Tuesday, 1 March 2011


A slight epiphany descended upon my sofa-ensconced form just a moment ago.

I've had concerns about how NP is settling into nursery (settling?! She's been at the place since September!). I've gone the usual channels, spoken to the teacher, talked to NP about it, all to find that, come the start of each new half term, she hates it, come the start of the holidays she's slightly settled (which gets thrown off during the week/fortnight she doesn't attend).

It seems that the pressure to do what the teachers say creates a little demon inside her brain that tells, nay, insists, that she does as much as possible to disrupt this arrangement.

Well, what a surprise, my child is stubbornly independent and doesn't want to be told what to do.
She told me the other day that the other children are 'boring'.

I told the teacher that NP enjoys learning facts, and is, we would say, pretty smart.

The instant I suggested this, the teacher countered with the fact that NP cannot write. Some children start nursery being able to write, apparently (whoopee, bully for them) but NP doesn't want to, and insists on 'being helped' which, 'is perfectly fine of course'.

Hmm, yeah. I'm sure it's fine. That's why, instead of grasping onto the positive information I just gave you, you're focusing on the things she 'can't' do.

You know what? I don't give a flying f*ck whether she can write perfectly. She loves trying: she wrote 'Happy Birthday' for her cousin the other day by tracing over what I had written. The fact that she wants help to do it isn't a problem, except when you've got 20 others to deal with, Mrs Teacher.

And what is writing, after all? Here's my epiphany: it's a means to an end, it's an addendum to the actual task of learning stuff. The fact that she loves to absorb information is much more important to me at this time. Teaching her right and wrong, letting her explore the things that interest her and giving her chance to grow. These are the things that I care about. She'll come to writing in her own time.

Focusing on a physical lag seems like a fast track to a frustrated mind to me. I want to explore that mind, give her chance to use it, before she shuts it off because other people don't care.