2010 – Back to School

It was Gavin’s first day back to school today.

I was anticipating a rough day back but Gavin totally blew me over by how well he took it.  There were no protests, no tears, no negotiations – nothing.  He walked into school without a fuss.  It made me wonder if this was just the calm before the storm.  You know how they say that the first day usually goes well and it’s the second or third day before reality kicks in?  Anyway, we’ll see how it all goes tomorrow.

After our parent-teacher interview at the end of last year, I agreed to send Gavin for the Flexi program.  That means he’s at school until 3pm.  He stays for lunch, an afternoon nap and a bit more play time.  The whole idea is for him to have more “play” time with friends to develop his social interaction which is apparently below par.  His teacher told us that intellectually, he is ahead of his peers, but socially and emotionally, he appears to be behind.  She felt that if he participated in the Flexi program, it would give him a chance to develop socially and emotionally.  So I agreed to trial the Flexi program for one semester.

Part of me feels a little guilty about sending him away for so many hours.  I seem to be very far away from the initial plan to home school him for as long as possible before sending him for formal education.  I have heard all the arguments against school at such a young age and at one point, I too felt very strongly against it.  That was until I had to manage Gavin and Gareth at home for the whole day when Gavin was on holidays at the end of last year.

With Gareth being another high-needs baby (hubby says both my boys are marsupials), it seems that all I ever seem to be doing is telling Gavin off because he’s always up to something inappropriate.  And the reason he’s always up to something inappropriate is because I am not able to sufficiently occupy him and keep him out of trouble.  Try as I might, I can’t seem to juggle my time effectively between the two boys.

Whenever I try to do activities with Gareth, such as the time I tried to promote his physical development, Gavin gets jealous.  I had Gareth on his tummy on a mattress on the floor and was helping him to “crawl” across the mattress.  When he made it the length of the mattress, I was so delighted, I clapped heartily.  Gavin then started to “show off” his crawling prowess  by making numerous laps on all fours across the length of the mattress and nearly clambered over his little brother in the process.

It kills me to see Gavin try so hard to hold my attention but it also bugs me that I have to ignore my second son in order to appease the feelings of my first born.  So now it boils down to which is the lesser of two evils – sending Gavin to school or keeping him at home and telling him off all the time?  I’ve opted for school but only time will tell if it is the right choice.  In the meantime, I’m keeping my decision flexible so I can pull him out if I deem it necessary.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

3 thoughts on “2010 – Back to School

  1. This is a dilemma that I may face in future too. My boy is a high-needs baby whom his Daddy calls a koala bear. I can imagine him craving for my attention when #2 comes along.

    Similarly, I have thoughts of home-schooling him for as long as possible. If the younger one is also a high-needs baby, then it would be very tough to have enough energy and patience for both children.

    In your case, take a few months to observe how things work out. Perhaps Gareth would be easier to handle and you would be able to give Gavin more attention. All the best! 🙂

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  2. I do have the same dilemma as you too. my girl is very sticky to me and it’s really difficult to pay attention to both of them at the same time. I have also opted for the After School Program for my son beginning March. Interesting activities eg baking, gardening are in store for the program and I know my boy will love it.

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  3. Thanks for the suggestion MieVee – I will do that.

    The only consolation I have for sending him to school is that his god brother and god sister are there. He adores them and is especially close to his god brother. The two of them can really wreck havoc when they are together. Although he is supposed to be in the class above his god brother, he has changed his own class to be with him.

    I told the teachers not to worry and let him be. As long as he’s happy at school, I’m not fussed about him being in the younger class. I just want him to have a fun time at school.

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