School days

I’d be lying if I said my studio was perfect. It’s not. There are a number of things, had I had more time to search and more money to spend on rent that I would have held out for. But all of these things are obliterated by the fact that the distance from the children’s school to my studio is a minute away. In fact I would go as far to say that it is in fact seconds away.I can see the tennis courts from my window, can watch the kids walk to the hall for assembly and sometimes hear, yes hear Otto’s voice during recess. But the best part is and what really sealed the deal for me in the end is the fact that I am close to my baby girl as she journeys through her first year of school. I’ll be honest and admit that whilst I never compare my children in a ‘he’s doing this better or she’s doing that better’ and there is certainly not one speck of ‘why don’t you be more like your brother/sister’ I do note their differences. Absolutely. I don’t know how you can’t quite frankly. This precious girl’s first term is coming to an end and school has, in a way that kindy never did, highlighted what a dreamer, what a creative little soul, what an imaginative little monkey she is. We’ve always suspected but now it’s as though it’s been highlighted in fluro.
Otto’s first year at school was epic. He hit the ground running, ready to eat up what ever came his way. He gobbled up prep like it was a mid-morning snack and continues to devour whatever turns up on his plate with his usual gusto and appetite to learn more and more and more. What Coco loves about school is art and P.A and Japanese. Recess and lunchtime are highlights of her day, playing with her sweet friends Kitty and Summer. She could really give or take the reading and writing, happy to draw out what she did on the weekend and bring home the home-readers that don’t have any words so she can make up the story.
I look at her and I want to help her keep this highly imaginative and artistic streak, in the same way I look at Otto and want to help him retain his eagerness to solve complex maths problems and his love of science.
I work hard to do this in the only way I know how and that’s by listening and following their lead, making sure there are plenty of opportunities for them to explore their particular bents, however school is school and Coco will eventually have to learn to read and write. And she will of course, but in the¬† beginning she was really¬† struggling. She had no real interest in something that came so naturally to Otto, that I had to really adjust my way of thinking and doing.
There was such a lack of interest on her behalf that I really had to dig deep into my patience reserves. And then my dear Otto came into the kitchen where we were reading earlier this term and said ‘Coco! Learning to read is one of the BEST things that will ever happen in your life! Once you know how to read you can do anything!!’
I could’ve cried. This kid has a way with words and in an instant she sat taller and has been making real progress. She’d still rather be painting/twirling/pretending she’s a cat/singing/playing/drawing but that’s ok, we’re on our way.

6 Responses to School days

  1. Hang in there! xo Coco’s such a clever little sweetie. I’m sure she’ll be fine. Lots of little preppies start put Term 1 and 2 finding their way around how school works. Haha.

  2. You are the best Mum. Coco is so lucky to have you to nurture her. And not to mention that big brother …. Don’t forget it’s only term 1, Mads. And that the only other example you have to compare her to, is a genius! Happy reading, Coco. Otto is right, learning to read is one of the best things you’ll ever do. Kellie xx

  3. Oh Mads. This is totally normal. Most kids are like this with school. Especially in the first couple of years. Just like Kel said, you’re only have a genius to compare her too! And she is young for her year isn’t she? Seriously, I didn’t think Oli would ever learn to read and write. And even now at 7 he only reads the Home Readers and then that’s it. There is very little interest. But that’s the problem with reading at this age. You have kids that love it and they’ll always seem like they’re smarter than your kid. But they’re not. It’s all just motivated by interest. If there was a subject that asked you the name and stats of every single player in the European Soccer league, Oli would KILL IT. But alas, no. It’s still such early days in a very long schooling life for Coco. She is so lucky to be such a creative little thing and you’re lucky that she loves the social parts of the day so much. This to me is more important than anything else about school. Especially at this age. I was so stressed when Oli was in his first year, thinking there was something wrong with him. We did so many tests but they found nothing. We now realise that it was such a huge leap for him and he had very little interest in school work. Oh boy, it was frustrating and David and I played our fair share of ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop’! But now in his second year he is doing so well. We’re so proud of him. He is by no means in the top of his class but he has come such a long way. He just needed time to adjust to such a big change. And the best thing is, we no longer worry about him and school. He doesn’t have to love it but as long he enjoys some parts of it and he has a good bunch of friends then I’m happy!

    Coco will be fine. More than fine. And Otto is so right. Good on him! xx

    ps Sorry for the essay (I loved school!)

  4. What wonderful girls you all are…Dawn, Kellie and Bianca. Thanks for your wise, kind and supportive words. You’re all lovely and speak the truth. It’s only term one, she’ll get there eventually, I can’t rush these things and yes as long as she’s happy and she is, all will be well.
    Huge hugs to all of you XOXOXO

  5. what a team of clever and thoughtful souls your family makes! i love this beautiful post. you have each other and everything will be super fine x

  6. oh mads, how did i miss this post? I wasn’t expecting to be all teary about it! i’ve really learned recently that we can’t set our expectations by our first child, as each one will take us on a different journey, and in the end, be OUR teacher. Reading is a skill that can be learned, but I think you are an artist from birth… she’s a lucky girl to have that in her. xxx

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