Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Application Forms

In the past couple of weeks I have filled in two application forms ... one to apply for a school place for Cherub, and one to apply for tutoring work with the Open University.

So, school for Cherub. We originally intended to home educate her, at least for a while, but having the older girls in school probably made it inevitable we would end up considering school for her too. And once we did start to seriously consider it, the choice was an easy one. Although I enjoyed home educating Angel and Star, homeschooling is hard work. After eight years my energy and enthusiasm were drained, and I'm not sure I could motivate myself to start over with the high level of interaction I think Cherub would need if she stayed home on her own. Balanced against that we have a very good school option, right on our doorstep.

Back in the summer, Cherub and I went to look round the school. We both loved it. The headmistress is exceptional, and over the eight years she has been there has transformed it from the run-of-the-mill, rather stodgy place it was when Angel was Cherub's age. The most recent OFSTED (government inspection) report judged it outstanding, not just overall, but in every single aspect they assessed. I could see why.

In the UK children usually start school at four, and depending on their birth date some are at school full time soon after their fourth birthday. With her summer birthday Cherub could be one of them, and being stuck in a formal classroom all day at four and a bit is not what I would want for her. The early years unit at this school is a whole different ballgame. Children are introduced to school slowly, with two terms of part time school before they start full time in the term they turn five. The way the unit works is very similar to the way I would home educate at that age, with short lessons (in small groups) slotted into lots of free play and informal learning. I'm sure Cherub will love it.

More about the other application later.

3 comments:

Sarah said...

It sounds a lovely school. It's wonderful if you can find a good school, our girls' school is great.

LeeAnn said...

I will also have all my children in school next year. If you'd asked me a year ago, "Will your children ever go/go back to public school?" I would have said, "No." I wouldn't have believed that I could change my mind so completely, just when I'd gotten everything purchased and set up for the coming school year and had some idea that I might continue with it through high school.

But they are happy in school and I am happier at home. My 3.5 yo son will begin preschool in the spring when he's nearly 4 (only two afternoons a week). Next fall he'll attend three half-days. Kindergarten in our town is only half-day, so the transition to full-time school is a bit slower.

When we get to the point of all of them being in school full-time then I might think about taking a job as well, although first I may just enjoy the complete silence in the house for a few days. :)

Dorothy said...

"In the past couple of weeks I have filled in two application forms ... one to apply for a school place for Cherub, and one to apply for tutoring work with the Open University."

For goodness' sake, don't get the two mixed up! Cherub's CV might alarm them and you probably wouldn't get the job! LOL!