Wednesday, 19 August 2015

First Day


Over the past week, children all over Scotland have been returning to school to continue their education; a new wave of 4 and 5 year olds just embarking on their journey at the doors of Primary 1 (P1). Today was the turn of the kids in Edinburgh, Fife and Falkirk. Facebook is on fire with photos of friend's bairns in their uniforms and looking all excited. It's lovely to see and fun to look at how much some of them have grown and changed, especially the ones with the pics of the First Years at High School (S1) shown next to their old pics of first day in P1. Today I particularly liked the ones of the kids the same age as Kiddo just starting out on their very first day (so cute!).

It was Kiddo's first day too and he was no different to any of the others this morning, except that he didn't go to school. Today we officially began our home-ed journey. What did that look like? Well, a long lie for  a start (Kiddo didn't surface until 8.30am) which was followed by a hearty celebratory breakfast feast of homemade pancakes, waffles, strawberries, raspberries, maple syrup and bacon (!); a trip to the swimming pool (the good thing about the schools being back is that there is no time limit in the pool - we had 2 hours in a pretty empty pool) and a trip to the library in the afternoon (I have to add here, as I am very proud of this fact : the books we returned WERE ON TIME!!) resulting in Kiddo taking out 10 books for his next project. No need to explain what his chosen project is.... The librarian let him stamp the books. I was a little jealous; a favourite game of mine with my sister when we were kids was playing "libraries". I loved to pretend to swipe the bar code and stamp the books (I was always the librarian) but the best bit was the noise the hardbacks made as they closed.

 

Thinking back to my own school days, (I loved school) one of the best bits about going back after the summer was new stationery. Who doesn't love a new pencil case and the smell of new pencils?? Kiddo got his own new pencil case filled with pencils, a rubber/ruler/pencil sharpener. He loved it so much that he hasn't looked at it since he received it. This is upsetting. Does he not understand STATIONERY - NEW STATIONERY!!!!!?????!!!!! Such simple but oh so satisfying pleasures. I remember my first day at school in the August of 1983. I mind quite clearly charging off up the street leaving my mum in my wake. I was so excited to start. Me and my fellow P1's - all 5 of us. The school I attended for the first 2 years of my primary education was a very small village school where the teacher, Miss Cassidy taught P1-4 in the one classroom, and the Headmaster, whose name escapes me, taught P5-7 in the other classroom.

5 year old me!

Do I regret not having that "first day of school" moment for Kiddo? (as I was asked today) Nope, because this is not about me - this is about him and his education. The choice allowed to us parents by the government, to choose the best choice to ensure our child(ren) are educated means that just because he is on a different path to the majority, doesn't make today any less significant. Our days won't necessarily differ much to what we have been doing up until now, we won't "actually start his education" at 9am each morning, because, if I'm being pedantic, his education, which is a life long process, began 5 years and 5 months ago.
We were excited today because Kiddo knew he wasn't going to school, he knew that he was still going to be learning and he knows that tomorrow we are spending the day with his pals at the beach, rain or shine.

Today was a great day, a memorable day, as I am sure it will have been for children across the country on their first day too.

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