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Isabella thinking about school

The School Application Form…Is This The End Of The Baby Years?


Isabella thinking about school

Every child at Izzie’s nursery has their own draw, where they keep their works of art and the occasional letter to parents about fun days or charity events. Now the Headmistress is meticulous about keeping her drawers in order. Naturally I want to impress her, don’t worry I don’t run after her reciting my ABC’s but I do ensure Izzie’s draw is regularly checked and it’s contents commented on.

Besides I do actually enjoy seeing what Izzie’s been up to and reading what will be happening at nursery. It’s usually all happy, heart warming stuff. This week I found something much more serious though. Of course I knew I should expect it at some point but nothing could have prepared me for The School Application Form.

When I think of school I don’t automatically think of learning. I think of all the unimportant things which when you’re a child are so very important. Trivialites like picking Netball teams, the moral dilemma of who to choose? Who was going to win for you or who made you feel guilty about not picking them? You learn so many survival and social skills. I find myself wondering if they still play Kiss Chase. I never did figure out the best way to play that game, was it better to be occasionally caught and kissed or did I always enjoy the chase a little too much?

Although I moaned sporadicially for the time I was there, I had a great time at school and was happy with the grades I left with but I know some people who were desperately unhappy. And even though my school days were good there were moments I didn’t enjoy. I vividly recollect being called a “Four Eyed Brownie”. Remember National Health glasses? Well I was lucky enough to wear them. My Grandma used to say I looked like Nana Mouskouri. I think it was a compliment but no offence to Nana, few preteen girls want to look like her, trust me on this.

I’m also lucky enough to have an all year tan thanks to my Mauritian roots, so the child calling me this was accurate but hardly creative and this was probably the worst “name calling” I suffered. It must have annoyed me though for me to remember it so many years later. But I guess “name calling” is manageable to a degree. Now you hear words like “cyber bullying’ which despite much more abundant “health and safety” regulations make school sound like a truly terrifying place. Anyway, I digress what school should make me think of is learning.

I’m not sure how it works now but even at a very young age, children were pigeon holed when I was at school, the bright pupils were seperated from those below average. Those who were good at Languages were encouraged to take different classes to those who were good at Maths & Science. Does telling a child what they are good or bad at shatter their self confidence? I still believe confidence is the most important thing you can teach a child as it is so crucial for success and happiness as an adult.

So I find myself worrying that Izzie’s self belief may be crushed. I realise it’d be inappropriate for her to wander round still genuinely believing she’s a princess in 10 years time. It just seems odd that so many children want to be Astronauts or Firemen yet so many adults find themselves in dead end jobs they don’t enjoy. Is this merely because there aren’t enough glamorous jobs so they’ve got to make do with second best or just because they’ve had their spirit broken?

The uncertertainty of which school we will be offered is also bothering me. It seems a bit of lottery, getting the school you’d choose first for your child. I feel fortunate we live in a country where education is provided and I don’t feel I have the knowldege to allocate schools in a better way so this isn’t a polticial debate but it seems odd that something so important may be down to postcodes or luck.

We already completed The Application Form and we’ll know if Izzie is going to our first choice of school in April. Usually I feel better when something like this is dealt with but I still feel uneasy maybe becuase there is still so much uncertainty. Or maybe its simpler than that. Maybe my uneasiness is down to the fact school signifies the end of these brilliant baby years. If I’m honest I’m worried that in September 2013 I may find myself clutching the gates of some school in (hopefully) Derbyshire, blubbing because my baby has moved on.

I admit Izzie is coming to the end of her baby years. Recently on the days she doesn’t go to nursery, she has started to ask me if she can go. I try not to be insulted as I can understand why she wants to be there with her friends. Staff are much more easygoing about her wanting to bake or paint every 5 seconds and much more enthusiastic about her overuse of her favourite word “why”.

Princess Isabella Eve
I can see that Izzie is starting to need more than I or the Toddler classes I take her to can give her. The whole point of successful parenting seems to be to give your child the skills to ultimately put yourself out of a job. Happily, I realise my work is far from done. I understand that during the school years it will still be my job to support her, to repair her spirit if it is ever broken and make sure she never loses her self belief. And as for privately shedding a discrete tear on her first day at school, well I guess that just might be my job too.

  1. Oh no the dreaded first days at school! Hopefully school has changed since we were young! There will always be a top table and a bottom and lots in the middle, but the children will know no different! Praise them when they are good, encourage when it’s a struggle, I always say to mine just cause you find that hard doesn’t mean you are rubbish it means you still have things to learn and that life is like that unti you are old like Me! Cyber bullying exists and playground bullying exists and it breaks my heart when Amelia tells me what some children say and do to her and others! I make my views heard loud and clear straight to the teacher and it soon stops. You will learn to love them being at school be aide you will have time to be you again and then time to enjoy them when they get home cause you will have done all the daily stuff while they were learning and playing at school xxxxxx

    1. Your words are very wise as always, thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. You are right I’m sure you I will grow to enjoy the time and its good to hear you think school has changed since we were there. It is scary to hear that bullying & name calling still exists but comforting to know that in your experience it’s been dealt with and controlled. Thank you for putting my mind at rest. xxx

  2. Lovely post, and certainly made me think about my school days (I was lucky and had a great time. I was good at sport, music and most subjects but still had a touch of name calling – “boffin” etc. It seems you can’t win, although it seems to be a lot worse nowadays – or maybe that’s just what we hear, whereas before everyone seemed to generally get on with things and move on easier.

    I’ve got a few years before we have to fill in the form, but am just praying we get our local village school where all the cousins and my OH’s family went.

    Hope Izzie gets your first choice school

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post & write such lovely comments. Good of you to share your nick name as it’s true sometimes we just can’t win at school but I think I’d rather be called “boffin” than be the other end of the scale! Easy for me to say now as an adult but as a child names really do hurt. Thank you for wishing Izzie well. Hope you get your choice of school for your little one too, when the time comes.

  3. we never thought an application form for school would be such a blessing for grandparents
    It seems like yesterday we held precious Izzie when she was first born.
    In a twinkling of the eye she is unbelievably ready for post nursery school.
    More like a miracle ,in that twinkle of the eye ,driving on the mountain of Mt Charleston,in the desert of Nevada,9000 miles away,there beamed Izzie on the I pod………………..Love you mamo.
    Application form for school ……bring it on………………next will be e mail and twitter from Izzie…………………..but then she does twitter a lot now…..bless application form for school xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. You’re right of course, Izzie will be ready for school next year but will school be ready for her? My only real complaint is that these baby years have just gone so quick, I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun. Thanks as always for taking the time to read & comment, it really means a lot to me. x

  4. Well I could go on for hours about school as I live and breathe it now. The culture in our school is everyone is the same and that every child is treated equally. There are children who find the academics easy but usually they are the children who struggle athletically and then there are those children who love art but find it hard to spell. In school nowadays we celebrate everyones successes and support and encourage the kids through their failures because no one is good at everything. You probably will shed a tear on the first day of school and if your school is like mine there will be a boo hoo/ whoo hoo party for the mothers with coffee and donuts. Isabella is more than ready for the challenge of school you have done your job well!

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