You may ( or may not ) know that I recently took a tour of our local ( "Excellent" ) school as I was considering putting Jack into their Kindergarten program. Somedays I really need a break from him, he's certainly a busy boy and can be stubborn when he chooses.... I'm pretty tolerant of him but when I'm in the clutches of my hormones and he is being a BOY well, I'm wont to be rid of him for at least an hour or two!!
The school system here is wonderful. A friend of mine has her daughter in the same school and we even visited the classroom she is in. She has made major progress and seems to revel in the structure she is provided in the school. This Kindy room was amazing! EVERYTHING that could be laminated was laminated!!! Everything that couldn't move had a label (laminated, naturally )! The teacher was a lovely lady who had been teaching for 30 years and had gathered supplies and knowledge to an incredible extent! The walls of the room were ablaze with color and if they had been able to stick stuff on the ceiling they would have done I'm sure!! It was a touch too much for me, just a liiiiittle overstimulating... but apparently Kindergarteners love that stuff! :D Anyway, every single Down's Syndrome child who had ever been through the school system had this lady as their teacher. She has Experience!! : D She showed me samples of the children's work and I really felt that Jack was on a par with most of them. His art work was perhaps a little less sophisticated but his lettering is very similar. Sure, they made construction paper Racoons and had read a book about Africa, but does that beat being home with your family and being a strong, cohesive unit?! Not sure.
The trouble we had began with getting ready to start with. We needed to get there at 9 ... Could I get Jack to get dressed??? Could I get Jack to eat his breakfast?!?! Could I get everyone dressed and out the door in time??? Well, yes, but was it easy ? NO!! Would I want to do that every day?!?! Noooooo. Also it's winter... it's going to get very cold in the mornings... he'll have to get up, hustle to get dressed, hustle to have breakfast and then go out in the cold on to the bus and be bussed off to school everyday. I know regularly schooled kids do this, but would they choose to?? *shrug* I don't know. I know I don't fancy doing it!!! I much prefer our way of doing things! The tour started off well and Jack impressed the teachers and the aides... right up to where he started to get bored, hot, tired and hungry. The school is PACKED with toys and games to play with, none of which he was allowed to play. The teacher mentioned a sand and water table.... hoooo boy. I can just imagine Jack not wanting to stop playing with that for any reason what so ever. He has an incredible attention span for stuff and will play with things for hours sometimes. I just see trouble there. He basically broke down and refused to leave the room, wanting to play with everything, wanting to stay, did not want to go home.... *sigh* Anyway, we left, I was pretty damn mad with him but realised on the way home that he was hot and hungry. The school was really hot and we had our winter coats on. Also, I realised I was talking to the staff about him ( with him THERE ) and said "I really want you to be able to watch him closely... HE WILL RUN AWAY..... " DOH!!! Why not just say "Hey, Jack, show them how fast you can run, will ya?!? " what an idiot I am. Anyway, I left feeling a little down about it all! ;D
The folks at the school phoned me the next day. They had talked about it and were "happy" to have Jack attend whenever I wanted him to go. He could go part time if we wanted ( which in itself raised problems.... if he went in the morning, he'd be home at 12:00... that's fine, but as I am 30 minutes from town, if I had errands to run I would need to be home at 8 for the bus, head into town, run all my errands and be back again by 12. Doesn't sound much, only I'd also want to do school with Jessie and so on and I always find 12 comes up really quickly.... if he went in the afternoon, then he would be home around 3:30 so I'd have from 12 to 3:30... not enough time to make it worth while since again we have the getting ready for school, having breakfast or lunch.... that kind of hoopla... ) or he could go full time and they'd work out an ISP for him as they went along but then he'd be gone all day. Jack would have an aide to himself, they had suggested that perhaps he and the other little girl share one, but I felt that might take away from her and would not be really fair, since she had one all to herself beforehand. If Jack had his own aide however, he would not be able to be in the same classroom, you know, the one with the teacher who has had every Down's child... the one with all the experience and all the laminated stuff....Apparently there would be "too many adults in the room..." Ah. So Jack would have to be in another room.... for some reason, in my mind, all the other rooms seemed dull and empty, the teachers not quite so friendly, the atmosphere not so nice....! I know it's nutty, I'm sure they were all perfectly lovely, but if he was to go at all, I wanted him in the best class!! :D So in conclusion I don't want to fight over dressing and breakfast, I don't want to worry about him on the bus, I don't think he's that far behind the others, I don't want him gone all day.....and that is why Jack is staying home.... at least until the hormones get me again! :D