Friday, September 6, 2013

And so it begins...

Yesterday I took OB for his first morning at Playgroup.  It was awesome.  He trotted in with nary a
backward glance and had a perfectly lovely time.  I, meanwhile, got a load of boring admin-type jobs done in about a quarter of the time it would have taken me otherwise.  Wonderful all around.

And today, he went again (declaring "My wanna go Paygoop 'gain!" when I picked him up!) and I managed to get a coat of paint on what will become his new bedroom.  Productivity abounds!

The Playgroup is one I've been associated with for many years - I was even on the management committee a lifetime ago.  I know all the 'Aunties' who work there personally, and sent NB there all last year.  I am confident that it supports my beliefs and values and that OB will learn, develop, flourish and be loved there.

And yet I have a vague sense of unease and a nagging thought that this week marks the beginning of a 16-year treadmill of assessing, marking, comparing, grading and judging according to a set of criteria that, to be honest, I don't much care for.

It's not that I don't approve of education - I'm a teacher, for goodness sake!  And I had an excellent education which, on the whole, I enjoyed very much.  I have the type of personality that enjoys academic pursuits so the pretty full-on grammar school I went to suited me down to the ground - academically anyway.  Social experiences were another matter entirely!

But things have changed in education since my school days, and even since I stopped teaching six years ago.  These days there is so much more assessment, so many opportunities to fail.  There is so much not-so-hidden agenda in the curriculum and so little encouragement of difference of viewpoint or belief.  Even before OB had spent his first few minutes at Playgroup, a file had been opened on him, and details of his 'achievements' so far had been ticked off on an exhaustive list.

I find it just a little bit oppressive.

So, we will do Playgroup, probably three mornings for two years, but after that, I don't see myself willing to run the treadmill any longer, dragging him along with me.  I have options about what happens in the school year after he turns four, and I'm completely prepared to explore them and take the less-travelled path.  At least that's a path we can walk at our own pace. 

4 comments:

  1. Enjoyed reading your post. So lovely to read that OB is enjoying playgroup.

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  2. he looks so cute going off - what a brave young man - and how brilliant you have the opportunity to consider doing a different path after playgroup.

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  3. Nice to hear that he's enjoying play group - brave little man. Home education is something that I'm now considering (after declaring I never would) and I'm finding it interesting learning about one of those less travelled paths...

    Thanks for sharing this post with the Weekly Adoption Shout Out x

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  4. Interesting to read your thoughts on the current education system. I do worry a little about how it will affect Missy and I often read a lot about home education in Green Parent mag. Home ed is definitely something to think about.

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