Tag Archives: Schooling

We got into our school of choice!

So you guys know from this post that we were awaiting the outcome of our Grade R application for next year. Well I received the call to say that Liam had been accepted and that we need to come in with him for a little induction in about a month’s time. I am so relieved I cannot even articulate it properly. Like a huge weight has been lifted. Like I have one less thing keeping me up at night. Like when we’re at the school parties and all the conscientious parents are going on and on about how they’ve been on a list for years and their kid was accepted years ago and I just keep quiet because the only list my kid is on is his current class register. Now I can say, “oh my kid has a school” and roll my eyes dramatically like having a school was something we had thought about years ago.

Then I made the mistake of telling Liam that the big school had called and hooray he can go there. Rookie error, I admit, but I wanted him to be excited about it too and also I just could not keep this sort of good news to myself. The kid wants to do a countdown of how many sleeps until big school. He wants me to explain how long a year takes (it’s less than a year but I had to give him a timeframe to work with). So I counted in months because 8 months just sounds closer than a gazillion sleeps, right? Anyway, a part of me is happy that he knows and we have all this time to prepare him mentally and emotionally for this change which is sure to bring about mixed emotions for him.

He has only ever been at one school since he was 20 months old (we don’t talk about that horrible little school we dumped him in for a few months when he was just 18 months old.) So making friends wasn’t an issue really, he just grew up with the same group of kids and they have become fast friends because they’ve known each other since forever. Same thing with church: he has moved up with the same bunch of kids since he was 1. Yes, kids come and go, but he has his special church friends. He hasn’t had to go out there on his own and start over and actively MAKE friends. I am little worried about this, I won’t lie. Also, a lot of the class would have moved up together from Grade 00 so I think he will feel quite odd to begin with, so I’m glad I have this time to prepare him for that. He is an extrovert so I am not unduly worried, my anxiety stems more from the fact that he hasn’t been in this situation before, so I really don’t know how he’ll cope/react. But I’m trusting God that he’ll be FINE.

So now we face the next challenge.. making it all work. This school isn’t up the road. It will mean two different drop offs in the morning before I need to be at work. It will also mean leaving work during the day to take them home.. I am not paying for aftercare at this stage when I have a full time live in helper. Also aftercare is so darn expensive! So yes, I am going to drive A LOT. But of course we thought about and agreed on all these things before we signed up for this, so we know what we are in for. Also hoping that my hours will change as of next year – this discussion is already underway. At the very worst, this will be only for a year. Once Hannah and him are together, it will be easier of  course.

Right now, I am just grateful that he has somewhere to go and that he is correctly positioned for where we want him to complete his primary school career. Also, I am taking donations for anyone who wants to contribute to the hefty deposit/placement fee we need to pay, any ‘ol soul who feels like they want to just throw some money my way, I’m your girl.

lee and rocky

Big School Application underway…

Today is the day I submit the application pack for Liam’s big school. My stomach is actually in knots. You see, this is it. There’s no second choice. This is IT. If he doesn’t get in here, I’m not really sure WHAT we are going to do. So this HAS.TO.BE.IT.

If you’ve been reading a while, you’ll know that Liam is in Grade R this year. Both him and Hannah go to a preschool (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE) which ends at Grade R and then you have to leave. Boo hoo, I wish they could just stay there forever.  He is, however, very young. He has just turned five, which means he is a year ahead of where he should be. So in order for him to be 6 turning 7 in the year he enters Grade 1, he will repeat Grade R next year. Now, if you remember, I did have my issues with this… I think he is smart enough to enter Grade 1 next year. I think he is emotionally ready purely because I think he is on par with his peers who WILL enter Grade 1 next year. I sincerely think he would have been fine in Grade 1 next year. Hashtag Just Saying. However (and I know Cat will be happy with this!) I’ve decided that that extra year will do him no harm – it will be to his benefit in fact. He’ll be none the wiser, he is moving schools so it’s not like his friends move on and he stays behind, it’s still a new experience for him. Also, he’ll be the same age as his peers, he’ll participate in sports and extra murals with the correct age group, he’ll have a whole year on his peers (having repeated Grade R) so he should be the most brightest and most cleverest and most wonderful boy there (I need to work on this competitive thing, I really do). I’m kidding. The main reason is that I want him to be in the best position to feed into the big school we have chosen. And his best chance of this, is if he attends the preschool which feeds into that primary school – because we do not live in the catchment area and this automatically puts us on the B list and I simply cannot take that chance. No ways.

The primary school is government and because we are going government, I’ve really put a lot of time and energy in selecting a GOOD one.. however, the preschool is privately run and the fees are HECTIC. AND its half day. AND they only get a mid morning snack. Where they are now, although the fees are high, it’s full day and they get breakfast and lunch and two snacks in between. This also means that I’ll have TWO school drop offs because Hannah will stay where she is for another year. It’s going to be quite a change (and challenge) to our routine. BUT, it’s a great school. And that is all. I am willing to make sacrifices NOW in order to make sure this kid gets the education I so desire for him (at a rate I can afford!).

So this is why I’m feeling all sorts of anxious this morning. He HAS to get into this school. I may or may not have overdone it with the application and made it pretty with colourful tabs and a lovely folder and fancy paper clips and a letter of recommendation from MYSELF about my OWN kid. His current principal has assured me that she will make a call and give him (and us) a further glowing report. I’ve prayed over this application and I’m THIS close to spraying my perfume on it – kind of like a love letter. I’m JOKING. Relax.

So hold thumbs for me. I mean for Liam. Who would have thought that big school would be so stressful?

Ps: can someone explain to me, the reason that schools request such a LARGE sum of money as a NON REFUNDABLE application fee?? What do they use that money for? I mean WHAT is the purpose of the application fee? You paying to submit a whole lot of papers basically? And if your child is rejected you don’t even get it back! WAH! And who’s to say that they don’t  just keep accepting applications even though they know they are full, in order to cash up with the NON REFUNDABLE application fee? I don’t know, can someone explain this to me?

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I’m proud and I know it.

I love positive reinforcement. I really do.  My love language is very much centered around people telling me how great I am. Ha! That’s a joke, but on a serious note I like to hear that I did a good job, or that my parents are proud of me, or that my kids think I am the bomb diggity. I know we shouldn’t base our value or selfworth on what other people think because not everyone WILL like you, and they don’t have to, and often people’s opinions are based more on how THEY see themselves and their personal frame of reference, rather than on how YOU really are – if that makes sense?

Anyway, today I received some real positive reinforcement and it wasn’t an obvious compliment, in fact it was not given as a compliment at all, but I will take it as I see it thank you very much. So I was called into the school today to have a little talk. Now I don’t know about you, but when you are summoned to the principal’s office, you fear the worst. The call did say that it wasn’t urgent or cause for worry but as a parent you can’t help but worry. I thought that Liam was misbehaving because he has been going through a horrid little patch at home. Then I thought they were going to enquire about Hannah’s stutter – a post for that topic coming soon.

Well it was none of that. Turns out Hannah is doing so very well, she is above her peers and is been given work from the green group because she mows through the yellow group work very quickly. They went as far as to say she is even brighter than Liam was at this age, and for me, that is truly saying something because as I am sure you have always picked up from my writing, I think Liam is a genius. Ha! They wanted to know if I was happy to move her up to the next class as she is already doing that work and coping really well  – this of course means that if and when the time comes, she may have to repeat Grade R because of her age, but of course we are going through this with Liam now and I understand all the implications. They showed me the class’s work and without exaggerating I have to say her work stands out. I am so very proud.

We talked about Liam and we’ve decided to leave him where he is for now, he will progress with the rest of the class to Grade R next year and we will assess whether or not he is ready for Grade 1 when that time comes. He was also given a glowing report – he works well, interacts well, he is a joy to have in the classroom, he isn’t a bully but stands up for himself if he has to, and so on. Very proud again.

But here’s the crunch for me, besides them being smart (and I’m not naïve, I know that being “clever” at this age actually means very little in the grand scheme of things, so you know your colours and shapes, big deal), so besides that, the overall comment and feeling was that my kids are good. They are nice little people. Even though I tried to sway them to believe otherwise. And perhaps they say this to all the parents, but it still touched my heart in a way that no one word can explain.  And that, for me, is the greatest compliment ever. Those are MY offspring, borne and bread of ME, I helped mould them into the little people they are. MY hardwork is paying off. Those long, tired hours of caring for them – through sickness and through health, through teething and through fevers, through learning to crawl, walk, run and jump, night after night of sleeplessness, lots of tears from both them and me – I feel some small part of accomplishment that they have turned out alright; they are cool kids. Thank you Jesus.

Parenting is not easy, it’s so difficult that some days I want to throw in the towel and just walk through the door without looking back. But when someone, or a situation, acknowledges that you are doing OK, ESPECIALLY when you think you really suck at it, it really makes it all seem worthwhile. I don’t live for praise, that would just be stupid, but every once in a while it’s nice to hear good things about something or someone you have invested in.


Proud mama