The school bells rings and my children tear out, bags falling from their arms, coats flapping like capes behind them.
They fly onto the nearest patch of grass and run, yelp, kick balls, chase friends.
If you ever needed an image to describe living without a care – then this is it.
Behind them, my three-year old follows, desperately trying to keep up. Longing for the day she gets to pull on the uniform and really be part of the gang.
I stand watching, preparing to burst the bubble, we have to go home, we will probably have homework to do.
I ask in the car, how was school, what did you do?
Literacy, maths, spelling tests.
Where is the playing and the crafting, the pursuits of an eight year old?
When did primary school become so academic?
Don’t get me wrong, I think our school is excellent, but like all schools they are bound my the confines of Ofsted. A utilitarian school of thought that sees children only in terms of numbers and letters. (In my opinion!)
A system that has all but forgotten about learning through play.
And now, it seems, Ofsted want to extend their reign even further. They want our little ones in school based nurseries, they want to start preparing toddlers for school.
Do I really need to prepare my three year old for school?
She will be there for at least twelve years, I’m confident she will get the gist of it.
One thing I know as a grown up is, we get old quickly and stay this way for a long time. Those magical days of being in single age digits are so short and should be cherished.
I want to spend my Sundays playing pirates in the park, taking the kids out for lunch, slobbing on the sofa chatting about our week. I don’t want to be stood over the kids trying to motivate them to do homework that none of us want to do.
And my youngest, she doesn’t need to be taught the basics of reading in pre-school. I read to her every night, she gets to fall asleep in a world of princesses and dragons, dramatised by mum and dad.
All around me I see great teachers leaving the profession because the job no longer requires inspiring and leading kids. I hear stories of fatigue caused by excessive forms and benchmarks to reach. I hear the cry that Ofsted, the system meant to improve our schools is the reason so many won’t ever return to teaching.
I see a system falling apart and my children suffering as a result of this educational crisis.
I see a system I don’t want to be part of but have no means to escape.
A system that will fine me if I take my children away at a time we can afford for all important family time, instead of when they dictate.
A system that thinks my three-year old should be in school already instead of playing at home, with me.
I’m getting pretty disillusioned with the system.
I am so excited to be shortlisted in the Mad Blog Awards 2014 in two categories,
thanks to everyone who voted in the first stage.
I am nominated in
Best Writer and Most Entertaining,
if you would like Northernmum to win, please take a moment to vote here