Friday, September 24, 2010

The never-ending search for schools....

For the past two weeks I've been touring primary schools, nurseries and daycare centres. It's been maddening. Cate is 3 years and 3 months and is very, very ready to start some sort of structured learning. Every day we play learning games so she knows her alphabet, colors and can count to 20 (well, thirty if you don't mind going from 20 directly to 30). But she's craving more than that now and I'm currently teaching her to read - we're sounding out letters which she's catching onto quickly.

I'm not a teacher - at all - so I know my child is ready to move to the next level but it has to be the right fit. Earlier this year she was accepted to two excellent schools - but both are all girl schools. Fen attended an all boys school and hated it and for two years I was at a different school that my three siblings and hated it. We decided that our children would attend the same school. We almost cast that promise aside until this week.

We've found a wonderful nursery for Cate to attend. They have structured classes and have loads of games and crafts - exactly what Cate is craving. It's very diverse with children from all types of backgrounds and ethnicities. I love that. She will be only one of two Americans in the class (although she is technically a passport carrying American/Bahamian/New Zealander/Samoan - we're a bunch of mutts). It's only for a year until she moves to reception in September 2011.

She was accepted just the other day and they are coming for an in-house meeting next week. They'll give us a start date then. Best part is that there is no uniform for nursery so I won't have to buy a uniform for this year and a different one for next year (that can get quite involved!).

She loved the school and pulled up a chair in the classroom when we entered so we know we made the right choice.  I'm SO excited for her.

But the decision for next year still hangs in the balance. I've turned down both of the girls schools which I was a bit sad to do. If we had two girls it would be a no brainer and Cate would be at one of them right now. But I have some great feelings about all of the seven schools to which we've applied. We'll be happy with any of them. We'll find out in November.

I'm not worried about it anymore. She has me as a mother - she will do well. Fen and I are big readers and we both did well in school (Fen did a little better than I did in primary-high school - I was more interested in boys, ah well - I came right in the end). We're both avid readers and see that both of our children are very interested in books. Fingers crossed - you can see the world through a book.

Next week my last application goes through and I will just sit back and wait to see what November brings. It was a long, tough process but I'm hopeful it will all work out well.


  1. Oh I remember those days! You have good mummy/mommy instincts though and you'll find the right place for them. In the educational psychology part of my psych degree I learned that during primary school the most important influence is the family. During the teen years the primary influence is peers and school. What a lucky girl she is to have you as a mama!

  2. Ours are at a mixed school and it's lovely seeing them all together..... However, we may consider a single sex school later. They leave the current school when they are 13. So when the 7yo is 13 we may move her in the hopes of removing one distraction; boys.

    ....mind you, it didn't work with me in the convent!


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