It was parents’ evening this week. A chance to find out how effective, or otherwise, our attempts at schooling our children have been. The results were mixed.
First up, Eve, who actually did some school work when we were away. The odd half hour every couple of days, sometimes less, sometimes more. This clearly paid off, as her teacher said that he wouldn’t know she hadn’t been at school last year. He praised her maturity and said her writing and imagination are excellent. I like to think that some of that is down to our influence and the fantastic experiences she’s had.
Ned did very little school work, some maths during the first three months or so, the odd postcard, the tiniest bit of reading. As a result, he’s quite behind and is having extra help in maths and literacy. The good news is, that he’s catching up quickly and his biggest problem is a lack of confidence in his abilities, particularly when it comes to reading and writing. When we told him that his teacher had said very nice things about him, he said “I didn’t know she was a liar.” He’s picking up new maths topics easily and his teacher is going to start recording his stories because his vocabulary and ideas far exceed his writing abilities, for now.
Dickon did absolutely no school work at all apart from a half hearted attempt in the first weeks in Hawaii, when he insisted on being bribed with Oreos for every question answered correctly. As a result, he’s basically starting school from scratch in Year 1. He’s very behind is peers, which is compounded by him being the youngest in his class. So lots of his problems are age related, such as dodgy fine motor skills, rather than travelling related, but it’s nothing terminal and he’s also getting lots of extra help. The good news is that he is one of the best behaved children in class, a fact that will astonish anyone who’s met him, with excellent listening skills and a great attitude to learning. I actually laughed out loud when his teacher told me that, every time I asked him to do some work last year he yelled “No!” and ran away.
All three children have settled in well and have either slotted back into their old friendship groups, or made new ones. They all seem happy and are enjoying telling their classes about our trip. One of my biggest worries was that taking them out of school and doing something so different, would make it hard for them to fit back in. Their fantastic school and lovely friends have meant that my worries were unfounded. Ned’s teacher said as we were leaving, “It was a good decision.”