Grade R Orientation Day Excitement

Last week Friday Logan had his little Grade R party at the school.  I have to admit I was very excited and normally this mean my expectation won’t be met and the whole experience will be kind of mediocre.  So imagine my surprise when I walked out of the school grounds an hour and a half later and I am positively bouncing up and down with sheer pleasure!

Lets start at the very beginning.

  1. We were given VIP parking, I kid you not, in the school grounds, under cover, with a security guard.
  2.  As soon as we got out of the car there was a pupil who greeted us and offered to escort us to the uniform shop, the school hall and or the meeting place for the Grade Rs
  3. We started at the staff room where we purchased and ordered some Grade R t-shirts.
  4. Here we were given a stationary pack – for free!  (no one said anything about his stationary being included)  How awesome!
  5. Logan was greeted by his teachers and entertained while Kobus and I made our way to the cooler school hall
  6. The event started at exactly the time it was said to start
  7. Instead of telling us all kinds of obituary things, like the importance of marking school stationary and clothing items.  The teachers showed an enormous amount of respect to each other and to their profession.  They showed us, in more than just words that their intentions are to set an amazing foundation for our kids’ education.

It isn’t often that one feel 100% confident in the choices you make.  But I can honestly say I know that I know that this is where Logan is meant to be next year and I cannot wait for him to thrive!

P.S.  As much as I love that the stationary pack was included (and am thankful) I am a bit bummed that I don’t get to go to the shops and purchase the stationary from a long list.  The awe of walking through rows and rows of stationary along with the frustration of not finding the right thing according to what is specified on the paper.  That to me marks the start of big school!

“What does your gut tell you?”

Yesterday Logan and I made our way to his primary school in order for him to be evaluated for Grade 1.  On arrival at the primary school, he was shipped away to the Grade R class and I was asked to stay in the reception area.

While waiting for them, my thoughts kept going back to the conversation I had with the school’s admissions administrator on Monday.  When she arranged the assessment, she added that their Grade R classes were full for 2012 and that Logan would need to go to the school across the road.  I was upset and mentioned that she was the person who told me to enroll him in Grade 1 and if he wasn’t ready that he would automatically be allocated a space in their Grade R class.  She was very apologetic about it and promised to make a plan if we needed the space.  Even after her reassurance, a little part of me was concerned that the evaluation would be compromised because of it.

Half an hour later, the Grade R teacher came to fetch me and I was lead to the Grade R class were the assessment was taking place.  What I am very pleased with was the question that followed:  “What does your gut tell you?”  I was completely honest in my reply and told them that I felt another year in Grade R would benefit Logan.

The teachers continued by discussing Logan’s answers with what they teach their Grade R’s.  They felt that Logan has a lot of potencial, however would like for him to have a stronger foundation.  Some of the examples they gave me where as follow:

  • They introduce concepts such as horizontal, diagonal and vertical in their teaching vocabulary.
  • Left and right is used when teaching them to write – when writing the letter “a” you start on the right hand side top corner.
  • The difference between top and above.
  • Instead of only teaching them the different shapes, they teach them the attributes of the different shapes. E.g. when a diamond is divided in 2, it gives you 2 triangles.
All in all I get the feeling that they are teaching them to think, instead of spoon feeding them the abc’s.
I am very happy to announce the school made a space for Logan in their Grade R class without any hassles.  And we have already received a second acceptance letter!

Little Logan Update

My goodness they grow up quickly!  A couple of things that have stood out in the past couple of weeks are:

  • Logan loves taking pictures and he really has an eye for it.  I have thought of digging up my old camera and allowing Logan to take as many pictures as he want to.
  • One of the first mornings Oliver was home, he walked up to him and greeted him by saying:  “Hello my little Squishy-Head”
  • The big boy has starting running his own bath (so brilliant!)
  • Logan naturally is a very hospitable little boy – he often offers to pour his step-brother juice.  About a month and a half ago he offered to make me a cup of coffee.  I told him the quantities of the different ingredients and he did everything apart from pouring the boiling water.  The last two days, he has made the me coffee from memory and poured the water himself.

*what an absolute bonus considering the fact that coffee is my drink of choice*

I think it is normal for any mother to worry about the older siblings when a baby enters the family.  In all honesty I started worrying a couple of weeks leading up to Oli’s arrival and I can honestly say, he has taken things so well.  Even with Oli being hospital, he completely accommodated what we as a family needed to do.  I am so proud of him!

So why do I still worry about him?  I know I need to give him time to adjust.  I need to give him the space to figure out his new role in the family.

I know all I can do is be here.

The adventures of a five year old and his bicyskil..

I have to admit that I was ever so slightly worried that my son (at age five) couldn’t ride a bicycle yet.  I was fully aware of the fact that this fears stemmed from the fact that I only learnt to ride a bicycle at tender old age of 12 and that Logan is nothing like his mom.   He is pure adventure junkie.  (Give us strength for when he is older)

About 3 weeks ago when WD came to visit with his bicycle, the pair of them decided to ride down the hill.  I must admit that my nerves were tested a bit – apart from the obvious fact that Logan didn’t know how to ride a bike or use brakes, his brakes were really tight which made it completely impossible for him to use.  Thankfully with a pair of crocs on his feet (RIP dear crocs), he manage to stop quite well!

By the Tuesday after school he was ready to try and place his feet on the peddles and give riding a proper go.  With everything inside of me, I was rooting for him to succeed and when he finally manage to place his feet on the peddle my heart swelled with pride.  His face was absolutely priceless and victory was sweet!

Ever since that moment, my son and his bicyskil (as he would pronounce it) has been inseparable!  Let the adventures begin!

 

Mr. Swart legally and otherwise..

  When I started this post, the idea really was to tell you about our little trip to Home Affairs due to the fact that I now need an unabridged birth certificate to enroll my kid in school.  An unabridged birth certificate that will take 3 months to be processed.  An unabridged certificate that will only be attached once I have it, to the application that I will submit on Monday by the latest!

Now that I have it off my chest, I can tell you how our trip to Home Affairs was pretty productive since I managed to have Logan’s surname changed from Thompson to Swart.  Or at least gotten the ball (that will take approximately 6 months) on the roll!

It was easier than I imagined it would be!  It it took was a little letter explaining that the father of my child (that was born out of wedlock) had disappeared, along with the empty promise of marrying me.  And a second letter from Kobus saying that he has no objections to Logan being called by his surname, because we are married.

So in a couple of months when you ask Logan “What is your surname?” and he answers “Mr. Swart” it will be legally and otherwise true!

big school issues…

What a little poser!

I briefly mentioned that he is being enrolled in primary school for next year and a big chunk of me is sitting in a pile thinking – surely is can’t be time for that just yet.

I had a little chat with his teacher a couple of weeks ago and actually ended up with a bitter taste in my mouth after hearing her professional opinion.  I realize Logan is the youngest in his class and I realize that he may be a bit behind the rest of the kids in his class.  I am very interested to hear where he needs improvement and where I can help!  Along with all this, I am also very open to the idea of keeping him a year behind if this is in his best interest and will have him tested for school readiness towards September / October.

The little chat I had with the teacher was regarding his readiness for Grade 1.  She thinks he may not be ready for school (fare enough).

  1. Her recommendation was for me to see the principle of the school he will be attending next year to explain our “situations“. [ Because naturally his is the only child who was born late December and may not be ready for Grade 1. ]
  2. Furthermore I needed special exemption from either the Department of Education and or an occupational therapist should I now send him to Grade 1 next year.
  3. And that the school would not accept his application the following year, if I didn’t have this exemption.
Naturally all this had my blood boiling to the point that I was ready to throw her with something (preferably something solid that would leave a decent scar – stapler or a brick maybe?), thankfully on the day Kobus was close enough to drag me away and safe the day!

Fortunately Kobus also doesn’t have time for this particular teacher, so he told me not to have it bother me too much and to just phone the school – which I am very glad I did!  Their story is very plain and simple:

  • Enroll him for Grade 1
  • Once we receive confirmation that he has been accepted, have him tested in a school readiness test (which can be conducted at the school – free of charge or with an occupational therapist)
  • And if he isn’t ready for Grade 1, he will automatically be allocated a space in their Grade R class.
I should really mention, right at this point that his actually teacher – the one who has been on maternity leave will be coming back on the 1st of August.  She is worth her salt!  She is good with them.  She was a Grade 1 teacher.
I cannot wait for her return!