Up until now I’ve raved (mostly) about Georgia’s current experience in Reception in her school (save the social issues with C as I have written about here and here) it has been warm and welcoming with lots and lots of positive influences. I do absolutely love the teaching team in Georgia’s current class, they are very caring and nurturing and take great care over each child.
BUT…(there’s always a but isn’t there?) what I haven’t been so forth coming with has been the fact that my perception of what constitutes an ‘education’ is actually contradicted in some ways by the same positive influences I have been so happy with.
Let me explain it a bit more, you see, in the process of being nurturing and caring, the teaching team in Georgia’s class, have also gone to great lengths to keep each child happy and in many ways, this, does not ‘stretch’ them as much as they could potentially go. Now all this of course is in comparison with the ‘other’ Reception class (there are 2 classes in the school) whose teacher is as well loved, but is also rather a little more strict and seems to place greater demands and expectations of her charges.
Much as I have loved the consistency and the care and the positivity, especially when Georgia was initially rather reluctant to go to school (but I miss you mummy!), I know, for fact that G is definitely not working anywhere near what she is capable of, in school.
Now when you consider that she spends 6 hours a day in what is supposed to be a learning environment, where she is doing what must be repetition (learning the alphabet and phonics and number recognition when she has known these for quite a while now) it must get pretty boring. It also recently occurred to me whether it is also this lack of challenge that allows her to focus so much on the social going-ons; I,e, issues with C.
So every few months I go through a rant phase, and rant about how frustrated I am with the school system, with what’s going on….and it always comes back to the fact that I think she would do so much more and so much better home-schooled, or at least in terms of achievements, we could certainly continue with our activities and start joining some groups.
At this point in time however, I’m not sure that I’m ready or able to make that commitment. Horrible as it sounds, the honest truth is that school has been a great and more importantly free baby-sitter. Being a young growing business, we have had to work every possible hour that we can and much of that is when Georgia is at school.
Yes she is great left to her own devices with her own lap-top on, or with her drawers of craft material but that is not how I would like her to spend her time at home, plus the fact that she is an Onlie and used to 1-on-1 attention, we invariably work only at 50% capacity if she’s at home.
So a quandary….But amazingly answers come in the most unexpected packages and from the most unexpected places.
We have spent the past few days in London where it has been a business mixed with pleasure trip. The business aspects are derived from the fact that we are actually in London to attend the MootUK11. This is a technical/e-learning conference that is an area that we have been working in. The pleasure bits are that we have decided to bring Georgia along, now that has meant that only one of us is able to attend the conference at any one time, and the other has to ‘baby-sit’.
So while DH attended the very brainy Unconference Developer part of the conference, I have spent the past two days, listening, talking and learning from some of the best e-learning brains about the country and of all the people I happen to meet, just the person to tell me exactly what I needed to hear and know @thebenreynolds of CTY at JHU 🙂 (Acronyms: Centre for Talented Youth at John Hopkins University). Thank you Ben!
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