I’ve blogged myself into coma over this subject, but there’ still more to be said. In fact I think it will be an ongoing discussion until my kids graduate from high school (here’s hoping the arthritis still allows me to type by then).
So I am in the throes of trying to find Liam and Hannah a suitable school for next year. My heart is physically pained at the idea of having to take Liam out of his current school because we are truly happy there. The facilities, the extra murals, the curriculum and most importantly the staff are really A grade. However, it is expensive and with Hannah going to school next year, both the hubby and I cannot justify spending THAT amount of money on “creche.” If I could afford it comfortably, I wouldn’t even tremble at the thought of slamming my credit card down on the prinicipal’s desk and saying “double or nothing, fees upfront for the year, ya heard.” But with primary school education close on the horizon for both of them – a year apart, we’d rather work towards THAT than fork out lots of money now for them to really just have a good time in the day (which is what little people at this age should be doing, right?). I do understand the benefit of a good pre-school grounding (my sister is a grade 1 teacher so I know all about it), but for now we need to focus on the future and find a more reasonably priced school that still meets little people’s educational/emotional needs, if we intend to eat anything more than bread and jam for the next few years.
So this is where we’re at.
I’ve visited a few schools in the last two weeks, none which blew me away. Yesterday my visit to another school yielded somewhat more positive results and we’re scheduled to meet the principal next week. My modus operandi is usually to just rock up during the day and ask for a tour. Some schools have been willing, others won’t let me through the gate. The ones who won’t oblige on the spot are immediately taken off my list (believe me, I can tell their hesitancy is not due to security reasons). So I had a walk through yesterday… and I liked what I saw. Everyone in their little uniforms, smiling up at me, looking well and happy. Some in the playground with their big sun hats on. Other’s lining up for their potty break. And to be honest, that’s what usually does it for me. The kids. Yes I like to see the classroom layout and the art on the walls and the playground facility and the “look” of the teachers, but I usually take my cue from the kids. I have been to some schools were there’s just crying and misery and everyone looks pretty sad with lots of snot hanging from their noses. I kid you not – there are some schools who shouldn’t even be licensed.
So yes, after all my school stalking, I hope this is the one. It’s closer to our new home, it’s within our budget, and I get a feeling wooohooohooo (you know that song?) and if there’s one thing I have learnt (and one thing my sister in law just reminded me about yesterday) it’s to go with your gut. Now to prep the kids for their visit. Liam needs to do more listening and less talking and Hannah needs to extract her dummy out of her mouth for long enough for the principal to see that she does indeed talk.
Wish us luck!