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img_4357Sometimes, as a parent, you reach a point where you kind of sort of maybe think you might just ever so slightly have gotten your shit together. Your kids are well and happy and they seem to like going to school and preschool, and they don’t have set their minds on owning something that is completely out of the question, like a Lego Hogwarts or an actual lynx.

That, of course, is when then the gods strike you down. That is when you all come down with a virus and the teacher sends home a bunch of exercise books and tells you to cover them with contact.

Contact. I don’t know if it’s called that the world over. I expect the Germans have a word for it that literally translates as ‘roll of judgement by which we can tell how much you care about your children’. (more…)

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i miss mummy

Garnet’s preschool curriculum focuses on how to induce guilt.

 

The slow process of settling the kids into school and preschool continues to be the main focus of life for us. Every morning, May Blossom still says she doesn’t want to go to school, but it seems to be becoming more of a formality now. She goes through the process of putting on her uniform, having her hair plaited and getting lathered up with sunscreen with less resistance every day, and while there are still tears each time I drop her at school, I don’t have to peel her off me finger by finger any more. I call that progress.

When she is at school, I think she’s having a good time. Last week she told me she had been sent on some errands to the principal’s office, and though it turned out that it was really the front administration office, it still indicates that she is feeling more and more at home there.

One errand was to collect some photocopying and another was to retrieve a befuddled classmate who had misunderstood the concept of the canteen and was downstairs trying to buy ice-cream from the admin staff in the middle of class. (more…)

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mbcoffeebw

  1. I have already been to school. For five whole days. What do you mean, five days isn’t enough? How long is this ridiculousness supposed to last? Eight more weeks? Then what? All this again three more times? How many times do I have to do all that? FOR THIRTEEN YEARS? NEARLY THREE TIMES AS LONG AS I HAVE BEEN ALIVE? I do not accept that. I did not sign up for this. No.
  2. School is boring. This week we coloured in a picture of Jack and Jill and we cut out a picture of Humpty Dumpty. This is what I left preschool for? What else did we do? Nothing, as far as I recall. I can’t remember. I am not at liberty to divulge that information. Your security clearance is not high enough, Mummy, if that’s even your real name.
  3. School is too easy. I already know everything. How to colour in? Know it. How to write my name? Know it. How to read? Well, I can read some words. Like my name. Why does that not count as knowing how to read? Reading isn’t all or nothing, you know.
  4. School is too hard. I don’t know the answers to any of the questions. The teacher asks hard things. I don’t know what things. Just hard things. I do know everything, just not those things.
  5. There’s nothing to play with in the playground. Why is it even called that? Are we supposed to play with the ground? [She has a point here. It’s a pretty concrety school. This week, her playground — and I may know this from happening to walk past the school during lunch break, every day – has strongly resembled the exercise yard in a medium-security prison for mushrooms. Everyone is wears matching clothes and broad-brimmed hats, which make it impossible to identify your friends, should you made any. The safest thing to do is keep walking slowly in a clockwise direction, not making eye contact with anyone.]
  6. It’s not fair. Why doesn’t Garnet have to go? Two days of preschool doesn’t count. I want him in the trenches too.
  7. You keep saying it’s not up to you; that it’s up to the government. But the government is not in charge of me. I am in charge of my body, as you keep reminding me, so it is my right to not take that body to school. Who is he, anyway, this government? It’s lots of people? Ladies and men? What will they do me if I don’t go to school? Oh, they won’t do anything to me, but you and Daddy might get in trouble? Well, I can’t see a problem then.

(more…)

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beststart

I was hoping the test hadn’t started yet.

 

May Blossom has just been for her pre-starting-school chat with a kindy teacher, which is called the Best Start Interview. I presume the point of this is to help decide which class to put the kids into, based on how smart they are and how high they can count, but we didn’t want to admit that to her so we told May Blossom it was so they didn’t put all the shy boys or all the kids called Gavin or all the redheads into the same class and create factions that could later become radicalised.

She insisted on wearing her full school uniform, which wasn’t required, but she felt there was no point in half-arsing it. You’ve got to dress for the class you want to be in, not the class you’re in, or something. (more…)

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IMG_3883

J. K. Rowling almost certainly had this exact pencil case in primary school.

We’ve just finished reading the first Harry Potter book to May Blossom. It’s been excellent timing as, like Harry in the Philosopher’s Stone, May Blossom is about to start school. But I would like to make a complaint: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is unrealistic. The parts about the school itself are fine. Primary school is largely about confronting dragons and trolls, as far as I recall (although in my day it was more bomb scares and the ghost of Lady Hay). But the back-to-school shopping part? Utter fantasy.

First of all, Harry’s parents don’t have to do it, because they are conveniently dead. I’m not saying being murdered by Voldemort is preferable to a Sydney shopping centre in January, but it’s a close-run thing. Instead, Harry is taken by Hagrid to Diagon Alley, which is a lovely little one-stop outing. They begin in a  pub, where everyone’s having sherry. Smart move — sober back-to-school shopping is for fools. Next they head into the Alley itself, were all the ittle shops sell one thing each: robes, wands or critters. You know what is not like Diagon Alley? Chatswood. (more…)

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