Whilst I imagined schooling the second time around (as a parent with kids) would not be easy, it really shocked me that perhaps I was more progressive than most. Or maybe I was disillusioned. In my daughter’s Grade One year I realised that I was both. I felt that I was on a journey to discover the different types of education, to explore education and the different methods of educating our children.
I make a point of talking about how I struggled with Grade One the second time around because I do not want to take this away from either of my girls. They will have their own stories and it will be for them to tell if they think it is necessary.
Explore Education Series:
My background and some context
I have au paired abroad and locally here in South Africa. I am passionate about most things which has proven great and not so great.
When I realised that I had two very different daughters living in my home, I started exploring. I started to question why two children who learn and behave differently are expected to be taught properly in the same school. To me, this shouldn’t matter whether I have academic or sporting children. However, when looking for a school by default we look at their academic achievements.
We all learn differently, I get that. However, I was starting to feel like I had failed and am still failing Miss K. We were paying exorbitant school fees and taking her to every OT and therapy class out there. My stress levels were mounting. The concern was mounting. It got to the stage where were we felt that we were making her believe that something was wrong with her?
The turning point!
If we felt she was thriving we would have kept things as they were. But we began to realise that she learns differently to mainstream kids, and that is okay. Her confidence was shot and for me that was the most stressful thing to watch. Her self-belief was gone. We had lost a part of our daughter.
It was in the third term that we decided to move her from her school. The school that she had been at for the last three years or her seven years of life, and put her in a new environment.
New School, New Rules.
I loved the ethos of the school. You never know if you are doing the right thing. There is constant doubt. But, with the information we had at hand, we made our decision. We are now entering the second term of the new year at the new school. I have come to realise that I will need to be involved for a little longer with homework and life and that is okay.
Will It Define Her?
My cousins and brother all needed that extra TLC. Did that stop them from becoming successful and following their dreams? No it did not. It did not define them in the way of them not being able to dream and be whatever they wanted to do. This is a constant reminder to me when I look at my precious child.
Their Future Is Different
Yes, we are preparing our kids for jobs and careers that have not even been created.
Yes, we are bringing our kids up in a world that our parents on a good day cannot fathom. A world that is changing and with it so our parenting skills need to evolve too. We need to embrace these changes but with it let’s not forget manners and respect. Let us also not forget to have fun. And most importantly let us not forget that one size does not fit all when it comes to anything.
We are all doing what we believe is the best for our kids so less judgment and more acceptance is all I ask.
Introducing the Explore Education Series
It is these thoughts in my head that have led me to create the Explore Education Series. The aim is to explore the different types of education that there are, how they suit the families that choose them, or not.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to education, and I fell that it is this very understanding that will positively shape the future of education.
How Should We Be Educating Our Children?
Over the next few weeks I will be running a series of guest posts by different parents from throughout South Africa and from abroad. The series will not only highlight the different types of education that are available for our children, but the pros and cons of these too. I anticipate a little bit of discomfort, and maybe a fair amount of defensive knee jerk reactions, and that’s okay.
The whole point of this series is to explore education and to highlight the progressive diversity of education itself. I want to explore the different thought processes that parents have when it comes to how they choose to educate their children in a modern society.
If you would like to get involved in the Explore Education series going forward and possibly submit your own guest post for consideration to the series, please email me at [email protected].
You can also follow the hashtag #exploreeducationza to track this series.
This post was edited by Blue Media Edit.