Back to school

Kids in the coastal provinces of South Africa started the new school year today - and all over the country the wind-speed increased as parents heaved a sigh of relief that the holidays are finally over, and we can stop hearing "I'm bored - what can I do?"!

My son is in grade 6 this year - 2nd last year of primary school. Time really flies! It seems like just yesterday that he headed off to grade 1. Now he clomps off in huge shoes and clothes that are already crying out for an upgrade to a larger size. I helped carry his newly-covered school books down this morning. As usual I faced the inevitable moans and groans at having to get up, get into a uniform, and get off before the bell rang at 7:30.

Last night was even worse. He was in tears after a "bad day". His on-campus friend bugged him and irritated him all day, he was made to eat food he didn't like, and had his nails cut - one thing he resists with all he's got, but they were really getting awful. He had to bath and wasn't allowed to stay up late to watch "Who's Line is it Anyway". Poor, deprived kid! :) Well, we managed to sort him out by bedtime with a quick game of Uno and a glass each of cold grape juice. He went to bed in a slightly better frame of mind.

So now it's back to the routine of up early, to bed early, homework in the evenings, school in the mornings. No more laying about in the pyjamas until midday or flexible bedtimes.

But I know this year's going to be OK. He struggled in lower primary school with keeping up - gets bored easily or stuck on one point and doesn't move on. It's been improving steadily as he matures and learns how to cope. He has a good teacher this year, who thinks like he does and may be able to relate to his learning style better than others. It seems he'll be doing some fun and challenging work, which will keep him from bored-ing out, tuning out.

Back to school. Buckle up and hold on for the ride!

Well the kid's back from day one, and as expected it went pretty well. They have homework of course - an oral and a bit of Maths - but there was one surprise. The teacher he was expecting has moved grades! You see, 2 days before school started the grade 7 teacher resigned without notice, sending the staff into panic mode. Since then there are a couple of names as possibilities, and in the meantime they've called back the ex-principal (a stern, tall spinster, who still attempts to run the school by remote at times...) to stand in. My son has her as class teacher, with the expected teacher only doing Maths and one other subject. They've also switched classrooms, so it's upheaval all round! But so far so good. He gets to take a few of his precious stones to school tomorrow to talk about things like petrified wood, ancient fish and evolution-related matters (the school's strong on creation, not evolution, but they're discussing it).

Let's hope the rest of the year goes as smoothly...