A meet up with moms normally includes discussions on bowel movements, sleeping and eating habits, vaginas that have never quite ‘bounced’ back into shape and a libido that’s become a libidon’t.

But if you’re a mom of a toddler chances are conversations have begun in earnest about which skool is kool for your kid. Organised parents have put their kid’s name down at several schools before they were born. Let me clarify now that I’m not that parent. Emma’s three and I (we) haven’t even decided which schools we want to put her name down at.

I’m the product of a ‘traditional’ school. You were super duper smart if you could do maths and science, and not so much if you couldn’t. I couldn’t. At the school I attended you were ‘in’ if you did sports and belonged to the debate team. I didn’t so I didn’t. You also fitted in if you fitted in. If you didn’t you were labelled a freak, misfit, outcast or delinquent (and that was by the teachers).

So the dilemma we face with Emma is what kind of school is going to bring out the best in her? Do we go the ‘traditional’ route where academics and sports = success or do we go with the more ‘touchy feely’ (meant in the most positive way) types like a Montessori or a Waldorf. We want Emma to feel she can be herself and if academics isn’t her strong point then we don’t want her to feel as though she’s failed or that she’s not good enough. We also don’t want to put her in an environment where her ‘smarts’ has her running rings around the teachers and she ends up getting away with murder.

I hated school. I was labelled as ‘dense’ and ‘the most likely to be pregnant at 17 with no future prospects at all’. I didn’t fit in with the Maths teacher’s style of teaching so I was seen as the problem. Not her. Grades 8 and 9 saw me at a co-ed school, which I hated. The rest of my high school years was spent at an all girls school, which I loved. But I know that that’s not everyone’s cuppa tea.

So where does Emma go? The less traditional route where school uniforms are considered ‘stifling’ and discipline even more so or a place that values “yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir’. We love the idea of a Montessori  primary school but I worry whether Emma will fit in at a more traditional high school later on. What if the school we send her to concentrates on academics and Emma’s more of an ‘entrepreneur’ (read ‘dropout’).

Costs are also factor but I suppose plans can be made. A private school in our area is trying to get the black quotient up and are offering bursaries to learners of colour. There is no way in hell we could afford the fees so I thought I’d chat to them about a scholarship for Emma. According to them we don’t fit the ‘previously disadvantaged profile’ so I suggested I send my bank statement through and they can see that I’m Currently Disadvantaged. I also don’t want Emma and Ben to be surrounded by the very wealthy. I don’t want them losing sight of what’s important in life and thinking that the world is luxury cars and TV’s in every room. I also don’t want to be keeping up with Joneses, Sitholes or Cohens.

So here I am, after a chat with Tanya over at Dear Max still as confused as ever as to which skool is kool for Emma and Ben. 

How are you choosing the skool that’s kool for you?

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