Its Time To Choose A School

Can you believe it? Its completely insane! Ava is not even 2 years old and we have already started the circuit tour of the private schools in our area. If she were going to government school we probably could wait a few more years but not for private schools. We’ve already been informed that for Grade 000 neither of the schools we have short listed are able to accommodate her. However, Walter and I have decided against putting her into Grade 000, but to rather keep her in a regular nursery school and have her start at Grade 00.

I feel quite strongly about this, for the rest of her life she will live according to a schedule, she’ll have 12 years of school, where all her time is scheduled, she could then potentially go on to study and have more of her time swallowed by someone elses schedule and then when she enters the work force… well… we all know what happens then!

In addition, because she was born in December, we are considering enrolling her a year later as deciding to put her in early, baring in mind she’ll then be a year younger than the bulk of her class mates, does make a big difference at such a young age. I started school at 5 and a half when I was not ready and it had a huge impact on my self-esteem as well as on my school career and I don’t want to be making that mistake with Ava.

Of course, the thing that bums me the most is the fact that we have to pay a rather large non refundable deposit to secure a place at one of these schools, which, with our plans to emigrate, she most likely won’t even attend. But, its her education and as my Dad always says, we have to live our lives as if our plans won’t come to fruition.

Imagine we don’t pay the deposit and we don’t secure her a spot at one of these schools? Imagine our plans to emigrate, for some unforseen reason have to be moved out by a few years? Then what will we do? We will be very limited in the choices for schooling for her and that’s just not a chance either one of us is willing to take.

Currently, we’ve short listed two schools, we’ll be seeing them both next week. I’m leaning more towards the one than the other, this is based purely on the fact that their curriculum is worked in such a way that all their students can read and write by the time they start Grade 1. The reason for this is because the school curriculum in Australia works the same way. I was chatting with my cousin and her family on Skype yesterday (remember they moved their in January) and her daughter has started Grade 2 in Australia and she’s really battling to adapt. My cousin was saying that her reading level is at a level 4 which by SA curriculum standards is perfect but the children her age in Australia are already on a reading level 22. And my poor little niece is also struggling with the spelling and mathematics that they’re doing there.

So ultimately, we’d like to have our emigration behind us prior to Ava starting school, but it for whatever reason it doesn’t work out that way, we’d like to make her transition from a school in SA to a school in Australia as seamless and easy as possible for her.

Can’t believe I’ve written a blog posting and obsessing about schooling, it was Ava-Grace’s 15 month birthday yesterday!

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  • Reply Nisey

    We’ve also finally decided btw two private schools and enrolled Jaden a few weeks ago. Its big decision but soo sooo important.

    We opted for Montessori until he starts Grade 1 because I’m passionate about their philosophy! He has already started learning to write his name – and he’s only 3 on Wed! By the time he starts Grade 1 he’ll be adding subtracting, multiplying reading and writing… much, much better than most of our pre-schools!

    The school we’ve chosen usually insists on the kids doing Grade 0 with them except for the montessori kids who can join in Grade 1!!

    March 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm
  • Reply charnetrollip

    its crazy hey!!

    also wondering when i should start Em at school, Lots of ppl say she born in Oct so we should wait till the next year

    big decisions we have as mommys

    good luck and enjoy the school tours

    March 15, 2011 at 6:42 am
  • Reply lea2109

    Wow, I cannot even begin to imagine having those kind of frustrations about schooling with my kids. All the best of luck with your decisions. Hope you find the right school for Ava.

    March 15, 2011 at 7:03 am
  • Reply mayflowerladybugs

    Hi there
    Ja schools are crazy these days! I already enrolled the twins last year (we have our own school in the estate and demand far exceeds supply so we had to do it extra early!) I also battled with when to send them, as their b-day is very early in the year so sending them the year they turn 7 (to grade 1) will mean they are older than anyone else. I discussed it with a few knowledgeable people and they concurred that emotional readiness is the most important thing so them being the eldest is by far better than them being the very youngest. Eg, they were born the same year as Ava, but in fact almost a year earlier, yet would be in the same class and as you say, a year is a long time in a small person’s life!

    March 15, 2011 at 9:05 am
  • Reply To Love Bella

    We (erm.. I..) started having a nose around from the get go – mostly bounced info off friends and family who have kiddies in schools in the area I’m looking at (Pinelands). I have it down to 2 pre-schools (which is called something else these days..) and luckily, the private school I am PASSIONATE about is from Grade RR to Grade 12 (when I read their Ethos on their site, I burst out crying because it was exactly what I had in mind for my precious child!) So it’s only really two lots of homework I have to do.
    We want to start Bella at a pre-school / playschool when she’s around 18 months (beginning of next year) for just 2 days at first. As she will most likely end up being an only child (and is the youngest child by far between family and friends children), it is of UTMOST importance for us to have her interact with children her own age! I don’t want her to develop any socially dysfunctional traits.
    The fees are a joke! For the preschool, we have to pay around R3 000 a month (2011 fees) for 12x months – and that includes half months when it’s school holidays AAAAND the school closes for 6 weeks mid year! And we still have to pay for those 6 weeks! Aaack!!!

    March 15, 2011 at 9:47 am
  • Reply orbit365

    Well done on getting the ball rolling. You are soooooo lucky to be able to afford private schooling.
    We opted for Montessori up to Grade 1. Do yourself a favour and just check it out. Both my kids went when they turned 3. My Toddler has just started but my Tween could read (with comprehension) before he started preschool. He could also work with numbers way into the hundreds.
    Good Luck with your tour and good going on waiting until she’s 6 before starting Grade 1. That is the best thing you can possibly do for her.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm
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