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Thursday, November 3, 2011

First Day - New School

When we took this picture it was Oliver’s first day at the new school and Oliver had his game face on. For the first few weeks he was not particularly happy. Lots of new people to meet, homework, expectations were an awful lot to take in. Now as I write this in November, I can happily report Oliver is having a great time. He has two best friends, Max and Ozzie, has suffered his first crush with Ava and is very happy with his teacher Mrs Harris!

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

School Choice

It’s funny your expectations of your child and the school they attend… We are now just starting to think about where Oliver will next go to school for Kindergarten and I’m approaching it a little more cautiously than I would have done previously.

Both Oliver and Lola currently attend the Newpath Montessori school - which is a tiny school in Santa Monica run by the indomitable
Ms Ira. She adores the children but rules their world with a firm hand to say the least! Oliver was there for his first preschool experience but then I pulled him out to send him to a local French immersion school - Ecole Claire Fontaine.

ECF was local, they cooked and did yoga and Frend of course - it sounded like just what we were looking for! A perfect break from the, at times, apparently rigid and structured approach of Ms Ira; a more active environment for my rambunctious boy.

But a funny thing happened. Although great sounding on paper, the lack of structure didn’t work for Oliver who came back from school each day exhausted and spent. He’d been allowed to do exactly what he wanted all day alright, and that for him was playing chase in the playground. He was not particularly happy and furthermore there were bullying issues that were not being dealt with by the school.

It turned out it was a great school for me, but not for my son. I liked the other parents, the activities on offer and so on, but Oliver wasn’t happy. So we returned to Ms Ira’s familiar realm and Oliver is thriving - Lola too. The structure I was wary of, they revel in. The “jobs” are their favorite part of being at school.

So now as I look at new schools, top of mind is what is best for Oliver, not what seems right for me.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

First day at Summer School!

Lola’s first day at school went off without a hitch. It’s lucky really as the summer school is happening at the same Abbot Kinney Campus as Oliver, so he is there and the surroundings are familiar.
She ran off to play with barely a backward glance at Mom. It’ll be interesting once she realizes though that this is going to happen repeatedly - see how that goes - once the novelty wears off.
Anyway - she did Mum proud. I felt a touch teary I have to say seeing her with such independence already - empty nesting already or so it feels! Now just got to crack the daily nap battle and my life will start getting back to some semblance of normal!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New School

Oliver started at his new school this week - so hard!

Poor thing - not only is he one of the younger kids there, but its French immersion to boot so he has no idea what’s going on. When the week started I was very anxious. Far worse for Mom I think! Oliver and I have been so close since coming back from vacation, he hasn’t adjusted at all to me going back to work. Every morning there have been tears and the first day of school was no exception.

The teachers encourage the parents to hang around for a bit before leaving, but I really don’t know if it helps or not, or just prolongs the agony. But I did and when the time came for me to go - yikes - tears, clinging. Devastating. You feel like the worse parent in the world. I went back after 15 minutes and peeked in - he looked so sad, still blotchy and shuffling about in a forlorn way. Bad bad mama.


It got easier.

When I returned to pick him up there were huge smiles and an exclamation of “We had cake!”

The next day was easier still and today, one of the teachers distracted him with a book and he was totally cool with me going. No tears at all!

From this I’ve realized a couple of things.

1. Picking him up each day is a BIG DEAL for him and really matters. Even if it means me crossing Santa Monica to and fro every day, it is so worth it to see how happy he is when I get there.

2. Telling him every day what is going to happen - that he goes to school and Mama goes to work and after lunch Mama comes to pick him up - really helps. I’ve also incorporated tales of first days at school into the daily night time adventures of Marvin the ant and his friends, Candy the caterpillar, Lucy the ladybird and Pepe the beetle.

Don’t ask. Long story. Literally.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to normal

I wrote on Intent about how hard it is coming back from a vacation - just from my own perspective of having enjoyed all that time with the kids and trying to get back into the swing of work.

What I failed to mention is how much harder it is for them!

Oliver has had a couple of weeks off before he starts at his new school and the poor thing is suffering badly from the scattered routine. Both he and Lola are up at nights, clinging madly whenever I leave the house, following me from room to room, and generally not being the best version of themselves.

It’s hard to be away, but it’s hard again to be home, as those precious moments at the start and end of each day are never enough for any of us.

Roll on school starting in September I say!

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

En famille

The very best of times. I can’t believe we are already back from Maine. Those ten wonderful, exhausting, fabulous days were gone in a flash.

More highlights:

- Anna and Steve came to visit. So great catching up with Anna again and spending some quality time together. Steve is awesome, really enjoyed hanging out with them.
- Cooking - lots of cooking - soups especially. I miss that - in LA I’m always so damn tired!
- Oliver’s language explosion! He really is a little boy right now. Getting used to debating my decsions is all new - LOL!

Being back in LA is good, getting back into the work groove. Oliver got into L’Ecole Claire Fontaine - which is fantastic! We went for one morning tour yesterday and he liked it so much he stayed for the rest of the day! Looking forward to getting more involved in that and really loving speaking my rusty French again.

But it’s hard being away from the kids so much once more, read all about my vacation withdrawal.

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