Monday, 7 March 2011


Two weeks ago after a hectic morning, in which I did more yelling than I'd like to admit, Jack told me he didn't want to go to school. In a year and a bit of school and three years of preschool this has only happened a handful of times. And each time it has come in conjunction with some sense of the world not being quite right. Either there have been some issue at school the previous day or he and I have had an uncomfortable morning.

After some talking, cuddling and apologizing from me and Jack, he was happy to go to school. But it reminded me, I want him to know that school is a choice.

Sure, it's easier for me to give a kid like him this choice because he is the sort of child that is pretty happy to do 'whatever'. But truly, I don't want either of my children to constantly feel forced by us to do anything especially something as huge and time consuming as school.

After pondering on it for a day I sat Jack down and said,
"did you know, that there are times when mum and Dad don't want to go to work? When that happens we have a day off, so I want you to know if there are days you just don't feel like going to school we could talk about it in the morning and you could have a quiet day at home with me"

Last week after a busy few days I could see how tired Jack was and I decided to offer him the day off to relax and regroup. I told him to think about it for an hour or so and I would ask him again later.

When I got back to him he wanted to know if he could play out on our street. I said he could but that everyone else was out. He thought about it a bit longer and then came back to me and said he wanted to go to school.

This was not something I was prepared for, I mean who gets offered a day off and says no? It was then that I realized that Jack sees school as a fun place where he gets to hangout with his friends. He isn't seeing school the way I remember it. Compared to the 80s, school these days is fun (at least for the time being), they play, they talk, they learn without realising it, and when they do realise it they love it.

I still struggle with school and our decision to send our kids, but it's little things like this that remind me that we made the choice that seemed the best for us and him at the time. And with how much he loves it, it certainly feels right.

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