I can’t help it. I stand in the school playground every morning, waiting for Noah’s “buddy” to take him into school. When I look around, I see kids pushing and shoving, grabbing clothes and swinging them round with them, riding scooters into people with no apology, and the parents seem oblivious. I see kids who look like they’ve been wearing the same uniform, unwashed, all week. (It’s Thursday.)
Is this “kids growing up”? This is acceptable behaviour, right? It’s “what they do”, right?
In my eyes, wrong.
I think perhaps I’ve been spoiled by what I saw at The Small’s private school. The brilliant behaviour of the kids. The politeness and manners of ALL the students. The pride they take in their appearance. The respect they show other people, adults and children alike. Some would say it’s a dreamworld; I say it’s perfectly doable. And I know it is because a) they did it before, and b) they did it themselves last year.
I’ve noticed fucking BIG CHANGES in Noah this year. He’s more shouty, much more ignorant, becoming incredibly bossy and a know-it-all. I know staff at the school don’t put him in his place; his teacher, Miss L is LOVELY, but I know her approach re. discipline is much softer than what he would endure at Private School. I know that, whilst they learn about manners and respect, it’s a much gentler stance, than pretty much telling the children, straight of the bat, that bullshit is just not tolerated.
There’s a big difference between “not acceptable” and “not tolerated”.
I recall when we went to Private School open day, the Headmaster pretty much made a point of telling us that parents are called in if children fuck about. Whilst this terrified me, I loved the thought at the same time.
It’s a big thing for me.
I’m also very wary that Isaac isn’t learning the same things Noah was learning this time last year. By this time, Noah could just about blend CVC words, knew all his phonics and with some help on units of 10, could count to 100. Isaac…well, Isaac has learned the names of lots of dinosaurs, thanks to numerous colouring books and apps I’ve bought him.
So with the help of the iPad, I, myself at home, have taught him numbers to 100, all his phonics, and have him blending CV words, with a firm shove towards CVC. I would stop if he didn’t enjoy it; and yet every time I offer to sit and read with him, or have him read to me, he jumps at the chance.
The boy is a natural bookworm.
He doesn’t get this at school/nursery. And even more frustrating, is it’s just that; nursery. 3 hours of play each morning, which if it wasn’t for me desperately trying to get work done, he could do here at home.
And then comes something which I have no idea how to deal with. Mostly because it happens on my level as much as (it should do on) The Small’s level; I want to be around people who aspire to go places. To do something. To be someone. So many of the parents and kids would talk about the things they had planned to do, where they aimed to go in life, and were very, very successful. They were people who I could look at and say “fuck yeah, I have that kind of determination, too. I want to succeed in what I do as well.” I’m not looking for fame, fortune would be nice, but lord knows, I don’t want to be scrabbling around, not really having a clue where I’m going. I’m headstrong, and so are my boys. So were most of the people I saw at Private School. They were going somewhere.
The aim is to get them back into Private School in the long run. Whether it will happen, I don’t know. My business blooms every month, and I’m so fucking excited with where it’s going. I just wonder if this situation will be a continuation of most of MY life story; the opportunity is there, I can see where I want things to go, but a thousand things beyond my control prevent me getting there.
For now, I will guide and guide and guide. I will probably break myself in trying to make sure My Boys stay ahead of the game by teaching what I can at home. I will continue to nurture their manners, their pride in themselves, their good behaviour. I will try to teach them more of the French and Spanish they had been learning before, and keep them enthused with books and colouring and creativity and using their minds, showing them how to push their boundaries.
And me, well. I’ll try not to succumb to playing the lottery 4 times a week.
You're such a good Mum.
I am in danger of being one of the Mums you don't want to socialise with at the school gate, by asking this question, but what is CVC?
I only ask, as Aaron's vocabulary is FAB for a 2.5 year old and I would like to stay on top of his development xx
Hi! CVC are words which have a Consonant, then a Vowel, then another Consonant. It's like a natural progression in blending sounds and learning to read. 🙂 And thank you for your kind words!
I totally agree and hope your business continues to excel so that you can give your children the education you’d prefer for them. I know many people that have made the choice to homeschool – as they can’t afford private – but are dissatisfied with the state school system.
We have our oldest daughter now at private school and notice all the differences you describe in your post.
Our 7 year old is being homeschooled at the moment and my three year old is also learning at home (but I am fortunate to have hubbie bringing in an income so I can be at home with them).
It’s not easy and the public system really is failing so many.
Xandi @ The Mummy Scripts says
The boys are lucky to have you as a mum, a lot of parents just rely on the school to do all the work. I have to agree with you though, in my experience there is a lot more ‘control’ in private schools, children will be children but at least they are taught appropriate behaviour and are closely monitored. Maybe its a generalisation but on the whole I find no matter what walk of life you are from, a private education helps to instil manners and encourages individual potential. At the end of the day though, you are so doing the best thing by being heavily involved in their development, I think they learn a lot from home. Good luck! x
Thank you! 😀
I don't think your a school snob, good manners cost nothing. It's a shame that so many children aren't taught them at home these days, stick to your guns and always demand the best your boys are able to do. Brilliant post.
Thank you so much! Glad to know I'm not alone in my thoughts. 🙂
My god you are such an amazing mum. That is pretty much all I have to say. That you're not a snob, you just want the best for your kids and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that
Mayfair Mum says
Don't ever think for one minute that you are wrong to have aspirations for your sons. We chose private school for Little Chap and although it was a difficult decision financially, intellectually and emotionally it has been and still is a no-brainer. It is admirable that you are not just trying to build a business but also plug the quite obvious gaps in their schooling as well. As for manners, those should be taught by all adults – parents and teachers alike – in my book, as it not only gives the children a consistent framework but makes everyone's job raising the next generation easier. So. Big pat on the back to you for keeping your end up on that one – and boys need it too! Love this post.