It seems a strange concept, to me and probably to most we talk to about it. We’ve been home educating for years now, Lily, the middle toddler, has been a huge part of that. When we get out the craft box she is there with her glue sticks, when we pull out the science books she runs for her notebook. A notebook full of squiggles, stickers and pictures in place of ‘real’ words. Exploration, tech, cooking, baking, cleaning, math – everything. She is there eager and willing, waiting to learn. To soak up everything.
Due to this she is quicker, more tactile and vocal than Eldest ever was. She puts processes together with speed and for the most part gets it right, she spots patterns, words and remembers locations and information well. Her educational journey started two years ago now. Early on in the home education I decided not to ‘dumb down’ what we were doing for her, she got bored unless it was the same as Eldest’s stuff. When we went shopping for supplied she needed her list to be taken care of too.
Last year there was flurry of nursery talk on Facebook and Twitter, mums we bumped into in town asked us ‘Does she go to nursery yet?’. At the time she didn’t, we weren’t entitled to the free 15 hours, but it did get me thinking – should I give her the choice?
Yes, I should. Something I strongly believe is that they have a voice and should be able to use it. When it comes to their education even more so.
So when the time rolled around, I actually bumbled the application and she missed the first intake, I gave a call to a few of the local nurseries and manage to land a spot in some that we think will suit her. The open day rushed up on us quickly. I remember Eldest’s nursery with not much fondness. This one however was remarkable, the outdoors area was very large, nothing is very structured, her key person is a very relaxed person which will suit her wonderfully. From the moment we got in there, she was building towers, making pictures and as soon as she got outside she was telling me how wonderful it was.
Outside there was sensory gardens, disco balls, pretend campfires, hammocks, houses, sand, countless wooden bikes trikes and quads, lots of little trails and so much more.
When we had done our tour, booked our next appointment and she’d fully explored we left. We walked home, half of me was sad, the other half, the more rational side wanted to hear about what she wanted.
So I asked. ‘Do you think, you would like to spend a few hours here every day?’
‘You know mum, I probably would.’
And with those little words, out of that little mouth my middle Toddler is heading off to Nursery in September and will really begin to carve her little space in the world.