boy asleepIf you are the parent of a child currently in nursery you’ll most likely be anxiously awaiting the notification by e-mail from your council of where your child has got a school place? Being in this position, my wife and I share the mild, moderate and sometimes severe anxiety related getting the School of choice or “What will we do if we don’t get our first or second choice……….Oh no!”.

Whilst looking through the calendar in our kitchen I reminded myself of the impending event. I had also just been tagged in to a post on Facebook by my wife which had originally been posted by my step-sister which was titled’ Childhood eroded by 10-hour school day, warns teachers’. Amongst the many education based topics that make it into the news headlines the issue as I have coined it ‘Too much school’ has regular featured. One of the latest articles on the issue was published in the Telegraph On-line  .

This article followed a report published by the Association of Teachers and Lectures union that claimed that          “‘Childhood was being eroded’ as pupils as young as four are forced into an increasingly stressful 10-hour school day, teachers have warned.” The reason that this article struck a chord with me was that the thought of my soon to be four-year old son from September (although not straight away) was going to start doing full school days, five days a week. My son who currently goes to a nursery five afternoons a week still has days where he comes home shattered with the associated grumpiness. The thought of him or any child having to do a 10 hour day I find just a bit of a worry.

Working for myself and working a lot of the time from home means that I/we certainly have a situation where our son has a lot of both of our time and attention. This is not to say such a situation doesn’t come with any challenges as it really does (the subject of home working and child care will be the focus of future posts). The issue that really concerns me that affects us all in the current climate is the cost of living which is forced many parents to work longer, harder hours forcing more and more children to stay longer at school and not with their families. What I hate is that for so many parents and children the choice is taken away from them of spending time together as a family due to the current work and economic climate.

Also, a worry to me is that Ofsted “Has also called for more youngsters to start school-based nurseries from the age of two to give them access to better early literacy and numeracy.”  It is not up for debate that more children are entering formal schooling lacking basic literacy and numeracy skill but a move to encourage an earlier start age to formal education I feel is a step toward a further erosion of childhood.

I’m not saying that I have the answer to improving attainment in our schools or maintaining the sanctity of the family but more debate is needed on this issue. What I am clear on is although massively rewarding modern-day parenting, what ever your situation really does come with some unique challenges and often times can be really tough. Therefore, I can only summarise this post by saying keep up the good work all you Mums and Dads. What ever our situation we strive to do the best for our kids and long may that continue.

If you have any comments on this post or the associated article please feel free to leave a comment.

Also, remember ‘Saturday Bounce’ is this and every Saturday from 11am to 5pm at The Graham Spicer (next to Waitrose) New Malden …….See you there!



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