Yeah it’s another semi Facebook rant, but it’s also a few words on a small triumph.
My rant begins with the number of people posting the “STOP DOING THESE THINGS ON FACEBOOK” posts. Stop posting about your kids, your food, your bowel movements. Stop bragging with your holiday snaps. Stop remembering people who died a million years ago. Stop this, stop that, stop communicating on a social network platform.
You know you can shut that shit down, right? Lord knows I’ve done it enough times over the last few weeks. I open Farcebook, looking to see what’s going on with the wedding world, or to see what my awesome mates are getting up to, and come away wondering if I’m actually allowed to post anything on a social platform designed for POSTING AND SHARING. I discovered several wonderful features, maaaaaany months ago. Hide/block/unfriend gets used a lot. As does “do you wish to close this browser?” Why yes, Google Chrome. Yes I fucking do, since everyone is in a shitty mood and I’m supposed to NOT SAY ANYTHING.
But my rant comes, because today I posted this.
I’ve written about my determination to get them into private school many times before.
Now, my friends who give a shit, will know I have been stressed to my goddamn EYEBALLS in the past, trying to sort out good schooling for The Smalls. Their current school is painful. In the last 3 months, I’ve had to rescue Noah’s reading. He’s gone from crying every time I tell him it’s time to read a school book, through to requesting 5 minutes at bedtime to read several chapters of his own books. He despairs with school books. Here at home, we can’t give him enough to read; I’m pre-empting what the hell he could read next. Providing Isaac isn’t in mental crazy-boy mode in the mornings, they both read for 15 minutes when they wake up.
Noah comes home with weekly maths tests, with which he gets no help at school. We, his parents, have no idea of the point of them, what they’re trying to achieve, how we are to help him, IF we are allowed to help him, how often he is to do them…no help. We have no idea. So when Noah came home with the same test again for the umpteenth time because he didn’t get the answers right at school, he was obviously in tears. He’s borderline hating maths. It’s only thanks to twinkl (that site has been a SAVIOUR, that’s for sure) and me saying “fuck it, school, I’m going to teach him MY way”, he has FINALLY clicked how to work through the test with much less help. Was I supposed to help him? Fuck knows. Support from school has been minimal; The Mr and I are still in the dark.
We understand that with the education system the way it is at the mo, you get what you pay for. I know perfectly well that state schools are stretched to stupidly ridiculous levels, and the majority of children are just not getting the full help and care needed. Teachers are being pushed to absolute limits, and many are in the dark on their subjects, as a result. I know; I’ve taught in schools. So, the aim is to send them to private school, to give them the absolute best education we can afford to give them. The schools in our area are not able to give us what we need. I don’t expect my boy to end up in tears every time I ask him to do numeracy or literacy.
Fyi, this morning he said to me “You know, Mommy, I feel much better about my numbers now that you’ve helped me. I think it might be a bit easier now.” Geeze. And if I had stepped back because I had assumed I was not allowed to help? What then?
Anyway. I posted that facebook status, because I am really goddamn pleased to feel that I’m doing all I can to help his education. It is a BLOODY BIG THING to me, making sure that they are BOTH educated people when they grow, with a sense of self, good intelligence, and sound knowledge of important subjects. And of course, rightly so, I’m goddamn proud of my children. So why did I feel immediate guilt when I posted it? Why did I feel that I had to justify posting what I posted?
Why did I think to myself, the actual words, “shit, I better clarify that, as I don’t want people to think I’m bragging about getting them into private school. Hell, maybe I should just delete it?”
I really don’t like myself for thinking that. I wanted to share something with my friends, with people who I thought might give a shit, people who might be mildly interested with our progress, people who are family and want to know what’s going on…it’s my Facebook page and it’s how I let people know stuff. People who care.
So I didn’t delete it, and I’m going to keep posting stuff like that. And I’m going to keep posting how proud I am of my boys. I’m going to keep posting birthday messages to them, and a photo, assuming I remember to do so and haven’t forgotten, because sometimes I’m a douche mom but y’know, it happens.
I’m bloody proud of my kiddos, I’m a foodie, I like photos, and I’m a bloody chatty person. Sooooooo I guess people are going to have to exercise that “STFU” button a little more often where I’m concerned. And now the sun is shining which means it’s time to go outside and play with another camera.
Having been on both sides of the education system, at the local primary school and grammar school, and then from 3rd year upwards at private school, I can hand on heart say that the private school was the best education I could have been given!
I'm lucky that the school the boys are at has really high standards, but I do worry about what it'll be like once they hit high school.
If I was in the position to be able to get Zack attending our local private school for secondary, I would have him in there like a shot.
As it is, it'll be a case of being on *his* case a lot once he's older, and making sure he feels supported.
I hear you, Marylin. Like you, we've also done both sides of the fence (and I have TAUGHT on both sides of the fence), and have seen plenty enough to let me know roughly what I need to know. If it wasn't for a financial stumbling block, they would have been back in private ed September just gone. Some areas are lucky to have AMAZING state schools. We live out in the sticks and have no such luxurious choice. And as long as they get a good start, I'm happy to jump on their case when they're older, should they need it.
Interesting! As someone who had the choice to go to a range of excellent private schools but who chose to go to a grammar, with a brother went to private and a boyfriend who went to a terrible ofstead failing state school, I would say that if there's a good grammar school in your area then that's an ideal situation, firstly for financial reasons but also because I think nowadays there's some grammar schools that can provide better education than private schools. It's quite rare but I found I was less spoonfed (which can be a tendency in some North London private schools when under pressure to produce results for paying parents) and I definitely felt our environment was less catty than what my private school friends had (all girls schools I mean). If that isn't available then I would definitely send my kids to a private school over an ordinary state if I could. My bf received no help to the extent that he taught himself his entire biology GCSE syllabus, he's lucky he is so smart, I do feel a bit like he never got the chance to realise his full potential as the way his school was it's a miracle he ever went to a decent uni at all.
I think being humble is quite a British thing, people are apologetic for doing well and embarrassed to receive praise for achievements. I've never really understood why people would downplay themselves, you get girls being self-derogatory because they're afraid of being picked on for standing out or for looking like they tried. Fuck that shit I say! If you want to post on FB that you're doing the best you can for your boys then go for it!
Every single school in every single area in every single country will be different. Some schools will spoonfeed, others won't. The Smalls have been anything BUT spoonfed; instead I've had them in tears and pretty much loathing education/school. I can't afford that, not at such an early stage in their lives. I'm not about to explain myself in response, but search ANY of this blog to read up on what a spectacular fucking ballache it has been, trying to get decent education.
The Smalls are 4 & 6 (they aren't ready for grammar school), they're both boys but will only attend mixed gender schools; we live in the countryside, so we aren't near a grammar school they could attend even if they were of age.
As for Facebook, there are too many dickheads for me to comprehend. I half wonder if it's time for another cutback, y'know? Thing that makes me sad/frustrated is that the asshole posts come from people I usually respect and like! *Sigh*
Cherished By Me says
I tend to self censor because I am too much of a coward for any backlash but have noticed all the moaning about status updates, makes me wonder why people bother to go on it at all and what they expect people to put.
Good luck with getting them back, as someone that had my children in private education, then not (which was devastating for them as they were all very happy) and now two back in, two not and one at uni I have a balance of having found the right schools for each child. However, if I had the money they would all be back in it. The only thing that is sad is that not everyone gets a great education in this country. x
The Real Cie says
Getting your kids into a school that’s a good fit for them is paramount. My son was miserable in public school. He’s smart, but he was failing out of most of his classes because he hated them and refused to do the work. A great uncle left him money to be used for his education, and I managed to get him into a small, private, liberal-arts based school. Suddenly he loved school and went from being a potential dropout to a top notch student. This is something worth crowing about, finding a good school for your kids!
I sure don’t get the people who whine about people posting personal updates in a social networking platform. I don’t Facebook very much any more because I became frustrated with all the backstabbing and cliquishness. These days I mostly use it for the pages feature. I’m an admin on a page which features animals in need of rescue.
I always love your rants, nothing wrong in wanting what's best for your own, personally I think the support you are giving them at home counts for as much as the private school but seeing right by your kids as you see best is every parents duty. I hope you get them in from September and that you keep up the home help wherever they go.