During my accidental visit to Steps Ahead Learners, I signed Gavin up for a trial cooking class which was supposed to take place on Friday. Although I had tried taking Gavin to a few mother and toddler music and gym classes last year when he was about 19-20 months old, I finally gave up when it seemed clear that Gavin was NOT enjoying class and would rather be anywhere but in the room.
You are welcome to read about our experiences:
After that, I quit the classes.
Since Gavin is now two, I thought perhaps it was time to try again. Actually, I wasn’t really planning to try again until he turned three, but when I heard they offered cooking classes at Steps Ahead Learners, I was encouraged to try again because Gavin loves cooking. Okay, let me rephrase that – ever since he was little, he has had this magnetic fascination for the kitchen and the things that happened inside it. He loved to watch my MIL cook, he loved to play with cooking sets (his god sisters) and he thoroughly enjoyed himself when we gave him the wok, the frying spatula and a few “ingredients” for his secret recipe.
When my SIL, the chef, returned for a holiday, Gavin would often be her “little helper” in the kitchen (although I’m not exactly sure whether he helped much or if he created more work). When he hears the sound of the mixer, he would come running into the kitchen and demand to be picked up so he can take a look at what was happening inside.
Naturally when I heard cooking class, I felt a ray of hope that we could possibly have found a class that he might be keen to try after all…
So on Friday, when Gavin woke up, I asked him, “Would you like to go to cooking class?”
I was delighted when he nodded eagerly and was keen to get going. We had breakfast, hopped into the car and found a lovely parking spot right next to the complex entrance. All was great until we walked up to the door of Steps Ahead Learners. Gavin saw where we were going and he no longer wanted to attend cooking class. He was mildly protesting but not howling and screaming like he was during our previous experiences so I thought we could at least peek into the class to see what was going on.
We got inside, took off our shoes and one of the teachers approached us. I told her we were attending the cooking class and she looked confused. Apparently there are no cooking classes on Friday. Cooking classes are only on Wednesdays. She also told me that class starts at 9:30am.
Now it was my turn to be confused. When I booked Gavin’s trial class last week, Vicky, the vice principal, told me we could come in on Friday at any time before 11am. I had specifically told her I was only interested in the cooking class and nothing else and even mentioned my experiences taking Gavin to class on previous occasions.
Anyway, the teacher then told me I might as well come back next Wednesday for the trial cooking class. Given Gavin’s negative response and the school’s rather disorganised manner handling our trial class, I decided that perhaps we won’t be coming back. I wasn’t too happy to have dragged Gavin to a shopping complex that was undergoing major renovations (it was very dusty and noisy) for a trial class that didn’t happen.
In the end, I took Gavin shopping and bought him some art supplies for our own private art class – more about that in another post (Homeschooling a toddler – art class). Gavin obviously hasn’t warmed up to the idea of going to class (even with Mummy present), but then, he’s only two so I’m not sweating it. I’ve decided we can wait another year or two before we try again.
The whole purpose of these classes is for him to interact with other children. Since he doesn’t want to go, I figure that if I force him, he’ll just sit in a corner and not participate. Additionally, I would be creating a very negative experience of school. I know that he isn’t anti-social because he gets along with his two godsisters like a house on fire. Although he’s fairly aloof around other children (and even adults) on the first meeting, I’ve noticed that after a few play dates, he warms up pretty well. Recently, I took him to the jungle gym to play with K, the daughter of one of my friends. By the second play date, he was calling after her to follow him and would actively seek her out.
As for the things he can learn at these classes… Well, I’ve attended a few classes with him and I don’t really see any activities that I can’t replicate at home. Besides, he seems to be progressing just fine without formal classes. One mother recently commented that he was speaking a lot for a two year old. Another mother thought he was three years old based on his language skills. Since I don’t know either of them personally, I’m taking it for granted that they weren’t just being polite.
So I guess I’m just going to home school him until he’s old enough to attend kindergarten. We had our first “class” on Friday and I thought it went marvelously. Well, there were a few minor glitches, but more about that in the next post…
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