Among the toughest, most guilt-ridden decisions in our lives are the educational choices we make for our children.
There are thousands of variables – the school, teachers, class size, peers, headteacher’s approach, child’s ability, state of the curriculum, child’s attitude etc.
In the dream world, an educational guru would assess all of them and direct us to the most positive outcome.
Our youngest, Jack, is already starting to get excited about school in September. We’re hoping he’s slightly less enthusiastic than his sister, who was dressed and ready for her first school day at 5.45am.
I enjoyed my time at school and went on to university. But looking back, some of the teachers in the ’80s we’re less than enthusiastic. Other,s though, were brilliant.
I do wonder what we could have achieved if all of the teachers were on form and teacher strikes hadn’t torn through our education.
Although sending a child to a private school would be a huge financial burden, if I had to work an extra day a week to see them flourish, undoubtedly I’d up the ante.
But then, private education is no guarantee of glaring success.
Many of my friends, colleagues and associates attended private school and have gone on to the same fortunes as the rest of us who have been educated by the state.
I’ve even questioned teachers (private and state) to understand which is the better option and even they can’t give a definitive answer.
In fact I know some teachers working in private schools who have opted to send their children to a state establishment.
But they are agreed on one thing – parental involvement is the essence of educational success.
Whether it’s taking your child to swimming lessons, sitting at the kitchen table discussing conjunctives, suffixes, connectives or fractions, formulating a rap/poem or building a medieval castle from twigs, the benefits of parents rolling up their sleeves are priceless.
So whilst I continue to explore the educational Eden, I’ll also keep focused on acrostics and algebra.