School time


This September my first born, Jesse, started school. And I can't believe it! Across land and pond, over in Sweden, we start school the year we turn 7 - not 4. I always said I wanted to move back before Jesse was due in school because it has been giving me a lot of stress. I do not want my little baby, who had a hard time going to nursery for a mere 15 hours a week, to suddenly be full time pupil, clocking up 32.5 hours a week. To me, it sounds crazy. What I had to decide was; A) home school or B) find a school that was very small and close to a nursery setting, as I believe in teaching by play, not sitting down at a desk.

In the end, it was very difficult as most schools belong the the church here in England, and as I do not believe in god it's not something I want Jesse to be taught. There are no rules or laws that a school must teach a child about all religions, it is preferred, but not always enforced.

A few miles from me I stumbled upon a school, which looked big from the outside. But when we went to visit we were told they keep the classes to around 8 children. In Jesse's reception class, there would be 6.

They also teach as close to the Rudolf Steiner way of education I grew up with. Obviously, a long way from it, but the groundwork is there. They don't sit down at desks and they can go in or out as they wish.

With this sort of freedom comes it own set of problems - especially to me that want to shield Jesse from everything that isn't perfect. For example, no one goes with them to the toilet, which leaves an issue with 'no poop in school' as no one is there to wipe. And no one informs of hand washing practices. Which I found a little bit appalling.

I've also heard crazy things about schools giving out fines for missed lessons or denying children time off for holidays or even weddings/funerals and more important things.

To me, life experiences do trump sitting at a desk. Jesse's headmaster has been amazing to us. Since I am currently taking driving lessons, I can't get him to school - this is my husbands job. He works on a 4 on, 4 off rota which means Jesse can only go to school when he is off work. This means 1-4 days a week. The rest of the time, it has been agreed for me to home school him the other days.

Finding such a good school has been a relief, both for Jesse's well being, but to also find someone who supports my beliefs, that I know what's best for my child.

What is Your experiences of school?

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