Hello folks, hasn’t it been a while?! I seem to be making a habit of this whole not posting for a long time before posting a big long update with promises to avoid such lengths of time between posts in future. Well, I’m not making any promises tonight but oh do I have some updates for you!
Since my last post we successfully left Geraldton and we have been in Perth ever since. We have been staying with my Mum and at first we were making regular trips down to Margaret River to search for a home to rent, but then I started having other ideas.
I thought it could be good to go to uni, there’s an old dream I’ve had for most of my adult life that I sorta thought I could probably revisit, which would most likely mean we’d be staying in Perth. Then I wondered how the whole uni thing would work with homeschooling, and decided it wouldn’t so I shelved the idea and resumed looking for a rental in Margaret River. Then one day a few weeks ago I was visiting with a couple of friends and something in my subconscious prompted me to ask them both for more information about the Reggio Emilia inspired school their children attend. Of course I knew a bit about the school already, they’d raved about it for years and I even went to their excellent musical fancy dress quiz night fundraiser a couple of years ago, but I was asking this time with added interest because perhaps, maybe, I could just entertain the thought of sending the sprogs there…?
Ludicrous! We’re homeschoolers, right?
Well, maybe not anymore…
One of the friends arranged for Bean, the sprogs and I to have a look at the school that same afternoon and we discovered it was actually a pretty awesome place which had us thinking that perhaps it could be a good option for us.
A few days after our mini tour the school hosted an evening talk by Tim Gill which, while not telling me anything I hadn’t heard before and certainly not challenging my current values regarding children and childhood, affirmed my feelings that I could probably feel pretty comfortable sending the sprogs to that school.
The classrooms are not like conventional school classrooms, the children don’t have their own desk until end of term/year do us part, instead they have shared tables where children can do desk work as well as couches and mats on the floor. They have a playground called The Wild Space which is dirt, water and uneven surfaces – all the glorious things you never see in children’s playgrounds these days. They play with mud and have a school fire pit. Their school motto is “Listening to Children”… It’s a school, yes, and at the root of it all my educational ideal is natural learning not school, but I have to think about what I want from my life too. I can’t devote myself to homeschooling the sprogs if it leaves me feeling empty and unfulfilled. I really want to go to uni to realise that old dream of mine, and so for that to happen I need to let go of the homeschooling dream (for now?). This school seems to be the closest we’ll get to our educational ideal while not actually homeschooling so we’re giving it a go.
We know four families who are part of the school community and we feel comfortable with their positive assessments of the school, the children as well as the adults, so Sprout is having a trial week there next week. At the end of the week, if she is happy and we are happy, we will enroll her in full time* preschool next year and Moe will probably attend their three year old program 2 days a week.
Bean has been away at work the last 9 days, he’ll be home again from Monday night until Friday morning before he’s away another 11 days (11:3 fly out roster until early January). If this school thing works out we’ll be staying in Perth and needing to find ourselves a more permanent home than my long suffering Mother’s house. More exciting adventures afoot for The Wilde Things.
Aaanyway I reckon that’s enough huge news for one post, I’ll update you on the uni thing if/when it happens…
Wish us luck for school next week, I wonder if we can be organised enough to get there on time with all the bits and pieces that we are supposed to have with us?! That’s probably the most daunting part for me.
*Every Wednesday the students from all years, including high school, finish at lunch time so the teachers can do weekly professional development sessions. I’m really excited that if we go with this option we’d still have some time together during normal school hours to visit places that are usually quite busy outside of normal school hours, or to just hang out together at home.