SO, WHAT ARE WE ACTUALLY DOING WITH OUR CHILD’S EDUCATION?
Updated: Feb 4, 2019
Winging it basically. Aren’t we all?
Not true. Choosing not to enrol our son into the system (for now) has been one of the biggest decisions in our parenting journey so far.
We’ve decided that in what would be his first year at school, we are going to do a combination of home-education, nursery for 1.5 days a week, and one morning at a rather lovely Montessori School. We will see how it all goes, re-assess and proceed.
In sum, we are sort of doing school, just a little differently.
There’s a lot of information out there explaining why starting ‘formal’ education at four years old may not be as beneficial as one might think, so I’m not going to bore you with quotes and statistics on it because you can Google it all quite easily.
I myself grew up in a very traditional Catholic school in Mexico City, and although I would change a million things about it, there are equally a million things about it I wouldn’t change. People keep telling me that perhaps like me, my son would actually love school. Well, although that’d be lovely, I’m not sending my boy to school so he likes it. I’d be sending him because I believe it’s right, and at present I am quite simply not convinced it is.
Ignoring what Sweden, Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia say on the matter, it’s plain easy for me to see that we spend most of our lives being adults (if we are indeed blessed with that many years of life). Childhood is rather short compared to all those years we spend as grown-ups making a beautiful mess with our lives. Children are equally messy but I believe it’s their lack of life experience and openness of their hearts, that fill those early years with magic, deep wisdom and a never-ending desire to play.
Personally, I’m not convinced that the environment in which most schools are set up in England, is the most suitable for my child to get the most out of those gifts, especially in the early years.
Now, I know many parents who love the sound of ‘doing school differently’ but quite simply can’t afford to do it for many different reasons. This leads to a whole different topic which I won’t get much into right now, but I think it’s super important to touch on. There is little chance I would be able to ‘do school differently’ with my son if a) I hadn’t a supportive husband (and I’m not only talking about his steady income - which helps - but about his emotional support on the matter), and b) if I wasn’t an actor; ‘doing school differently’ totally suits my job as it’s always sporadic, inconsistent and somewhat surprising.
So yes, we are ‘doing school differently’ because we believe it suits not only our values but also our lifestyle as a family.