No.1 is doing good. This week he’s been in school 5 full mornings, and he’s coped perfectly. A little weary, but enough to make him sleep, rather than make him ill, y’know? The one day he drooped and came home early was the day after we had visited the high school in the morning and he had done the rest of the day in school – late morning, lunch AND afternoon. Bit much for him.
And there’s another hoooge dilemma. We have to choose his high school by Friday. With his illness we hadn’t really considered any but the nearest walking distance one.
Now he’s improving so fast, we’d be silly not to look around – small local high school has 120 students a year, is a nice school, he can walk back and forth.. But it is slowly improving from being a dodgy school about 5 years ago, has a very limited VIth form, and less amazing opportunities than… Option B. Big school (210 students) 9 miles on bus, excellent academic record. Long days, big school where sensitive boy may feel lost.
Fab Gifted & Talented programme, far far better results, much much more in the way of opportunities for clever boys. We mostly want him to enjoy and be happy… But equally don’t want to narrow his horizons by choosing the convenient/easy option NOW, when later he would thrive in a more structured, academic setting and be thrilled by the opportunities available. Sigh. Local school we visited last week, and it really was good, and we liked a lot.
T’other bigger school we visited today and we’re letting No.1 decide for himself where he thinks he would be happiest – and sod the academic bit.
Option B school is very big, very new… And as we sat down in reception to wait, No.1 leaned over and whispered in my ear “I feel really at home here!”. Spoke to Assistant Head for a bit – lovely, she spoke mostly TO No.1 (not at him, down to him, or over his head at us), she listened properly and we didn’t feel we were being rushed (despite being a last-minute extra visit that was thrust upon her). Then we were handed over to two VI form boys for the tour – and they were just lovely (And taller than me! Scary!). No.1 was in awe for a minute for three, and then just became sooo excited by the school. He chatted to the teachers who’s classes we interrupted (again, instead of acknowledging with a brief smile, they spoke, waved and where possible came over and spoke to him), went googly eyed with excitement at the DT rooms, the science labs and the ICT suites (Geek) and in all he simply can’t wait to go back.
So Option B is the Chosen One! Am very happy with decision, think he’ll be really happy there – just fingers crossed he gets in now.
Had a weird epiphany over the course of the Big School Choosing decision. I have spent the last few years watching him furtively with a little sadness, jealously guarding my time with him, missing my toddler very very much, and feeling that the best parenting bits with him have probably gone now. But all of a sudden the future has opened up again – I can see forwards to who he will be, can see him growing into himself – and already feeling huge pride in the man he will become.