Category Archives: School

Ring Trophy

The other day  I packed up the Muddy Kids and headed to Baradine! It was where it was all at! The annual Ring Trophy Carnival between the Catholic Schools from neighbouring towns, this is where they all come together, they have competitive marching down the main street, then a war cry competition and then the fun begins with races and relays, tunnel ball, captain ball, tug-o-war and then the novelty races. It is a great day, by the end of it I was busted and so were my 4 little people, just walking around the oval soaking it all in seemed to exhaust the young ones. Let alone my Muddy Organiser who marched and war-cried and played her little heart out. It was a proud Mum day as I watched her march so focused and go in the three legged race with her bestie, not caring who won, only that they worked together to stay upright.

I know there will be lots, lots more of these over the years, but I think each one will be just as heart warming and as exhausting!

The Stone Age

Each year the school puts on a concert, every student has a part to play and most have a line, there is lots of dancing and singing and it keeps the audience in fits of laughter. So much time and effort goes into these concerts each and every year. There is a theme through each year’s performance.

This year it was ‘The History of the World’ and each year took a different part of history and turned it into a fantastic performance. Year One had ‘The Stone Age’, complete with The Flintstones and lots of cave people. I am in awe of the teachers that pull all this together and also of the sewing skills of some of the parents that make costumes! I do wonder how they’ll top each year, but somehow they do!

Families Are Special

Once a term my Muddy Organiser’s Class hold a Liturgy at school. Each term they have a different theme and the service is designed around the theme. Each member of the class has a role to play in the liturgy, whether it’s reading a line from a prayer, talking about the offerings they are bringing forward or to carry forward the offerings. They project the words for hymns and songs up onto a screen so the class and everyone in church can sign along. It is quite simply heart warming to watch.
My Muddy Organiser has a tendency towards shyness, she struggles to make eye contact and say hello, yet after only 6 weeks at school in term one she spoke into the microphone in a packed church for her line of ‘My name is Chloe’. Now in term 3 she is speaking long sentences into the microphone, sitting still through the service (and weekend services if we go), singing the hymns and songs and showing us just how much she has grown, learnt and changed in 3 short terms. It just never ceases to amaze me. With one term left of Kindergarten I have no doubt she’ll continue to warm my heart and make me all teary with just how much she’s grown up.

What’s up for Discussion?

I was raised in a household where you pretty much did not discuss religion or politics. You could talk in general terms but you don’t come out and say ‘I’m an Anglican’ or ‘I support the Greens’ or whatever the case may be. It was almost like an unspoken rule, you may know what religion people are or aren’t or where their political preferences lay but it’s not discussed openly, it’s just not polite.

So I was a little taken aback on the weekend, when at a party, a fellow Mum proceeded to tell me about the choice of school she’d made for her firstborn son. Now bearing in mind in town there is only a choice of two schools, the Public School or the Catholic School, this Mum proceeded to tell me that she had chosen the Catholic School for her son because 1 – she is Catholic and was raised a Catholic and 2 –  ‘Really where else would you send them’ and then proceeded to tell me it was because she felt it was important to instill ‘Good Values’ into the children the way that she was raised.

Now really I think it’s great that she has strong feelings on her child’s education, and that she is so definite in her choices and what she wants for her children, as I have met many a parent who is apathetic about their child’s education. What was hard to take (for me anyway) was this open discussion of her religion and her reasons relating to religion for her child’s education. When I was growing up, this wouldn’t have been up for discussion it would be ‘oh great you’re sending them there’ or ‘shame we won’t be going to the same school’ the religion discussion would just not have happened, particularly not so publicly or with someone who is not family or a close family friend, it just was not done. I’m more than happy to have a chat about the different schools, teaching styles, the make up of kids in the school and have had many such a discussion without the religion factor, so I know it can be done.

A similar thing happens around here at election time, people feel that it’s OK to talk about who you voted for and share that information with you. This is information I don’t feel comfortable hearing and then they get a little affronted when I won’t return the information exchange and tell them who I voted for out of the slim pickings on the ballot paper.

Have I missed something, a shift in culture or conversation? Am I behind the times, is it now polite to discuss openly your religion or political choices? Were my family and friends always behind the times, was it always OK to discuss this, or am I experiencing a ‘country thing’ I wasn’t aware of before? Am I the only one who feels this? Am I even allowed to discuss it here, or is that taboo too?

Maybe I need to review my conversation rules?

Term One Over!

Yesterday marked the end of my Muddy Organiser’s first term at school. The end of 10 weeks of getting up, getting dressed, racing to the bus, ironing uniforms, polishing shoes, packing news, packing bank books, remembering swimming clothes and homework folders.
This was her after her first day of school, rushing inside to tell Dad and her sisters about her first day!

This was my Muddy Organiser arriving home yesterday – exhausted! It took me a while to wake both of them.

It has been a fantastic start to her schooling life. In one term she has grown up so much and soaked up so much into her brain like a little sponge. She can now write her name without copying, count up past ten, know what comes after 50, if I help her remember 50, order her lunch from the canteen, read some sight words, read her homework readers, remember the names of almost all the 30 kids in her class plus the names of other kids in the school. My Muddy Organiser has made new friends and cemented strong bonds with old friends, she has turned from a little girl into a ‘big’ school girl. She plays more calmly with her sisters and brother, she is more polite at home and takes more care in her actions.
I am incredibly proud and amazed at how far she has come in such a short space of time, so can only imagine how much more she will have learn, grown and changed by the end of the year. For now we are all exhausted, we have no plans to go anywhere for a few days. We want to recharge our batteries as well as the Muddy kids, and get some work done on our bathroom, so our house can semi go back to normal. No holidays away, just enjoying spending time at home as a family, before the chaos starts again in 2 weeks.
Are your kids exhausted like mine?
Are you going to spend the first week of holidays staying home like we are?
Or are you more adventurous?

Expecting too much?

This week in town they are celebrating Seniors Week. There’s been lots of activities for the older members of the community and each school, preschool, day care has had an event on for them to attend also. Muddy Hubby’s Grandma is well and truly ensconced in the social activities in town, she’s a member of several community groups, and attends church every Sunday and is always one of the first to sign up for trips away to different parts of Australia. In other words, for 84 she’s a real goer!

Muddy Great Grandma has 26 great grandchildren, lots of whom live away, but for her my Muddy Organiser is the first one to go to school in the town where she lives, the first one where she can actually go to events that are held at school, with minimal effort, just a 2 min drive down the street.

So I rang last week and left a message with the details for Grandparents day, she was away on a trip, so I called the night before to make sure she got the message. I was informed that she wouldn’t be coming because ‘I want to stay home and clean my house’. This is the first grandparents day she has ever been invited to and her response to me was a little blunt and a little disheartening.

I know I probably got my hopes up expecting her to say yes to her first grandparents day as a great grandma, but I know if I was in her position I’d jump at the chance. Am I expecting too much, should I have not invited her, because it’s not fair if she comes to my Muddy Organiser’s events but doesn’t make it to the other great grandkids? Maybe it’s that she’s over the grandkid thing, she was grandma to 19 grandkids and now for the great grandkids she’s more interested in doing some things for herself?

Muddy Hubby tells me to ‘get over it’ and my Muddy Mother-in-law’s response was ‘she didn’t have to be so blunt about it’. Given I don’t have any grandparents left I have kids of adopted her as my Grandma, so I thought she’d be as keen as my grandparents would have been. I think maybe next time I have to lower my expectations, at least then Muddy Hubby won’t have to listen to me whinge if my expectations aren’t met!

Anyway, now that I’ve had my whinge, I did take a couple of photos, but my Muddy Organiser was concentrating so hard on her teacher’s instructions to ‘stand up straight and keep you hands behind your back’ that she did not smile once during their concert, only after they had finished.

I was a very proud Mum as My Muddy Organiser led the whole school out in single file
Do you have grandparents day where you live?
Was I expecting too much of Muddy Great Grandma?

A Bungee

We survived the first day of school! No tears from our Muddy Preschooler, just a few tears from me, as she lined up so beautifully and filed into the classroom, holding tightly to the hand of her best friend.

I was so excited to pick her up and absorb everything she had done in her day, I had a tonne of questions all lined up and ready to go. I didn’t even have to ask, my Muddy Preschooler chatted non-stop all the way home! I heard all about who is on her table, what she did at recess and lunch, who else is in her class, who her Year 6 buddy is. Our stumbling block was what she actually did in the classroom. I know she coloured in a picture of a rocket and ‘we did a Bungee’. I asked her to repeat it, I still got the same answer ‘We did a Bungee Mum’. I went through a series of questions, but still we got ‘a Bungee’.

This morning I have learned that they coloured in a picture of a bungee jumper! Who knew they’d learn about Bungee Jumping on their first day at school!

For me, a Mum who has been keenly involved at preschool, I think I am going to be a little lost, as no doubt I will be left wondering on many ocassions what she has been learning or playing at school, as I get half stories or mixed up information from my Muddy Preschooler. I think it’s another part of me that has to learn to let go and trust in her teacher! A harder task than I thought, I’m hoping it gets easier!

Maybe today she’ll learn about sky diving or rock climbing, but not quite sure how you top Bungee Jumping on your first day!

Mandatory family photos

The back pack which is almost as big as her!

Best Friends

Lining Up!
How did your little one’s first day go?
What stories did they come home with?

A sad, but happy, Morning Tea

Ever since I’ve had my Muddy Preschooler (maybe even a little before I had her) I have been having the most wonderful morning tea catch ups with the most wonderful group of friends a woman could ever ask for. It began with ante-natal classes, grew into a mother’s group and while the frequency and attendance has waxed and waned there’s been 5 of us who have continued our friendship on, through many, many, many morning teas, dinners and lunches.

Today we hosted morning tea at our house, what was special about this morning tea though, was that it will be the last morning tea that we have, where our firstborn children will be there (other than school holidays of course).

For the five of us our eldest children will start school together on Monday for the first time. They will all be going to the same school and will have each other there as a support. I’ve discovered that you cannot force friendship onto your children (much as times we may try to dissuade them from one wild child, to another, with a gentler influence) but we have been lucky enough that our 5 children have formed a lovely friendship with one another.

And so this morning while our children played just beautifully together, with minimal fighting and only a few tears, I felt both happy and sad. Happy that my Muddy Preschooler will go to school with friends she knows, friends she adores and friends that will keep an eye on her. I did however feel sad at the same time, that this is the end of ‘early childhood’ for my Muddy Preschooler, in 6 days she will be a ‘School Girl’ and a whole new chapter of her life (and mine) will begin.

I am honestly both excited and anxious at the same time about My Preschooler becoming a School Girl, and some days I’m not sure which emotion is stronger! Today though I was reassured that she will not be doing it alone, she’ll be starting her journey with good friends, and that I think is worth so very much. At least for me it is as it helps lessen my anxiety and worry.

One of our first Mother’s Group Morning Teas.

Fun in the Fig Tree
5 Cheeky Cherubs

Is your Preschooler becoming a school kid too? How are you feeling?
Are there friends starting with your children too?
Or is it a whole new world, with the opportunity to make wonderful new friends?