Just a quick one tonight. I'm comming down with tonsillitis now :( Just a post for us. Just want to record:
#1 The chat I had with Liam's kinder teacher this afternoon
I just wanted to check with her that Leap was the best option for him next year, rather than another year of kinder. I've been doing lots of reading and downloading on the net as well as talking to quite a few girls from church who are either prep teachers themselves, or who are holding their kids back to repeat preschool. At this stage we were pretty certain he was not going to go to prep, but just wanted to make sure Leap was the better option. I was worried that preschool would not be enough for him. It's only 10 hours a week, and he'll be 6 late that year. But I also wanted to know whether it was more time away and preschool/school activities, or time at home - more bonding/security stuff, that would better help his development in the areas in question.
Also the leap teacher is not the one I met earlier in the year at the information sessions. I wanted to know whether his teacher had met her, or knew of her.
Liam's teacher agreed with me, that he will need full days next year. Particularly towards the end of the year. She told me how the class is so small that the teacher really gets to bond with each child, and learn their abilities, and the areas where they need assistance, and the best way for them to learn. I was lucky too that at the time we had our interview, there was another teacher from another local kinder visiting, and she is sending four of her students their next year, and has send four each year for the past three years. She was able to help answer a lot of our questions, including those about the teacher. The person taking leap next year, actually assisted the past teacher when she was a student teacher, but then left the school to work elsewhere. They approached her and offered her the position, when the current one started maternity leave. Just now. They had good things to say about her, and the whole program in general, and the school. It's not the school we planned on sending Liam to, but I quite like the idea that it is a small school. Only 250 students, compared to 600 at the school we were originally looking at. It does mean I have to drive him to school, but it's really not that far.
One of the main areas Liam still needs to develop in, is his ability to see a project through from start to finish. To recognise that there is a begining, a middle and an end. He tends to start things, but gets bored, and walks away, and it takes quite a bit of encouragement to get him to complete it. (I have noticed this when we do crafts and things here). Another area is his hand muscles are still quite weak, and he still finds it quite difficult to use scissors, and write/draw. Both of these things are maturity issues and will develop with time. His teacher is worried that if he starts activities at school and doesn't complete them, he'll end up with lots of unfinished projects as they rotate from activity to activity. She explained that either kids that fall behind either shy away in the hope that no one will notice them, or they become disruptive, noisy or the class clown. Given Liam's personallity, he's more likely to shy away and hope he becomes invisible... a bit like his mummy LOL
His confidence is increasing, and I noticed this morning at speech that he actually stopped and said "Lisa....." when he would still usually speak to me instead of another adult if I am there.
A few other things people have shared with me, or I found in my research is that:
Kids, especially boys, should really start school at 6, and do much better throughout their schooling lives when they do.
Victoria has one of the WORLDS (!!) youngest school entry age.
So after our chat, I'm confident and happy, that we are making the right decision for him, both for next year, for 5 years time and for 15 or more years time. Although his teacher did mention regardless of what we do, there will be times when we will question whether it was the right decision LOL
#2 Jack Buckley arrived today
Brett took the phone call, so that is all the information I have! Jack is Carol and Micheal's second baby. A little brother for Thomas. Carol and Michael are the couple whos wedding I photographed on New Years Eve in 42 degrees C heat! The photos are in one of my very first posts, back in I think Feb.