Babies going to school…
Does that even sound right?!
I don’t know about you but things were different back in my day – we started school/playgroup a lot later than kids these days. I remember staying at home with my grandmother or our domestic worker who cared for me each day (with minimal learning or constructive stimulation) and then only starting a little school when I was aged 5. These days (in South Africa), play groups start from 18 months.
What are your thoughts on this? Is this a universal age?
As a stay-at-home-mom and qualified school teacher, I have been thinking about this a lot. We have been blessed for me not to have to work so I have been able to spend quality time with our little SJ these past 21 months. Between myself, her Nana (MC’s mom) and Gogo (our special domestic worker), she is fed, entertained and stimulated all day, every day, by us.
Now, at 21 months and the beginning of our South African school year, she is about to start school. Every day. From 8am to 12pm. Without any of us. Just her, her teacher and 15 classmates in a little classroom. How do I feel? I’m happy and excited for her. How did I feel 21 months ago? I was petrified and would never have let her go. But she has shown over the months, especially the last few that she is ready for this big step. She is a big girl now. She is independent, and interactive and we are confident that she is going to love and thrive in this little school environment.
We also went through a detailed process of finding the right school for her to attend. A school in our area, with small classes, qualified loving teachers, a strict and well organised principal, a structured day, bright colourful classrooms and a big inviting playground. They offer fun days and activities (action ball and baker baker), dress up on occasions (pink or red on Valentine’s day and no slipper day), parent interaction (parents evening, moms teas and dates with dad), as well as a detailed day book each day and two reports a year. A real home away from home, but also preparation for “big school”.
And the last reason why I am so happy with our decision…
The name of her school is: Hakuna Matata (and we ain’t got no worries!)
What are your views on this? What has worked for you and your little ones?