY articles on educating boys and the difference between boys and girls learning styles, about how girls are thriving in school as the system we use suits their skills, they are out performing boys, fact. And I appreciate not all kids fit these rolls but my two are prime examples of those articles. I hate to think that I am running an experiment with my kids but sometimes that is what I feel we are doing. We turned our back on conventionality and did something different, experienced a different lifestyle and loved it mostly. Now we are trying to fit into this normal life again, seeing how we fit in and watching our kids to see how they cope. Trying to do whats best for us all with the situation we are in at the time.
As parents we are going to massively miss the freedom we experienced with home school and travelling, I really miss having the kids around even though I am relishing a bit of me time so I can persue my dream of selling my own jewellery online. One major thing we have all enjoyed is that the pressure of being everything to the kids has been eased, we enjoyed our weekend as it was more relaxed and fun, no niggling educational thoughts running around in my mind, it had all been taken care of in school. But Its all a learning curve and I am not adverse to doing it all again if I feel that school turns the kids into someone we are not happy with. If the experience turns sour. One thing myself and Chris have always agreed on is how important freedom is in our life, we do everything we can to keep our freedom, it is very important to us so hopefully we can break out again in the future and have yet more adventures.
What do you think?