What school should be
Discounts for high achievers? Writing at 4? Marlon’s daughters’ schools are going the extra mile.
It’s that time of the year again, school’s begun and we have to meet the teachers and hear the principal explain the ethos and objectives of their institutions. I attended the parent-evenings at both Hannah and Maddi’s schools on consecutive nights, and I have to say I am very pleased.

These institutions do cost a pretty penny, but I’ve always been a man who values cost against return when it comes to pricing, and I’m very happy with what I’m getting from both Wonder World preschool and Aurora Private School for my little angels.

At Hannah’s school they’ve decided to implement the 7 habits of effective teenagers, and also apply it to ‘inbetweenagers’. It’s all roughly based on that best-selling book, the 7 habits of successful people, or something like that. And it prepares the kids for the real world.

What I really liked about this approach is that it ingrains in the kids that they are responsible for what happens to them, including their choices and their moods. Hannah is approaching the moody ‘inbetweenager’ years, hence my approval of the system.

They also have a system where the child is rewarded for test results, attendance, sport etc on a merit system which can eventually result in a 33% discount in her school fees. Now this was something that had all the parents listening up!

Times certainly have changed dramatically since I was at school. I helped her with her homework, which on that day covered work on 4 subjects and took us the better part of an hour-and-a-half.

And a few of the concepts were kinda radical. I mean I had to really apply my mind to get around some of the math she was doing, and even the grammar was interesting. Not difficult, it’s just that they have new ways of teaching stuff. All good, in my view!

Writing in preschool

On to Maddi’s school, eish, you gotta love pre-school teachers. They are so dedicated and form such strong bonds with the kids, at Maddi’s school anyway. We had a long chat about the methodology of the curriculum and how it works etc etc, stuff which I’ve written about before.

But now the 4-year-olds are going to learn to write. Have you met Anthony the Ant? This little dude, climbs out of his hole on the left side of the page and walks across and goes into another hole on the right side of the page and moves around the back of the page and into another hole a bit lower down on the front of the page.

This is how they are taught to draw a straight line, which in turn ingrains into their little heads that writing is from left to right. I was impressed. Then they went on to explain about bugs and stuff who come out of the ant’s hole, or lay in wait in his path and something about a hook (which forms the letter J), and so the 4-year-olds learn about letters. This is before they do verbal and visual identification of the alphabetical and phoenetical expression of letters.

Several of the parents asked questions which indicated that they were just as gobsmacked as I was. I just felt content that my money was being put to good use.

Are you getting value for money at your kid’s schools?


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