Friday, February 28, 2014

Make hay while the sun shines

In my case, it's "write a post while the kids play with Play-Doh..."

How is it these days? When parenting is physically demanding, I say I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. When there are unexpectedly easy periods, I realize I have an almost-4 year old and an almost-2 year old.

Yesterday we dropped off the junior kindergarten registration package at the neighbourhood public school. Tyler will start a full-day program in September. Before moving into the area we had already established that this would be the school we would send our (future) kids to, and I feel at ease with this, six years later. Sending them to a school that we would have to drop off / pick up from, or have them take buses to, means the kids are less accessible, and the links to community more tenuous. Every morning I drive past the school, and read what they've posted on their outdoor sign. Every evening when I drive home, I scan to see how many cars are left in the parking lot - a sign of staff dedication to their work. I've checked out their provincial test scores, noted the diversity represented in their staff photographs, and I appreciate their well-kept grounds, abundance of green space, and modern outdoor play structures. I'm getting connected: I've joined the school's mailing list and am following them on Twitter.

Would I enrol them into an early French or French immersion program? After talking to my mother, retiring from 25 years of elementary school teaching this year, I don't think it's necessary. My kids are already being raised in a bilingual environment (English/Cantonese). My primary concern is that they develop a strong foundation and easy facility with English. Learning French as a subject in grade 4 means that it will be fun and novel, rather than a potential roadblock to learning all other subjects, including English.

What about private school? Well, I can't see paying a small fortune for the basics primary/junior. We have a few years to think about the value of it for the intermediate/senior years.

Now the countdown begins to the first day of school...Pinterest can help me make it a photo moment, but who will help me prepare my heart?